There are many types of recruiters out there, and whether you’re independently-contracted or a part of a large staffing corporation, it’s important to know how to sell yourself as the missing link between candidates and companies. That requires knowing your strengths, your weaknesses, and, ultimately, your brand. Are you a consultative recruiter, a transactional recruiter, or somewhere in between?

A transactional recruiter is seeking to fill their open roles as quickly as possible, overlooking significant hiring factors that influence the efficiency of the hire, like risk of attrition or recruitment cycle times. Conversely, a consultative recruiter weighs the candidate and client holistically, searching for a high-quality fit for both, providing recommendations based upon the respective goals, desires, and needs of each.

Without fail, a consultative recruiter does these five steps everyday while on the job:

1. Understands how current economic and industry trends are impacting the candidate’s decision-making process, the client’s business performance, and the employee’s retention decisions

You can’t put yourself in the shoes of your candidate if you don’t know what environment they are deciding in, what factors are swaying them, and what their true priorities are. By getting a meaningful and up-to-date perspective on the recruiting climate, your recruiting method is more customized than a transactional recruiter. By reading newsletters, blogs, or case studies, the consultative recruiter puts is aware of what impacts their clients and candidates in the marketplace, thus strategically aligning their searches. A transactional recruiter goes all-in without a strategy, disconnecting them from the bigger picture.

2. Educates each of these parties to make better, informed decisions on job offers, hiring, and company culture.

Does your candidate know their market value? Will your candidate integrate well into the company culture? Both your client and candidate need to know what to expect when their search comes to an end. You are the confidante, the counselor, and the trusted advisor. A consultative recruiter will go beyond what’s on the company website to educate potential hires on the significance of their role. They will answer questions, take criticisms, and become a credible, reliable resource for both sides.
It’s not just about signing a hire; it’s about allowing both parties to enter into a hiring relationship with context. The ideal recruiter is an open and honest communication channel between the company and the candidate.

3. Provides strategic initiatives for all parties to be more effective in their role

A transactional recruiter is services-based; they want to check off their job requirements and return freshly signed contracts to their clients as quickly as possible. However, a consultative recruiter is solutions-based, and eager to offer additional aid in decision-making. They are timely, professional, and accurate, with goals in mind.

4. Manages these groups to ensure that expected outcomes are achieved

Once the ball gets rolling, the consultative recruiter won’t leave their candidate out to dry or expect their client to take all the reigns. A consultative recruiter follows-up, updates information, and stays on top of the job opening until both parties are comfortable and know what to expect. It’s the job of the consultative recruiter to not only deal with problems when they arise, but to reduce the frequency of miscommunication problems overall.

5. Reports successes and failures of the outcomes, providing recommendations for improvement

A transactional recruiter will close the deal when the hire is made and move onto the next item on their to-do list, but a consultative recruiter knows that each hire comes with a commitment to quality assurance. This enables the consultative recruiter to regulate the reputation of their work, the satisfaction of their client, and the performance of their candidate. A consultative recruiter is constructive, hands-on, and dedicated to sustainable, long-term meaningful hires.

Whether fully consultative or only beginning to wean away from transactional habits, all recruiters do important work. This depth comes from the time and effort they give everyday, in a blur of non-stop phone calls, in-depth research, “thank you” emails, moral support, and early morning interviews.

No matter how you recruit, always seek to improve your practices, and honor the needs of your clients and candidates. You’re the bridge between two worlds and your vision makes all the difference.