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What a Recruitment Agency's Perfect Job Candidate Would Look Like

Cheryl Evans

  • 03 Oct


 Recruitment agencies need to think about hiring for themselves, as well as their clients...

Far from telling recruitment agencies how to do their job, we thought we’d give a little insight from the marketing side.

When you want to add to your agency’s team, there are a number of things you should think about. There are skills, personality types, needs, and requirements. Most of all, there are ways of thinking.

Let us elaborate. Finding a candidate their dream role is, in fact, less about them as candidates, and more about you, the recruiter. There are skills that only a highly perceptive, skilled recruiter can have in order to land a candidate their dream job.

Here's what the perfect job candidate needs.

Be a storyteller

Be candidate centric

Be a brand ambassador

Don't forget about data

Use content to your advantage

Be emotionally intelligent

Don’t be afraid to probe

Attention to detail

Be a storyteller

This is similar to the age-old mantra that tells recruiters to be good salespeople. Being a good ‘salesperson’ is somewhat obvious, as you’re selling opportunities, new ventures, and challenges.

However, you can go one further than this and say that a good recruiter is an excellent storyteller.

Stories have been woven into the fabric of our existence for some time, and our lives are firmly wrapped around the tales we’ve lived. Your job is to foretell your candidates' story ahead of time.

It will be a story built on the information and research you’ve gathered - about the candidate, and the industry relevant to the job you’re advertising.

Being able to create a vivid description of what your candidate’s working life may look like in their new role will help:

  • Capture the candidate’s attention
  • Give the candidate an idea of living in their new role
  • Help the candidate understand and remember a great deal of information (in a short period of time)
  • Allow the candidate to invest emotionally in the opportunity, which will help them engage more

A good storyteller will also be able to portray life at a new company, giving candidates an evocative picture of where the company is going in the future, and whether or not they will be happy.

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Be candidate-centric

To compete with the noise, hustle and bustle of recruitment consultants need to be taking care of their candidates and catering to their needs. They need to be more candidate-centric.

A positive experience with a recruiter means that the recruiter went out of their way to accommodate the candidate. That’s how it is, and more recruitment agencies need to understand this.

This means: keeping in touch with the candidate throughout the process, keeping them in the loop, talking about which opportunities would suit them best and advise them wherever possible.

It’s simple but neglected in many recruitment processes outside the recruitment industry.

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Be a brand ambassador

You should think of your recruitment agency as not just an agency, but much more. Think of it like a brand, a lifestyle that you wear on your sleeve throughout your working week.

This extends from your candidate-to-candidate conversations to the way in which the agency conducts itself online.

If a recruitment agency has an identifiable way of talking online, providing relevant and consistent content, then it is immediately recognisable to its audience and, by that rationale, singles itself out in terms of competition.

Being a brand ambassador strengthens that. To candidates, you want to be one of a few. Don’t forget that recruitment is such a busy, almost saturated industry.

Your agency needs to cut through the noise.

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Don’t forget about data

Not enough recruitment agencies utilise data and analytics in their approach. When talking with candidates about potential role matches, it helps to convince candidates if real-time data shows that they are best suited for this kind of role or that kind of industry.

It’s a tried and tested method of marketing, advertising, and sales - if done well, it works brilliantly in recruitment.

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Use content to your advantage

Similar to data, recruiters can use content (preferably created by their own agency) to further persuade a candidate of their suitability to a particular role.

This will not only elevate the agency’s status and position as a hub for knowledge, it will also create a sense of urgency for your candidate. Once they have digested the point your content makes, it is then upon them to take action.

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Be emotionally intelligent

The recruiter must be able to assess and influence candidates, all on an agency’s behalf. This is straightforward enough here, as it requires a smart, emotionally receptive recruiter.

However, your recruiter may be just as smart, often even more. The recruiter must be able to think clearly, prioritise, and assess the situation from the candidate’s point of view.

This means stepping in someone else’s shoes and looking at the current situation from their perspective. This takes understanding, empathy, and a keen level of emotional intelligence.

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Don’t be afraid to probe

In a lot of ways, a recruiter has to shelve certain politeness so they can find out what their candidate wants to achieve, and the kinds of roles they want to work in.

A good recruiter must be able to delve into their candidate’s working life without hesitation and learn what they need to help the candidate onward.

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Attention to detail

This means ensuring that the recruiter sends emails without spelling errors, grammatical screw-ups or, worse, using the wrong name.

Issues like this are easily ironed out with a quick check, but if overlooked it can really undermine the agency’s credibility and minimise the chances of the recipient of said emails from ever getting in touch.

The devil is in the detail!

How will you reach out to this perfect candidate? By email of course!

If you're email subject lines are falling flat, try out our free email marketing toolkit in which you'll find tips and tricks for writing better emails as well as some free email templates you can start using today. 

Download your all-in-one toolkit to help you turn email swipes into email opens.

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