What Should The Candidate-Recruiter Relationship Look Like?

Posted on 11th July 2017

Recruitment agencies and embedded talent partners like Scede.io derive their revenue from the clients they serve. However, to be an effective recruiter, it’s important to cultivate and nurture both client and candidate relationships.

There is a tendency within some traditional agencies to only focus on client management and engage with candidates when a role needs filling. Because psychologically the recruiter’s self-interest lies in filling the role, there is a danger that they try to shape the candidate to the role and sully the long term candidate relationships.

In order to build world class hiring teams and develop long-term brand ambassadors, the candidate-recruiter relationship needs constant and careful nurturing.

Building and nourishing candidate talent pools, by treating candidates as people, is a far more effective long-term recruiting strategy.

Develop Candidate Relationships Instead Of Treating Them As Commodities

It’s important to take the time to get to know your candidates as people.

For example, with Engineers, find out what projects they are working on. Really understand what skills they’ve used and learned, what challenges they’ve overcome, how the projects have helped them with other work.

If you’re not sure about something technical, ask. Ask why, how, what. Show interest.

Build rapport, find out what they like to do outside of work. What their hobbies are. Explore and develop.

All of this builds trust, in the same way you build trust when making a new friend, or when you go on a date.

Without trust, it’s impossible to develop an authentic rapport with someone. From an evolutionary perspective, I need to know if you’re going to kill me before I decide it’s safe to have dinner with you.

So put in the work. The alternative is to treat candidates as commodities. All this does in the long term is destroy candidate relationships and have an adverse effect on your client’s brand.

If the candidate is passive, or if the roles you have aren’t right for them now, ask to follow up periodically. And do as you say. This establishes commitment and consistency.

When you do follow up with a passive candidate be sure to offer some form of value.

Calling or emailing a candidate to see if they’re open to new opportunities does not provide them with any value. In fact, all you’ve done is taken up some of their time.

Instead, try sending them a useful article or invite them to an event your business is holding and then ask them if they’re situation has changed.

If you do what you say you’ll do, the candidate will respect you. When someone respects you and trusts you, the foundations are in place for a successful and mutually beneficial relationship.

When Engaged With A Candidate Regarding A Role, Establish Process and Communicate

When engaging with a candidate about a role, it’s important to tell them the recruiting process. Find out their preferred communication source, and keep them updated regularly. When a milestone has been hit or when a new piece of information comes in, let the candidate know.

Be honest with the candidate from the start. If they aren’t right, don’t submit them. Be honest with your feedback and with client feedback.

Offer your help. Offer interview advice. Provide market intelligence. Be the recruiter you would wish for if you were the candidate in question.

By being consistent, authentic and communicative; you are sustaining the trust and respect you’ve developed with the candidate, ensuring a continued relationship long into the future.


Every engagement should provide value to the candidate.

The candidate-recruiter relationship is fundamental to a successful long-term recruiting strategy.

It’s important to treat candidates as people, not commodities. This means you need to cultivate relationships and develop trust and respect.

By nurturing relationships instead of role stuffing, you’re strengthening trust and developing long-term brand ambassadors.

When engaging a candidate over a role, communicate the process with them. Provide regular feedback, keep the candidate informed at all times. Be honest, be authentic, be communicative.

We work with high growth gaming studios to ensure they hire the best staff for their companies and their environments. We work with you, on site, as part of your team. We’ve helped to build teams for Supercell, Klarna, Farmdrop and more. If you’d like help building your team, get in touch here .


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