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SS: This post was originally published in April 2015 by Erin Miller. This post received such a great response and since then, it has been shared and referenced over and over again. We’d thought we’d share it again for those who haven’t read it yet. These three tips are still extremely relevant and essential for companies as they work with an external recruiter. Enjoy!

Last August, I wrote a blog post entitled “Working with Recruiters: For Companies.” The three tips shared in that post have helped a lot of companies prepare for working with an external recruiter.

We’re currently at an active time in the world of recruiting and hiring. Many companies are posting new positions; many candidates are considering a transition. I think it’s time for a few more tips!

Here are 3 more tips to help organizations successfully engage with a recruiter:

#1 – Title

  • The title for an open position should most accurately describe what the role entails.
    • Try to steer clear of words that are vague or have multiple interpretations such as Development, Administrator or Operations. These words mean different things in different industries.
  • Make sure the title is searchable, so that active candidates can find your job posting. Of course, we love fun titles like “Sales Ninja” but not many candidates are going to type that title in to a search engine.
  • Be flexible. Develop a list of 2-3 titles for a role, so that you can be prepared to change the title on a job posting if it doesn’t produce the response that you want.


#2 – The Passive Candidate Conundrum

Here is a little tough love for you – Don’t ask for passive candidates unless you’re ready for them.

Companies always say that they want passive candidates but when it comes down to it, many organizations are not ready for the challenges that passive candidates present.

Recruiting a passive candidate:

  • Takes longer
  • Usually costs more
  • Requires some “wooing”

If your organization does not have the time to devote to the process, the money to negotiate salary or the energy to woo, you’re probably better off following the traditional model of posting and focusing on your applicant pool.

Recruiting passive candidates is a strong strategy for attracting top talent, but your company has to be ready for it.

#3 – The “Why?”

When you open a new position, you need to understand why this position is a good opportunity. More importantly, your recruiter will need to understand why this position is a good opportunity. Most importantly, the candidate will need to understand why this position is a good opportunity.

Consider the following questions and be ready to discuss the answers with your recruiter:

  • Why would someone want to work at your company?
  • What opportunities will this position give them that they can’t get elsewhere?
  • What engaging projects or responsibilities will a candidate be able to really sink their teeth into?

The answers to these questions are going to make the difference between finding an average employee or a top-performer.


Make sure to review my first three tips here. Now, your company has six tips that will be helpful in successfully working with recruiters.

To better understand more of the what’s important to recruiters, check out The Candidate – Recruiter Relationship.