Even though they may not ask outright, I think your hiring manager clients will welcome your consultant approach to help them hire the best for their positions. And the more they trust you as their consultant, the more input and impact you will have.
So here are five things you can do in the course of your interactions with hiring managers that will build and reinforce your image as a consultative recruiter.
One of the fastest ways to build trust is to make small promises—keep them. When was the last time someone did what they said they would do—when they said they would do it. As an aside, I once asked a sales exec who had become a millionaire selling office cleaning supplies what was his secret to success. This simple strategy was what had made him a trusted business partner to his customers. So think what it will do for you!
Be willing to ask the tough questions. It may be difficult but when you are willing to broach the elephant in the room, you are absolutely demonstrating your consultant position. Sometimes asking the question on everyone’s mind is the exactly what builds the most trust.
Let your passion and excitement show. It’s reassuring to hiring managers when you express excitement (honestly) about recruiting for their position. The bonus? When you can generate genuine excitement, it will also help you write a powerful posting that excites your best candidates.
Avoid under-promising and over-delivering as a philosophy. A lot of recruiters have reported trying to build a business relationship with this philosophy. They all found that it was a ton of work that didn’t really make a big improvement in their relationships. The reason for that is because, with this approach, you quickly teach people exactly what you are doing. Then they come to a) disbelieve you and b) expect more than you promised to deliver. That is never the formula for building a business partnership. I hope it comes as a relief to you that, if you’ve been working hard to over deliver, you can stop!
Confidence generates confidence. The “fake it until you make it” approach never worked for me. I found it difficult to come across as confident when I’m feeling like a fake—maybe it’s just me. So to create genuine confidence, remember, YOU are the recruiting expert. I know everyone in the company may think they can do your job, but you and I know they could not. So trust yourself and your skills, share your knowledge and perspective and know that you know what you’re doing.
For more techniques to meet 17 challenges recruiters face—and build a reputation as a consultative recruiter at the same time, check out my updated book on Amazon: The Consultative Recruiter .