Building a client relationship can be a lot like dating. It might start off all butterflies and bliss, but that’s just a sugar coating. Once you break past that delicious candy shell, you could be in for a surprise. As recruiters, we hate surprises! We’re planners by nature. Some might even say we’re control freaks. Avoiding surprises is one of our key responsibilities; and it got me thinking about what recruiters value most in client relationships.

For me, a successful client relationship is built on transparency and commitment. With transparency, we’re back to the old onion metaphor, peeling back the layers to get to the root of the problem. I want my client to be 100% honest with me about the challenges they’re facing. This means having those tough discussions, the practical, unsexy ones that are normally avoided in the first stages of dating. The truth is if you don’t sift through the noise to get to what matters, you can’t identify a true solution.

After we’ve established transparency and set clear expectations, commitment needs to follow. The hiring process alone is a commitment. To ensure a quality candidate experience it’s imperative to make the process smooth and engaging, which requires a lot of collaboration. I need to know that my client can commit without hesitation to a specific timeline for interviewing and hiring. This includes timely feedback which is integral to the recruitment strategy.

Like any new relationship, building a successful client relationship takes time and effort on behalf of both parties – but if you work through those first awkward stages and break through the sugarcoating, you will be well on your way.

What do you value most in your client relationships? I can’t be the only one who has dreamt up their ideal client (at least I hope not, and if I am, wow, embarrassing). So bring on some thoughts and comments!

By Danielle Engstrom | People Science Team Lead