My twenty years of experience in the employment industry has led me to believe that companies, candidates, contractors and recruiters want the same thing. They want the bull’s-eye hit as quickly as possible. All too often, despite this shared goal, success is not realized. What can companies, candidates, contractors and recruiters do to achieve their common goal and share in the success?

Experience has shown me…

Companies want a short list of qualified candidates to interview, vet and hire. The longer a role is open the more money it costs the company, as productive resources are diverted to interviewing and vetting instead of focusing on their respective roles within the company. Simply put. Work does not get done. Time is money and an extenuated search can see money flying out the window.

Candidates are busier than ever. As companies have become leaner over time, they have demanded more from their employees. And, life outside of the office has not slowed down for the vast majority of working Americans. Good or bad, a candidate’s life is busier than ever. Hence, a candidate’s time is at a premium and they cannot afford to spend time interviewing for roles for which they are not a fit.

Contractors are in the same boat as a candidate for a direct hire role. They are highly proficient in their functional area or skill set, they are aware of what their role is and what they are able to offer prospective clients. Based on how they are typically remunerated (hourly), time is literally money to them and unwanted down time is not an option.

Recruiters are often misunderstood. One thing is certain. A recruiter working on a contingent basis is only successful if they fill a role. The only way they become a “Trusted Advisor” to a client is with sustained success over time. With the compensation structure for most agency recruiters following a performance based commission structure, the most effective recruiters seek to successfully conduct the greatest possible number of contingent searches over a given timeframe. This requires a lot of time, energy and effort networking in order to discover the right candidates and contractors for their clients.

Back to the question:

What can companies, candidates, contractors and recruiters do to achieve their common goal and share in the success?

Four action items for companies, candidates, contractors and recruiters:

1. Communicate with intention – Companies, candidates and contractors must clearly articulate what they are seeking and be willing to answer any clarifying questions that a recruiter asks in order to fully understand their desires. Vagueness leads to uncertainty and wasted time.

2. Establish effective feedback loops – Constructing feedback loops for all stakeholders is vital. Everyone strives to define, know and hit the center, but at times adjustments are required. Constructive feedback loops are imperative for success.

3. Trust and verify – Open up and trust. Share information. Answer questions. The lack of trust is a real deal killer.

4. Time spent up front will pay big dividends – If you are a company, candidate or contractor – take the time to explain your desires and allow time for the recruiter to ask important clarifying questions. If you are a recruiter, make sure that you know where the bull’s-eye is…what it looks like…take the time and ask the important questions. The time spent early in the search process exchanging information is by far the most important.

By companies, candidates, clients and recruiters practicing empathy and appreciating the common goal of wanting the bull’s-eye hit quickly, a shared success can be realized.