We often describe NPA as a “relationship-based” versus a “transactional” network. It leads to some great conversations with recruiters who are exploring membership in a split placement network. The differences between a relationship recruiting style and a transactional recruiting style aren’t always apparent. Today I’d like to discuss some of the differences as I see them.
Relationship recruiting, to me, means:
Recruiters who take a long-term view. They realize that today’s candidate is tomorrow’s hiring manager. They value repeat business from loyal clients. They understand that cooperation (and sometimes compromise) now can pay huge dividends down the road. They work cooperatively to ensure that all parties achieve their objectives.
Recruiters who spend a lot of their time on the phone. Relationships still need to be cultivated (in my view) through telephone and in-person conversations. Email is a great tool and automated services can save a lot of time, but they really aren’t designed for you to get to know another person.
Recruiters who receive lots of referrals from their contacts, and those contacts’ networks. Relationship recruiting requires a significant investment of time and effort into truly cultivating personal connections.
Generally, NPA recruiters value deep relationships with their trading partners as well as with clients and candidates. Our most successful members treat their trading partners the same way they treat their clients. Each side is an important part of the process, with mutual goals. Business relationships often evolve into true friendships. They have run each others’ businesses and attended funerals for other NPA members. As is true in so many business contexts, it’s easier (and more fun!) to do business with people you know and like.
Transactional recruiting, on the other hand, tends to focus on the ‘here and now,’ with more emphasis on speed. Transactional recruiters may devote more of their time and effort to internet searches, email, or high-volume cold-calling. They may spend less time talking to clients, candidates, or trading partners. There is nothing inherently wrong with this model; in fact, for certain types of recruiting needs it may be preferable.
What other differences do you see between relationship recruiting and transactional recruiting? Do you prefer one style over the other?