Relationships vs. Transactional Recruiting

Relationships vs. Transactional Recruiting

by Julie Strantz

Recruiting: It’s About the Relationship, Not the Transaction

After more than 14 years, I have gotten to know quite a few recruiters. I have also been familiar with the candidate’s experience as well. One thing I’ve noticed in my experience – there are still so many recruiters who continue to view the process of sourcing and recruiting talent as a transaction.

The word “transactional” has almost become unmentionable in recruiting, and for a good reason. While recruiters need to act quickly and fill roles, in the end, our long-term goal is to build lasting and trusting relationships.

Being A Recruiter Means Acting Fast

I get it, the need to act quickly and fill positions fast is real. For some recruiters, considerations like culture-fit and even some skill sets can take a back seat to the more pressing issue of providing a candidate before the other recruiter does. 

In this scenario, recruiters will just push through the motions or steps to get a candidate in front of a hiring manager. They don’t have time to build a relationship with the candidate or really get to know the nuances of the role for which they’re sourcing talent.

Building Trust and Relationships is the Key To Recruiting

Spending almost 6 years placing HR professionals in consultant roles, I’ve found the most important step was building trusting relationships first. Relationships are at the core of what we do. They are instrumental in continued partnerships with our team for future placements. 

Without solid relationships with our candidates, it is a challenge for our clients to hire with confidence. Even now, much of my focus on recruiting in the HR sector is based on four components of building strong relationships:

  1. Take time to get to know the candidate. Don’t hurry the discussion along just to get them presented to the opportunity. Use your discussions with the candidate to get a sense of what’s important to them by searching for the answers to some of these questions:
    1. What are their ‘Keys’ that are most important to them?
    2. What is the best culture for them?
    3. What makes them most excited about what they do?
    4. What are their career goals?
  2. Don’t think about them just for one specific role. Dig deeper to understand the whole picture. Chances are, if they’re not a good fit for one role, they’d be perfect for something else.
  3. Follow up and follow through. Communication is everything, especially considering all we’ve gone through over the past year. Too many times I’ve heard “no one ever got back to me,” regardless of where they were at in the process. Bad communication can really stay with a candidate and sour them on the idea of working with recruiters. 
  4. Use technology to stay in touch and remind candidates you haven’t forgotten about them. There are many tools available to help keep on top of communication. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Even a simple reach-out to check-in will do.

Relationships are the Future of Recruiting Strong Employees

I am very grateful for my time as a recruiter. It has been so rewarding maintaining relationships throughout my time at Versique, and even from previous recruiting roles.

It is an incredible feeling when candidates continue to reach out months or even years after cultivating that first, strong relationship. When recruiters take the time to build solid bonds with their candidates, good things will follow: more networking, referrals, and a partnership in helping job seekers to find their dream role.

Take the time to build those relationships. What do you have to lose?


If you are an HR Professional looking to work closely with an HR recruiter who values you, and your needs, contact the HR recruiting team at Versique. Let’s work together to make great things happen. Contact us today!

Not an HR Professional but still looking to work with a great, relationship-focused recruiter? Contact Versique about your next career move.

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