By Danielle van Asch Prevot

If you've worked with a recruiting agency in the past, then you already know the basics of how it works: You tell the firm about the position and the type of person you want, and the recruiter goes out and tracks down the perfect candidates.

It's not hard to see the advantages of using a recruiter for your staffing needs. Reviewing resumes, screening applicants and scheduling in-person interviews can be exhausting, and a recruiting agency helps you cut down the time you personally have to spend on preliminary hiring activities. But there's another important way recruiters can enhance your hiring process, and that's the ongoing relationship they build with you, the client.

Good recruiters don't just find candidates; they listen to your needs, tailor their talent scouting approach, and offer their expertise to help you make the best possible hiring decisions. In essence, they create a constant feedback loop that gives you greater insight than you could likely get searching for candidates on your own.

So what goes into building a recruiter-client relationship? Here's what the right agency can bring to the table.

We know your industry. Specialized recruiting firms have invested a lot of time and resources into learning an industry inside and out. We've seen what kind of candidates get hired and succeed in companies similar to yours, and we know what skills and experiences would make a perfect match for the type of role you want to fill. We also know what kind of talent you need to stay competitive, because we see industry hiring trends as they unfold.

We know where to look. Recruiters have access to a wide range of resources to help you find the right person for the job. Candidates are on job boards, social media sites, online forums and even in your professional network. If you were handling the hiring process yourself, you might be overwhelmed at the prospect of searching through all of these different sources, but we have the time and expertise to do that for you. More importantly, we might know of a place or two you wouldn't have thought to look yourself, leading to even more qualified candidates.

We evangelize your company. If your company is smaller and only has a few employees, you may not have the networking power to talk yourself up to potential applicants. Even with inbound flow, you risk missing out on the best passive candidates if you don’t have a personal connection to them. A well-connected recruiter is linked to the top talent in your industry and geographic area, and knows which individuals would be the perfect match. We get excited about supporting our clients and their missions, and feel personally tied to their success, so we’re more than happy to spread the word about your opportunities to the people we know.

We can give you an unbiased opinion on candidates. We all work hard to remain objective when evaluating candidates, but even the best of us may experience what’s known as a hiring bias. This means unconsciously favoring candidates who have a similar background to their own, and possibly rejecting those who are qualified from a skills perspective, but have a personality or background that may not instantly connect with you. A recruiter looks at your talent pool from an objective, outside perspective. We'll let you know which candidates we think are right (or wrong) based on what we know about your company, its culture and the position we're helping you fill.

When you sign on with a recruiting agency, you're getting more than just candidate leads. Recruiters are natural connectors, and we take pleasure in maintaining long-term personal relationships. We take those relationships very seriously, and our clients either start out, or end up as friends. We truly care about your ability to succeed, and because of that, we're able to give you the tools, tips and candid feedback you need to make an informed decision about every hire you entrust to us.