Why Recruitment Is All About the Business of Relationships

by Guest Author Ghazanfar Syed

In this day and age, client relations and courtship are so important. Your presence and the way you carry yourself in a conversation say a lot about you and the way you do business. Whether it be a one-time transaction or several transactions over time, a relationship must be built. A simple ‘hi’ or ‘hello, how are you?’ is a good start. You know, common sense client relations!
The art of learning how to tango, how to approach a potential buyer and sniffing out the less desirable that come to you disguised as a sales inquiry, is a delicate balance of answering questions without disclosing unnecessary information. Unfortunately, people are too transactional, even in their own businesses. What I mean by transactional is that they tend to be abrupt and abrasive. What’s worse is the obtrusive sense of entitlement some people seem to cultivate as a way of seeming ‘engaged’: they act as if they know your business, as if they own you, and on top of that, voice their opinion as if they are paying for your time. As a business owner, you have to learn how to cut your losses on a relationship that will never develop, to say ‘no’ or something along the lines of ‘take a hike’, but in a nice way!

The transactional style really seems to stem from the realities of communication in this day and age. Social media, where it’s everything but social and there’s little sense left, is at the crux of the way a lot of people do business. All the niceties happen in a New York minute and end with a quick cutting to the chase.


Think Relationship. Do Business.

In reality, both parties need some time to assess whether they want to be in business or run in the other direction. Requirements need to be gathered, personalities need to be gauged, and skills need to be assessed. It’s important to look at the relationship from the point of view of something being built over the long term: a house with a solid foundation, if you will. The flaw is when one or both parties are dealing with the other as if they were ordering at a fast food drive-thru: quick and easy but nothing like sitting down to an epic gourmet dinner for two hours. The difference between the two styles is entirely about relationship building.

Working with recruiters, whether as a candidate or a client, is not a transactional affair. It requires a deeper understanding of the needs of both sides and that takes time. Over the course of my career, I’ve dealt with many entrepreneurs and have developed a bit of a sixth sense about which candidate or client will be difficult and which will be a breath of fresh air. The difficult ones need a chance, but if building the business relationship is a one way uphill battle, it’s not a relationship (click link to tweet). It’s a one way uphill battle. There is a simple and subtle way to deal with situations that just aren’t a good fit: make it unachievable for them to do business with you by placing stipulations on the transactions that they will not want to entertain or fulfill. It’s simple, effective and gets the message across without wounding.

This technique works in any business and for any type of recruitment but it really must be a last resort. Every new relationship needs to be nurtured a little. After all, we can all have a bad day and catching someone having one doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve witnessed their whole mode of doing business. That said, we’ve learned to sniff out the good, the bad and the ugly, be it employers or employees. It is through patience, interaction, and a little trial and error that you can learn who is a good fit and with whom you can build those solid foundations for a future working relationship.


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