How To Maintain Healthy Candidate / Recruiter / Client Relationships

How To Maintain Healthy Candidate / Recruiter / Client Relationships

It’s became apparent to us while having a discussion on LinkedIn that there needs to be some clarity between candidates, recruiters and clients. There needs to be clear communication between all three parties to ensure honest and reliable results.

We’ve decided to put together a guide for candidates, recruiters and clients. This isn’t necessarily new information, but perhaps information that gets forgotten along way when you have a million things on your mind. The point we’re making is simple – stop forgetting! Everything here is essential.

We spoke to a number of candidates about the issue and heard some absolute horror stories. One jobseeker was called to an interview only to find that the recruiter had altered his CV to make him more suitable for the client. This made for a dishonest and frankly embarrassing experience and if one of our recruiters did this, they would be fired on the spot!

The general consensus from the candidates was that recruiters need to

  1. Be professional
  2. Be honest
  3. Get back to the candidate if the job goes cold.
  4. Be very clear about who the company is and what the role is exactly

They also stated that far too many agencies “treat us as the ‘product’ not a person.”

This is the last thing that we want our candidates to think and whilst we respect and value them very much, the pressure put on agencies by clients occasionally forces this to happen.

We want to show that there is a process to what we do, and that if someone feels like they’ve been shunned and don’t know why, they can see the process that has led to that decision.

Before we go onto our guide, we’d like to explain Enigma People Solutions’ recruitment process.



The initial conversation will come around from a number of different ways; it could be business development, it could be referral or we could be approached by the client directly.

Our first question – but not everyone’s – is always ‘Why?’. Why is the role available? Why are you looking for someone? Why has the vacancy come up?

We then go through a process of discussing the role with the client to ensure we understand what it is they’re looking for and to make sure that we think we can find the right person or people for the role.

There will be some discussion around the job description to make sure that it’s viable and we also need to know what avenues the client has tried and who else they have given the vacancies to.

If we agree to take the role on we would then look to formulate a specific process for each vacancy in order to find the right candidates. This could be any combination of advertising, database searching, networking, headhunting through various different media, these days mainly online. Given our own established networks, we may even already know the right person for the job!

We will then contact and speak to all of the relevant candidates and produce a shortlist of the best people, in both their skills and personality fit with the client.



  • If you’re looking for A job you should speak to as many recruiters as possible and select the ones you want to work with. If you’re looking for THE job then you need to be more selective. In both situations you need to find recruiters that specialise in your niche and make sure that they only send your CV to companies you’ve agreed to.
  • Always ask questions and make sure that the recruiter understands what you do.
  • If you have changed your mind about a job or company then have the common courtesy to let the recruiter know your thoughts. Please don’t say you will attend an interview then not show up! (And ignore our phone calls and emails and disappear off the face of the earth.)
  • If you have moved on and are no longer looking for a job then let us know. We will stop calling and emailing you and wish you the best.[Take a look at our CV Guide for more tips!]
  • Be available. We’ll promise to call you at a certain time, and we will. We’ll be available too so keep in touch with your recruiter every 7-10 days to keep at the forefront of their memory.
  • It’s incredibly important that candidates control who their details are introduced to. If you don’t think you can trust a recruiter, don’t deal with them.


  • Go through a screening process to ascertain the candidate’s skill set, where they are in their career and what type of role would interest them. This is a two way process, the candidate needs to decide IF they want to work with the recruiter and vice versa.
  • Only send a CV to a client with the candidate’s knowledge. Candidates have a right to know about a client/company before they make the decision to have their career history sent to them.
  • If the person isn’t right let them know. Don’t give false hope and if there has been no news, tell the candidate that.
  • Make sure you have explained fully the process of how agencies work and how you work.



  • Keep in touch with the client. Offer a weekly report so they know what you’ve done and don’t worry that you’ve forgotten about them, but don’t over communicate. Clients are busy and need a structure to working with you and not to feel pestered by you.
  • Make sure you have explained the process of how agencies work and how you work.
  • You must be able to offer suggestions as to what compromises need to be made in order to fill the role.
  • Good recruiters are consultative and will provide important market information about availability and salaries for the type of person you’re looking to recruit.


  • Simple stuff – let us know what you are doing and how we can assist. Talk directly to us and cut out any middle men.
  • When you send a job spec asking for a certain skill set – we resource best candidates possible and send you CV’s and then the client turns around and says ‘well really we needed …’
  • Salary expectations are included in the CV’s sent out for a reason. If a client knows that someone is too expensive but they still go through the process of interviewing and then realises ‘yes they are good but he/she is too expensive’! Times been wasted for client, candidate and recruiter.
  • Manage your expectations. Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect candidate’.
  • It’s important to work with recruiters who can demonstrate an understanding of your business.



  • Feedback for some candidates is important (also for recruiters, lets us know if we have hit the mark). Highlight areas where you feel they can improve or add to their skills rather than describe negatives, especially for candidates who have attended interviews. Be constructive and not negative (unless they were really really bad).
  • The key to hiring the right people is to get the recruitment process off on the right footing and treat potential employees as if they were already part of the business.
  • Respect that candidates have a choice and can’t always drop everything at a moment’s notice to attend an interview.


  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If this is going to be your next job you should want to know as much about them as possible.
  • Be as honest and flexible as you can with an employer. It’s important that the employer feels that you are committed to the process. Honesty is the key to finding and securing the right role.
  • Remember the client is looking for the best fit for their team; just because you can do the job doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best fit culturally. Try not to hold this against them, and trust that if they don’t think you’re the best cultural fit then you maybe wouldn’t have enjoyed working there anyway!
  • Always put your best foot forward and send a ‘thank you for your time’ email after the interview. This will help you to be considered for future options if you were unsuccessful this time around.

We hope this helps you on your journey for the right job or the right candidate. If you have any additional advice please let us know in the comments section!

If you now have all the information you need to find your next opportunity, take a look at our vacancies!

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our services page for more information. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on + 44 131 510 8150