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How to grow a long-term relationship with a recruiter

Posted on 01 March 2023

How to grow a long-term relationship with a recruiter

5-minute read

Trusted recruiting partners in your niche can be a gold mine of information, contacts and opportunities not readily available through other sources. This is down to them fostering excellent relationships with numerous organisations and delivering.

This article is not focused on how to find the right recruiter for you, we covered this here (Career Advice ( but instead a look into how you can grow a long-term relationship with a recruiter that should prove fruitful for years.

Having personally been in the same recruiting market for much of my career I have developed a number of strong relationships that I would class as friendships, yes there is a business element but much of our conversations are less around their skills or needs and more around their lives. This is down to the time both sides have taken to get to know each other and grow with each other.

I know what they want when they want it minimising wasted conversations on their part with recruiters who do not have their best interest.

It has taken years to understand why these relationships are better than others, and to help support you, I will condense years into paragraphs allowing you to develop the same kind of relationships with whoever you wish.


Be honest and upfront

All long-term relationships are built on trust. Both parties need to fully trust that the other person is there to help, this means answering questions that might be uncomfortable at first (salary) but doing so for a valid reason.

Be honest from the beginning, as this will allow the recruiter to assist you better, minimising wasted time and maximising your interested opportunities.

Usually, the first conversation with a recruiter might be a question-answer format with some personal rapport building on both sides, the more you speak with the same individual the more open you become, remember this is a long-term plan.

Honesty should continue throughout, if you have other opportunities on the go or if you feel that the one presented is not the best match, let them know why so they can learn more about you for the future. A lot of individuals shy away from this step as it can be slightly awkward but all the recruiters I know would rather have honesty than nothing.


Trust goes both ways

As mentioned, the best relationships are when trust goes both ways. Similar to how a recruiter is trusting that you are upfront about your wishes to them, you need to trust they have your best interest and can indeed deliver on what they say.

This can be difficult to do at the beginning as we all start off as strangers and there is a business element to the relationship. If you get the sense, you are nothing more than a number to the recruiter then it is well within your right to part ways and explore new connections.

The reason I have a lot of success with keeping in touch with my niche is that I write everything down and can always relay information they tell me even years before that they have forgotten, this deep connection shows them I have listened and the trust is gained almost immediately, this is the feeling you want to receive if you are speaking with a recruiter more than once.

It is also worth noting there are people who I have excellent relationships with and have known for 8+ years and never successfully hired. I have given them opportunities, but they found better through other sources, again it is not about how much success a single recruiter gives you but the trust that they always thinking how they can help you in any way be it a new job, guidance, connection etc. and that is why we maintain a strong relationship.


Follow up

I personally am a big fan when someone checks in on how an application is going on their behalf, is actively taking an interest in the preparation and debrief material and proactively following the process. These are all great signs to a recruiter and typically shows a sense of value the applicant has towards the relationship.

On the flip side, when someone doesn’t want any help, it indicates that you see the relationship as a transaction and this is often why it turns into that.

long-term relationships are fostered when both parties see the value in both sides and come to respect that neither can work most efficiently without the other.


Open to grow

The best recruiters are not afraid to tell you something that might be difficult to hear, they are transparent with the mindset that it will only help you grow. If you are not the type of individual that takes criticism well or someone who simply disregards suggestions despite them being in your best interest, eventually a recruiter will actively stop supporting you.

With any piece of advice, not everything needs to be actioned but if it has been said, it has been for a reason. Look to understand why, see if you can benefit from the suggestion but always keep an open mind to growth.


Recruiters come and go within your niche. You absolutely don’t need to stick with a select few, but from my own experiences and those I have helped over the years, I am confident that they would comfortably say it doesn’t hurt having a few long-term partners in mind when you are considering a move or looking for market information.

Nothing in this list should surprise you, however, the relationship between job seeker and recruiter is built on transaction which often leads people to treat it like that and move on.

Reframe your mindset and benefit from the results.

It is rare to find one individual in the same field for nearly a decade but here at Peritus Partners our founders have built their careers on just this. Embedding deeply into a specific set of areas, so if you do require support across Data or Software then reach out today.

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