Investing in Relationships

An Agile Partnering Culture Snapshot

Author: Heather Lovell

At Agile we care deeply about the relationships we are building—with our staff, clients, and candidates. We are passionate about building a business that teaches others how to do business better, so it is important to us to model how treating people, including employees, should look. 50% of people quit their job because of their boss. Conversely, when asked 51% of people stay at a job because of their coworkers. Obviously, relationships matter and companies that realize employees’ needs for relationships within the company do better at retaining talent.

We enjoy happy hours together every week not because they’re cool, but rather because we think getting to know each other is important.

Beyond the comradery of having a drink together, we use our time together to share what we are grateful for, what we are struggling with, what we are doing over the weekend—we are open, honest, and even vulnerable at times.

One of the reasons I love my job as a liaison between clients and candidates is because we are in a relationship business. As a team we are a group of relationship builders—we love connecting with candidates, clients, and each other. We aim to make this business less and less transactional which means that investing in relationships with all these groups is critical. One difference at Agile, that I especially like, is the way we set up our recruiting model. A lot of recruiting companies operate a 360-desk model where recruiters focus on finding a job for a candidate at one of their clients; inherently they are acting as part matchmaker and part salesman to sell a candidate to their client. Although most recruiters work hard to find the right fit for everyone involved, this model can sometimes lend itself to recruiters trying to fit a round peg in a square hole to fill a role.

Because we view relationships as primary, we have a candidate advocate that only has candidates’ best interests at heart. He gets to know what a candidate wants in their next role, what salary they need, what their motivations and goals are (and often their favorite beer!). Then on the other side we have me as the client success manager and I only want what is the best for the client. I dive into the company culture, the team dynamics, the needs of each specific role and hiring manager so that I can screen candidates as an extension of the client’s team. This model takes out the sales aspect and allows all parties involved to build relationships built on trust. At times it means the process takes a little longer or may seem less efficient, but because we value Investing in Relationships, we see these as worth the time investment.

We care deeply about people and show it—whether it is taking extra time to meet a candidate for coffee, dropping off brownies to a client, or taking a couple hours out of our task-oriented nature to get a beer and focus on relationships. We see this time as an investment we believe will always pay off.
It already has.

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