The very base of it is not to make the hiring experience more stressful than it already is. We, as employers, need to consider setting up every candidate for success. Yes, one of our jobs as your talent business partner is to screen in the best available, but all of us on the interviewing team needs to allow them to show us what they can do and not give them a hard time for the sake of giving them a hard time. Remember, the objective is to find great talent; this is not a mere game of elimination or survivorship.
This applies at every touch point of the candidate engagement: From the application process to scheduling interviews, from preparing for assessments to researching about the job, company, and even the interviewers.
From an agency perspective - our main objective is to be able to connect and engage our candidates with our clients as seamlessly as possible. Be it scheduling, clarifying information, or finding answers to pressing questions. But more so in safeguarding their interest without sacrificing our relationships with our clients. We need to mediate a potential career marriage between the parties involved. We are maintaining a delicate balance between both parties' best interests.
As an agency headhunter or a search consultant, your objective should be to help your candidate navigate the stressful application process. You don't need to do everything for your candidate; you are a guide who can be a voice of reason to your candidate if the situation calls for it. But to be that, you need to establish yourself as someone trustworthy.
Being an external headhunter can be tricky at times. It would be best if you always strike a balance in dealing with your candidates and clients. But if you cultivate genuine relationships instead of dolling out transactional ones, it will always be fruitful. It could lead to a good close or a meaningful network; either way, it's a win-win situation - for you, your client, and your candidates.