How to Choose and Partner with a Recruiter

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Are you considering working with a recruiter? These professionals can help you get hired — but first, you have to find someone who's a good fit to further your particular job search. For a successful relationship, it's a good idea for you to accept some of the responsibility for the partnership. 

As a recruiter, one question I ask every job seeker that I partner with is: "What do you not like about working with recruiters?" The following suggestions are based on the answers I have received, and will help you understand how to select and work with the right employment recruiter for your needs.

What the Recruiter Should Ask You

Upon your initial contact, does the recruiter ask you about you and your interests and take some time to get to know you, before explaining their agenda? I have a rule for myself: I recruit the way in which I want to be recruited. There is never an exception.

Does the recruiter share some information about themselves? You want to know that you are working with a person that will be professionally empathetic to you.

You and your recruiter will ideally be partners, working together to land you a job that will meet all your criteria.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to your recruiter, or expressing your needs, the relationship is unlikely to meet with success. 

Questions to Ask the Recruiter

Here are some basic questions to ask the recruiter before you establish a partnership.

  • How long have you have been recruiting?
  • Can you share the names of some of the employers you have worked with?
  • What is your recruiting specialty? 
  • Do you work with companies that are looking to hire someone with my qualifications and experience?
  • How many people with my background have you helped become hired in the last year?
  • Who pays your fee? (it should be the hiring company)

Recruiter Follow-Up

How frequently should we follow up with each other and how will we do that? Often, even with email, Twitter, and every other modern technology available, the telephone is the best, and most immediate, tool available for the recruiter and the job seeker.

Be certain that the recruiter has all of your updated contact information (home and cell phone, email that is not your current employers, LinkedIn, and Twitter). Make certain you have the recruiter's preferred way of contact. If it is only the recruiter's email, I would be concerned.

Confirm Your Arrangement

Ask the recruiter to please confirm what you have discussed in an email. Better still, you can confirm what was discussed in an email that you send to the recruiter. Inform the recruiter not to send your resume to any companies without your permission.

Ask the recruiter the name of the clients you are being submitted to. You want to avoid multiple submissions to the same company by yourself and/or other recruiters at all costs. This can stop your attempt to land a position with that company immediately.

Your Job Search

The recruiter should ask you where you are in your own efforts to find a position. If not, inform the recruiter where and what you are doing. If you have an offer for employment and have not officially accepted it, inform the recruiter.

When You Have an Interview

Ask the recruiter for the client company website address. Do your homework. Research the company. Make sure the recruiter has given you the name(s) and titles of the person(s) you will be interviewing with and what the interviewing process is. Google the name(s) of the interviewer(s). Search LinkedIn for the interviewer's name and read their profile. Partner with your recruiter on this. This demonstrates to the recruiter your level of commitment and the recruiter's level of commitment to you.

Ask the recruiter what questions to expect on the interview. The recruiter should be able to prepare you for the interview with questions.

Confirm Compensation

Discuss in detail what the compensation for the position is. Confirm an agreement on compensation with the recruiter through email. Most companies today will have a benefits link on their website, so check on benefits, as well.

If you are comfortable with the responses and the interaction, and you and the recruiter have developed a rapport through this process, then you have chosen the right recruiter to partner with.