Having had a fair share of interesting experiences in the world of recruitment, I am always surprised at some of the antics that go on within our industry which are a reason to be somewhat skeptical of working with a recruitment consultant whom you’re not yet familiar with.
I’ve compiled a few things that I’d recommend a potential client or candidate to ask and look for in a new recruitment partner:
- Your needs: What is the best indicator to choose the best recruitment partner for you or your company? Is it their shiny social media profile? Is it the search firm that offers the lowest fees? Is it the Recruiter with the largest online network of connections? Or…. do you choose to have a deeper look at who you are trusting in your next career transition or acquisition of talent.
My Advice: Do your homework on your Consultant and I don’t just mean to have a look at how many people have endorsed him or her on LinkedIn. Ask yourself if there is substance there. Is this Recruiter part of anything bigger like national associations or affiliations that are recognized in the industry? (ACSESS in Canada, ASA or NAPS in the US, and HRMA for a few examples). How long has he been in the industry and have they received any public recommendations by clients or candidates? This can still be a bit misleading but a recommendation on a LinkedIn profile can provide some further insight to that individual given its source.
I genuinely believe that what separates the great recruiters from the rest of the pack is their ability to learn and teach others from their mistakes and to be humble enough to admit when they’ve made a mistake. Are you dealing with someone who is working for your best interests in providing you with the best talent or service possible or are they taking care of their own best interests in billing for a placement?
- Business Development is a big part of recruitment but not to the extent where a Recruiter has to sell themselves by verbally bashing their competitors or self-labelling themselves as an expert…… Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that for our clients and candidates to judge. Industry competition is a great thing but so is humility which can still go a very long way in this day and age.
- Does Size Matter? Many recruitment agencies tend to want to make themselves look bigger than they actually are. Is this a one person operation with a really nice website or are you dealing with a team of recruitment partners.
I’d recommend placing a call to the agency you are interested in and asking the question if this is a concern for you. There are some really great solo recruiters out there and this is definitely not a jab at them but there is something to be said about a recruitment team that is working in synergy.
- Experience: Agency Recruitment is a tough industry with its fair share of peaks and valleys. There are no second-place placements. If you are working with an experienced recruitment consultant who’s been in the agency recruitment industry for over 5 years, that will generally speak enough about their tenacity, ability to achieve results and experience in forming relationships to hold value to most clients and candidates.
We’ve all been on our first day of a new job in a new industry at least once in our lives so if you’re working with a recruiter new to the industry you may have to look for the initial character traits instead.
- Here are a few things a new recruiter does have control over no matter what level of industry experience they have.
- Listen to your needs …….and not try to over-sell a candidate/job to you.
- Respond…. Do you have access to contact your recruiter at any time or are you receiving prompt feedback from your consultant? Recruitment isn’t a 9-5 job and with today’s technology there is little to prohibit prompt service and feedback.
- Pro-actively keep their talent pipeline up to speed.
- Specialize in an industry, skill-set or geographical location.
- Provide long term value to your organization.
There are a lot of choices out there and hopefully this blog provides you with just a few examples and helps in making your decision, the best one for your needs.
Written by Sean Casey