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What Should You Expect From Your Recruiter?
by Robin Eads

Whether you are a hiring manager or simply an employee, you've no doubt used a recruiter before. You may have some definite opinions about recruiters; either positive or negative. Especially in today's job economy, recruiters can save you time and effort. Before working with a recruiter, there are a few evaluation questions you may want to ask, to make sure your recruiter is working with your best interest in mind.

For Employers:

What job boards do they use? Where do they post jobs? Who will they be sharing your information and/or open jobs with?

How do they source candidates? How are the candidates screened?

What are their fees?

How much experience does your recruiter have; not just the firm they represent? In what industry; what location and what capacity? (i.e. contract or perm?)

What is their reputation among their peers in the industry? What do candidates (read: potential employees) have say about them?

What you should expect: If you have an agreement already in place, you should expect attentiveness and honesty. If your recruiter cannot locate a resource for you, there is a reason. Refer to questions above; if it's none of the above then there is a problem with the job. Your recruiter should be informing you of any challenges they encounter with filling your position; such as low salary, poor job description details (or too specific), etc. A good recruiter is not afraid to advise their client. Additionally, you get what you pay for. If you don't wish to pay an agency their asking fee, then you should be aware you will be placed on the priority list accordingly. Clients that pay "full fee" always garner more attention. Yes, they may still work with you and they might even fill your position but you won't be first on the radar. For clients that wish to pay lower fees, independent recruiters are a much better resource than larger firms.

For Employees/Candidates:

What resources does the recruiter offer? Will they assist you with you with enhancing your resume for that "big opportunity"?

Who are their clients? Who are their candidates? Ask for references!

What industry do they specialize in? What locations?

How much experience does the recruiter have that is working with you; not just the firm they represent?

How communicative/responsive are they?

What you should expect: Many candidates looking for work have the misconception that if they work with a recruiter that recruiter will find them a job. False. Since most recruiters work for fees paid by clients that is most likely where their loyalty lies. However, there are some exceptions to that rule; such as job search consultants and recruiters in specialty fields such as IT and Engineering. Some recruiters have strong networks and are great matchmakers; even if they are working "for" the client. The important thing to remember is, is your recruiter working for you? Do they respond to your questions, emails, phone calls? Do they keep you updated, even when they have no new information regarding opportunities you've been submitted for? You can always work with more than one recruiter, so long as you keep track of where your resume is being submitted to. This is one of the biggest mistakes most candidates make in working with multiple recruiters. Duplicate submissions of your resume by more than one recruiter/firm doesn't make you an attractive candidate to clients; it appears desperate and disorganized.

Most of all, expect your recruiter to be honest. If you feel they aren't working in your best interest, kick them to the curb!

Published: Nov 24,2008 12:06
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