It seems every other person you meet is a recruiter these days. If you type “recruiter” in Linkedin’s search engine almost 950,000 people show up under the job title results! That is a lot of recruiters. And these results don’t even include other titles such as “headhunter” or “talent acquisition”. As recruiters ourselves, we decided to dig deep to figure out the top things to consider.
We first started by asking ourselves some questions. Within this sea of specialists, how do you actually go about finding the best recruiter for your job search? The one person dedicated to finding the right opportunity for you and helping you land that dream job? The one who will be an advisor to guide you through your future career and all the twists and turns that come with it.
Choose a Recruiter Who is Genuine
Transparency is key. We’ve all heard stories about the job seekers who have been strung along for a non-existent job. That’s why building a recruiter-candidate partnership requires honest communication from the very beginning.
Trust is the building block of any relationship. Especially with the person who is to act on your behalf with future employers.
- Do your research. It’s important to do research on your recruiter to assess their ability to help you with your needs. What are the recruiter’s qualifications? What kind of experience and background do they have? Do they have references from other job seekers about their quality of work? A good place to start is their company website or social media profiles, like LinkedIn.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If your recruiter refuses to disclose who the job is with chances are the job doesn’t exist. This may be the time you walk away and find a recruiter who cares about creating a genuine partnership. Some questions you may ask are “what is your relationship with the employer? Can you confirm the employer has agreed for you to work on this role? Can you send me a copy of the position description?” If there are any hesitations, time to reassess.
Choose a Recruiter Who Cares About Placing YOU and not the Bottom Line
Most recruiting agencies receive a placement fee for a new hire. This can cause many agencies to be dishonest and do anything in their power to convince you to work with them. Yet, this doesn’t mean that all recruiters are deceiving. Many recruiters genuinely want to help you and feel a sense of accomplishment by finding the perfect fit for you. How can you tell you found the right recruiter?
- The recruiter will want to meet you, if not in person these days, at least via Zoom or MSTeams or some other platform. Stay away from those who recommend you for a job opening and send through your CV without meeting you face to face. How can they possibly understand your previous experience, your inherent potential or your career goals after a five-minute phone call? The right recruiter will put the time and care into meeting you so they can advocate for you fully and effectively when they talk to their client. This goes both ways – you should know who will be representing you and your interests.
- A recruiter who cares about your success will not discourage you from using other recruiters. Recruiting agencies don’t have access for ALL the jobs in the world and barring you from using another agency shows lack of care for your needs. Although using more than 2-3 recruiters at a time can get confusing, it’s your choice. If you choose to use several recruiters, remember to maintain open communication about your progress to minimise any overlap or ‘double-ups’ – some people think a referral from two recruiters for the same job might improve the chances of landing the job when in fact, it just hinders them.
Choose a Recruiter Who is in Your Area of Expertise
As we’ve seen, recruiters saturate the market. There are plenty of fantastic recruiters, but if they are not in your area of expertise they may be of limited service. You wouldn’t ask a dentist to perform your open-heart surgery so why choose a recruiter that doesn’t specialise in your industry? For example, only a healthcare recruiter can give insight into what makes a great GP Representative.
- Choose a recruiter who has held a similar job to your desired job. It’s not always possible, but it certainly helps! These recruiters have insight into specific skills, the interview process and what hiring managers are looking for in the perfect candidate. For example, many of our recruiters have a background in pharmaceuticals or management which has given them firsthand knowledge of the job requirements.
- Find a specialist in your industry. Specialist and niche recruiters will have more opportunities! Many times, companies work exclusively with recruiting agencies and finding these jobs is impossible unless you partner with a recruiter. Besides, niche recruiters have built up years of rapport with leaders within your target industry.
- A recruiter with an industry specific focus will have tailored advice. Not only are they able to coach you on general CV tips or interview techniques, but they can also tailor the information for each stage of the job seeking process. The coaching you need for a rookie pharmaceutical representative role is going to be significantly different than a sales job outside the healthcare sector. This type of tailored advice is invaluable and can make or break your chances of landing the job.
- Stay local. A local recruiter will have more opportunities for you because their network is stronger within their geographic area. In addition to that, a local recruiter knows the market and the hiring potential within your state. A recruiter from New South Wales will have less of an understanding of the market in South Australia, for example. Having a local recruiter will allow you to meet them in person and create a relationship that will span throughout your entire career.
Choosing a recruiter should never be a one-way street. It should be a partnership and the right recruiter will always seek a long-term relationship. The best recruiter for your job search will be a veteran of your industry and one who helps you with your career, not one who just tries to fill a job!