Tips for Choosing the Best Recruiter

June 22nd, 2018

Tips for Choosing the Best Recruiter

When Job Openings Outnumber The Unemployed

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal announced that there were 6.7 million job openings and 6.3 million unemployed Americans at the end of April. This marks the first time since record-keeping began in 2000 that the number of job openings exceed the number of job seekers. While this impacts the economy in many ways, it very directly affects us, a staffing agency, and the recruitment industry as a whole.

However, it also affects you, the job seeker. More job openings means more options and more companies competing for your employment. During the job search, there are many benefits to working with a recruiter, but with so many job openings, it’s increasingly important to make sure you’re working with the best recruiter to find not just any job, but to find the job that best pairs your work experience and skills with your personality and interests.

And while there’s no exact science to finding the best recruiter, we have a few tips on what you should look for during different stages of your conversations.

Preliminary Job Screening Conversations

  • Gets to know your employment history – As soon as you get in touch with a recruiter, they should waste no time getting to the heart of your skills, job preferences, availability, compensation requirements, work history, and availability for starting. The best recruiters should immediately feel like a partner in the job search!
  • Gets to know your job search history – Questions like “How long have you been looking for a job” are pretty common. However, the best recruiters will go further. Do you have any active applications? Have you had any interviews – successful or unsuccessful? Do you have any outstanding job offers? These questions give the recruiter an idea of where you are at in the job search process. It also avoids the scenario of double applying to a company… it’s possible you’ve applied for a company that your recruiter works with!
  • Answers your questions – Remember, choosing the best recruiter for you is a two-way street. Make sure you take the time to ask them questions before committing to work with them. If they answer the questions in a way that agrees with what you’re looking for in a recruiter, you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident that you’re making the right decision. Some good questions include: How long have you been recruiting? Is there a field you specialize in? How many people like me have you placed this year? What’s your relationship like with the companies for which you recruit? Are you able to help me with an application/resume/cover letter?
  • Follows through on your preferred communication method – Email is quick and easy because it allows you to answer as you have time. However, your recruiter should also be comfortable and willing to answer phone calls and even meet in person. Bonus points to the recruiters that ask you for your preferred method of communication and follow through with it!

Remember, the goal of this preliminary conversation is to see if there’s a good fit between you and the jobs openings… not to know the exact job for which you should apply. Therefore, the most important takeaway is if they have jobs in the right industries, whether you feel you have a good bond with the recruiter, if they are someone you feel you can do good work with, and if you feel they truly have your best interest in mind. If your first conversation satisfies these things, you can feel pretty confident that you have found a great recruiter.

Job Applications and Interview Preparation Conversations:

  • Answers in a timely manner – It’s no secret that recruiters are busy people – they’re in contact with companies and dozens of job seekers every day. Phone calls. Emails. Meetings. When we say timely, we don’t mean within an hour or even necessarily within the same day. Recruiters may not be able to get back to you as fast as they would like to, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care! The best recruiters will be in contact with you as soon as they possibly can, and at that moment you’re in communication with them, they won’t make you feel like they’re too busy to talk to you or answer your questions.
  • Allows you to talk openly and honestly – If your recruiter doesn’t make you feel comfortable talking honestly about your past experiences, you are not working with the right person. As a staffing agency, our job is to understand your background to find you work, but we can only be as successful as you are honest.
  • Knows the ins and outs of the jobs – Recruiters shouldn’t just be collecting applications and spreading them to all their contacts hoping one will work out. There should be a lot of thoughtful deliberation that goes into sending resumes, which all stems from how well the recruiter knows their jobs and companies. The best recruiters have visited the companies, have a thorough understanding of the jobs at hand, and have an idea of which candidates are the best fit.
  • Sets appropriate expectations – We all would like our salary to be $1 million, but obviously that isn’t an appropriate expectation for the majority of us. Rather than getting your hopes up about a salary or wage that is unreasonable for your skillset or field, the best recruiters are realistic about what kind of payment and benefits you will receive. They also make you feel comfortable talking about your compensation history and expectations.
  • Gives advice – Whether you are preparing for an interview or your first day on the job, the best recruiters can offer you advice on things like what to wear, what kinds of questions you should ask, or how to get on your new supervisor’s good side. The advice that they give shouldn’t be something generic that you could find through a Google search – the advice the best recruiters gives should be specific to the company that you are interviewing at because the recruiter is that familiar with them.

With more job openings than unemployed Americans, we have placed an even greater emphasis on providing superior customer service and greater efficiencies for our candidates and companies. When it comes to jobs, we know you have options, so we are spending all our energy to help you make the right choice. If you are looking for the best recruiters that embody all these factors, submit your resume and one of our recruiters will be in touch with you soon!