POST WRITTEN BY
Forbes Coaches Council
Top business and career coaches from Forbes Coaches Council offer firsthand insights on leadership development & careers.
There are many pros and cons of working with a recruiter when it comes to landing your next job, but one thing to understand is that not every recruiter is right for you.
To help you decide whether to work with a recruiter, consider the advice below from members of Forbes Coaches Council.
From left to right: Joanne Meehl, Mo Chanmugham, Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Yuri Kruman, Dina Simon, Mary Legakis Engel, Adrienne Tom, Mark S. Babbit, Gia Ganesh, Anne Marie Segal. All photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Ask What They Really Know About The Company
Go into this knowing the recruiter does not work for you the candidate, but for their client company. With that in mind, ask the recruiter about their relationship with the company. How long have they been working with them, and what have been their successes there, their influence there? Avoid the recruiter who can’t answer; this means they have little knowledge or influence. - Joanne Meehl, Joanne Meehl Career Services, LLC
2. Stay Away From The Overpromiser
A good recruiter will manage your expectations by being honest about how quickly they can find a position for you. If your recruiter only tells you how great the job market is and how many open jobs they have to fill, then you can be sure that they are not giving you the whole picture. And you should ask if they have employers who are looking for someone with your particular experience. - Mo Chanmugham, Esq., CPCC, MGC Coaching
3. Focus On Retained Vs. Contingency Recruiters
Contingency recruiters only get paid when their candidate is hired. Retained recruiters generally have stronger relationships with their client companies based on the monthly retainer they receive. Your best bet is to build connections with the latter and overlook the former. Recruiters who don't take the time to get to know you aren't worth your time to pursue. - Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue
4. Don't Work With Those Who Don't Follow Through
Have you ever dealt with recruiters who get in touch, sound excited about potential fit, but never follow up? Yep, those guys are not professionals. Everyone's busy, but if a recruiter doesn't follow through with you after reaching out, it's a sign that their work is sloppy, they don't have their stuff together, and the quality of the job and company pitched to you is likely also not quite up to snuff. - Yuri Kruman, Master The Talk Consulting
5. Vet The Recruiter
In any geography and niche, there are hundreds of recruiters at your disposal. Recruiters are paid on placements. Vet your recruiters to ensure they are a good match for your skill set. How many placements do they make in your niche and desired geography? If you feel they are a good fit, build a relationship and be easy to do business with. If they can place you, they will work hard to do so. - Dina Simon, Simon Says Lead
6. Just Avoid Recruiters In General
I tell my transition clients to not waste their time hunting for recruiters. The fastest way to find a high-quality job offer is through networking with the people you know. - Mary Legakis Engel, The Management Coach
7. Align Expectations And Requirements
Keep in mind that recruiters work for employers; not job seekers. This means recognizing false promises of job "guarantees," rapid success, or high availability. In addition, always ask for an outline of a recruiter's experience working with your industry or occupation. If they don't have access to a network that is well-aligned with your job search needs, they aren't the right match for you. - Adrienne Tom, CERM, CPRW, MCRS, Career Impressions
8. Know If They Understand Your Strengths, Values And Purpose
When leveraging recruiters in your job search, look for someone who isn’t just filling the proverbial round hole with an octagon-shaped peg. You need a recruiter capable of identifying your strengths, values and purpose and aligning them with the companies they serve. Best case scenario: A recruiter with enough integrity will say, “I'm sorry, I just don’t have the right fit for you right now.” - Mark S. Babbitt, YouTern
9. Determine If The Recruiter Is Genuinely Interested In You
A recruiter's level of interest in the candidate can be determined from conversations with the recruiter. If the recruiter seems disengaged, hurried, is not answering questions, not helping the candidate push their application forward, not responding, it is a clear sign that the recruiter has other priorities, other people, or other projects. Stay clear of such recruiters and move on to the next one. - Gia Ganesh, Gia Ganesh Coaching
10. Gauge Their Ethics
The most important quality is that a recruiter is ethical. While recruiters are often paid based on the seniority of candidates and volume of placements, ethical recruiters are motivated to invest the time to build relationships and make placements that are a fit for both sides. If the recruiter rushes to put you in a job, runs hot and cold, or is not discreet, these are red flags to avoid. - Anne Marie Segal, Segal Coaching