- What company are they recruiting for? (If you’ve already applied directly to that same company, they would usually not be able to represent you there.) Find out everything the recruiter knows about that company. If they cannot tell you the name of the company, ask why. (If it’s truly a “confidential” search, OK … but more often than not it’s a trust issue, and failure to identify the client could be a red flag for a job-seeker.)
- What are the job requirements? Ask them to send you a job description. Help the recruiter see how you fit those requirements, if you do. Be honest about any requirements that you really don’t have.
- What is the salary range defined for the position? You should be honest and up front about your own salary history and the salary range you would accept going forward. If your salary history and expectations do not match the job’s defined range (or seem unrealistic) most recruiters will not consider it a match worth pursuing. Like it or not, it’s a primary factor recruiters use to decide who they’ll represent to their clients. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Read “Answering the Dreaded Salary Question” for more info on how to deal with this issue when working with recruiters.]
- What is the history of this position? (New or replacement … and if the latter, what happened to the person who left?)
- Who is the hiring manager, and how well does the recruiter know that person? What is their management style? What is the company culture like? Can you get any inside intelligence?
- How many other candidates is this recruiter representing to this job? Are there other agencies that are also sending candidates, or is this an “exclusive?”
What is the client’s hiring timetable? What steps are there – how many phone interviews and in-person interviews will there be, and with whom? When do they want someone to start? How long has this position been open? How high is their degree of “urgency” to full it?
- What is the next step? Will the recruiter definitely be sending your information to the client – and if so, when? How soon should you expect to hear back from the recruiter?
The best recruiters should be able to answer almost all of these questions and more. If they can’t answer those basic questions … then they probably don’t know their clients very well, and I would question whether or not you want them to represent you. Good recruiters will also be able to help you tweak your résumé to better fit the job specs, prep and coach you on how to successfully interview using their insider knowledge of the company and the decision-makers, and they will help you negotiate the best salary if and when an offer comes. Good recruiters will also follow through with things they say they will do, and will be good about keeping you informed with updates and progress reports. Expect good communication … and beware of anyone who suddenly stops returning your calls or emails — that’s a telltale sign of unprofessionalism that is certainly not limited to recruiters!
Also, always verify that the recruiter will never submit your résumé to any companies or jobs without your knowledge and approval. Believe it or not, that happens quite frequently. I’ve recruited many candidates over the years who swore they never even heard of my client company, only to find out later that the company had already received that person’s résumé from another recruiter! Not only did that make me look stupid, but more importantly it ruined that candidate’s chances of getting the job – most companies will automatically eliminate any candidate who is submitted from multiple sources. They don’t want to get into the middle of a turf war.
So well written I wouldn’t change a word. Thanks Michael.
It is so disheartening when you are working on roles to hear that so many candidates have been covered by an agency whom they can’t remember their name, they have no details about the job, team, company or culture. These candidates really need to take control of their own brand and ensure that they work with reputable Recruitment Agents who present their brand professionally in the market. And to the companies out there that may not even know this is going on, please do some due diligence on your agencies. Are you enabling your recruitment suppliers to become true partners; and a compelling voice in the market for your brand.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]