What You Should Look for When Choosing Your Recruiter


by Herman Benade

4 months ago


Let’s be honest, the recruitment industry is filled with a lot of transactional recruiters. This is often  the result of clients putting us in situations where we have to compete based on speed rather than quality. For example, if clients engage up to six agencies to work on one role, recruiters see speed as the most important thing.  However, the recruiters that perform the best are still the ones that are focused on relationships, not just their target for the month. So here are a couple of tips on what to look out for in your initial meeting with a new recruiter. 

I mentioned before that speed is the cause of a lot of failed recruitment processes, but it is still a very important factor. It’s how your recruiter delivers on speed that matters. My suggestion is to use the right recruiter for the right roles. Make sure they are specialists in their area.  This is extremely easy to identify. Ask, “Who are your current clients?” If they don’t name a competitor, then they are not.  Also ask about industry trends, not just salaries, but what is happening in your sector. Any specialist will be able to answer this in detail.  Have them go into detail using Elon Musk’s interview strategy - someone that isn’t knowledgeable around the topic will skip over it and won’t be able to go into detail.

Next is the amount of depth they go into during the meeting. If they don’t know your headcount, turnover, company structure, recent hires, current internal recruitment process, struggles and, most importantly, your culture then they won’t add value. Good candidates will want to know this.  This aspect should take an hour. Yes, that may seem like a lot of time out of your day. It’s not. Take into consideration that it will save you time in the long run in NOT interviewing candidates that aren’t suitable for the role or the business.  At the end of the day, where we add value is in our network and the fact that we should be able to save you time, so you can get back to what you should be doing in your business. 

Look at the recruiter’s presentation and professionalism. We are an extension of your business for that recruitment period and the first impression a candidate gets of your company is the recruiter.  Make sure you question the process that your recruiter will follow.  And, more importantly, make sure that they actually understand the role at the end of the day. If they speak to the perfect candidate but don’t know how to pitch the role, you have just missed out on a candidate. Following on from my previous blogs, the market is too already too “candidate short” to leave this up to chance. 

Lastly, you must like them as a person. It seems obvious but take the time to get to know them as an individual. I call some of my key clients 15 times a week, easily. This becomes a bit mundane if you don’t like each other. Equally as important, is integrity. We work on sales targets and, with 700 agencies in Melbourne alone, it is a very competitive market. Naturally people will try and take short cuts, but this rarely works and can be detrimental to your business - so do your due diligence and ask for refences from clients and candidates. You have the right to do that before you task someone to take care of the most important part of your business, your people.   

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