Getting the Best Out of Your Recruiter

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Getting the Best Out of Your Recruiter

On September 25, 2012, Posted by , In Resources for Candidates, With No Comments

A client recently thanked us for doing a great job.  So what you might add.  Well, this client wasn’t thanking us for placing a specific candidate but wanted to recognise several years’ worth of work, multiple placements and the part this had played in his company’s success.  It made me think about what it is that makes the relationship between a recruiter and their clients a success and why sometimes both sides get is wrong.

What should an employer expect from a recruiter?

  • Industry / market knowledge
  • Listening, verifying and understanding your requirements
  • Honesty and integrity – they tell you when you’re unrealistic
  • Reliability – they do what they said they would when they said they would
  • Discernment and thorough assessment of candidates
  • A short shortlist – if you have to go through a dozen CVs what are you paying them for?
  • Advice on interviewing and how to make your opportunity as attractive as possible.
  • Managing the offer – managing expectations and making sure there are no nasty surprises.  Can you imagine a worse start to a new relationship than employer / employee haggling over details of package

What sort of commitment should you give to your recruiter?


  • Devote a reasonable amount of time to explaining your requirements – if you don’t give thorough brief how can you be surprised if the candidates aren’t what you are looking for?
  • Take the call – believe me recruiters are busy; they don’t get paid if they don’t place so they really haven’t got time for idle chit chat.  If they call it’s because they need to speak to you.  Ideally both you and your recruiter should agree a time to speak and both are available at that point.
  • Don’t quibble on fees after they have done the work, unless they have done a bad job.  You wouldn’t dream of trying to get your lawyer to half their fee after they had just won a legal case for you.  Usually if they have done a bad job you won’t employ their candidate and so won’t owe them anything anyway.
  • Listen to their advice about market conditions, your expectations, candidates and their expectations – very few employers recruit often enough to have anything like the experience and exposure to market information that a decent recruiter has.  It’s in the recruiter’s interests for your process to be smooth and successful.
  • Develop a relationship of mutual trust.  Often a recruiter will become aware of individuals at a very early stage of looking for a move.  Ideally as an employer you want your recruiter to know enough about your business and your future plans so that they can highlight individuals, not yet actively looking, who can add value to your business in perhaps 3, 6 or even 9 months rather than just filling active vacancies.


The list is not exhaustive and there are good and bad recruiters.  Clearly, as an employer, if a recruiter isn’t meeting their side of the bargain you are not going to make these commitments and I don’t blame you.

However finding a recruiter willing to commit to offering you a proper service and committing to a long term relationship will drive much more value that dipping into the market only when you have to.

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