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How to choose a Recruiter?

04 Mar 16:00 by Vicki-Anne Craigen

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How to choose a Recruiter before you engage them.

Choosing the right Recruiter is critical but how do you differentiate between someone who will add value and someone who won’t?

Is the Recruiter a specialist?

The Recruiter you choose to partner with needs to have a deep knowledge of the industry for which they claim to be a specialist.  An easy way to know just how deep their knowledge is, is to ask them about their own career backgrounds prior to becoming a Recruiter.  If they come from the industry they’re recruiting in or they’ve recruited in their niche for more than six years this is a good start.

2.  How deep is their market knowledge?

Next, ask them to explain their knowledge of their niche and the talent within it.

The very best recruiters will be able to give you and your hiring managers an insight into what is happening within the markets they specialise in.  So be sure to ask questions around candidate availability, what salaries are being sought and what their typical career expectations are.

3.  Can they articulate the value they can add to your hiring process?

A recruiter who is clearly able to articulate their search methodology and engagement strategy will earn your confidence.  Their process should have many more layers than yours does. A talented Recruiter will insist on taking a detailed job brief from you.  They will leave no stone unturned, speaking to you for as long about your culture as they will about the skills you require. The good ones often challenge your thinking in order to ascertain the critical elements of this hire, where it fits into your overall business strategy, so that the right candidates (not applicants) are put in front of you.

4.  What will they do that you can’t do yourself?

Ask your Recruiter about their search and engagement strategy?  It should have many more layers than yours. What technologies do they use? How big are their professional networks? What level of engagement do they have with their market? What digital marketing strategies will they put in place? How will they champion your business? What will their pitch be?

5. Does your Recruiter have a solution focussed approach?

Your Recruiter needs to be able to clearly articulate current hiring complexities and their alternative solutions to overcoming them as this is where they will add the most value to your business.

What do I mean by this?  Well, your future employees aren’t necessarily all that difficult to find anymore as all successful recruiters have access to current search technology (if they don’t, find another recruiter).  

The expertise being offered needs to be in the ways in which they go about engaging those within their talent pools instead.  Many of your future employees are only ever passively on the market which is why they’re unlikely to respond to your advertisements.  

If you’re Recruiter doesn’t sound like they have substance, their ability to engage with your future employees is doubtful.

6. Explore their reputation as a trusted advisor to those within their niche.

What is common these days is that good candidates are simply too busy to job search fulltime and instead have a trusted relationship with a specialist recruiter.  Ask for examples of their trusted relationships and how they’ve developed them. Ask for References from recent clients and candidates they’ve worked with.

I’ve said this many times.  You can have the best business plan in the world but if you don’t have the right people to execute it, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.  Therefore, engaging a well experienced Recruitment Specialist to find your most important asset needs to be a priority. Invest in this upfront and you can relax knowing your business is in a safe pair of hands.