So here’s the deal, I am not going to talk about what makes someone a good recruiter. I am here to tell you why there are so many bad ones.
I recently spoke to a candidate who was very qualified for a job I am looking to fill. This person fit what the hiring manager was looking for to a T. He was submitted to this position by another company in the valley about a month ago. He interviewed with the managers but never heard back from the Recruiter or the company. He was very frustrated and didn’t understand why he didn’t hear back. I apologized and sympathized with him. I told him that I will contact the manager and try to get some feedback.
Few hours later, he sent me another email. This one he had contacted the recruiter again and I was shocked to see how the recruiter didn’t even own up to not informing the candidate and put the blame on someone else. Frustrated, this candidate said he never wants to work with this guy or the company.
Now the issue here isn’t the hiring manager, since I do know them and they do respond. The issue here is the bad recruiter. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can start their own recruiting agency, there is no barrier to entry. Anyone can be a recruiter, all they need is some customer service and ability to speak English.
So before you start cursing on all recruiters, protect yourself by asking the recruiter that calls you these 5 questions:
- Who is your client? A recruiter should be able to tell you this information, unless they are doing a confidential search. If they are doing a confidential search, they will tell you that but will still be able to give you a lot of information about the company, the job and the environment.
- How long have you(the recruiter) been in the industry? Their answer will tell you whether they are good or not. If they haven’t been in the industry for that long, ask them question no. 3 below. If they have been in the industry long, ask them about their experience.
- Why and how did you get into recruiting? This will give you an idea of whether they are passionate about helping people find jobs or they are just in it for money.
- What is your ratio of submission to interview and interview to hire in the last month? This will tell you whether they are just pushing resumes or they really care about finding the right fit. You don’t want a recruiter that will submit you for anything and everything. You want your recruiter to be your partner in your job search.
- What specifically did you like about my resume in regards to this position? This gives you an idea of whether they actually read your resume or just called you because you matched a few key words.
If they refuse to answer these questions or give you vague answers, say this; “Thank you for taking time and calling me, but I am looking for a partner in my job search and I don’t feel comfortable with you representing me. Have a nice day.”
Always remember, that in this market, you as the candidate have the utmost control and power. You should use this power and control to your advantage. It’s like Uncle Ben said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Be responsible in your job and recruiter search.