Choosing a Recruiter to Help Your Job Search

Posted by Jay Perreault

How much time do you invest in your career?

When it comes to purchasing big ticket items such as a car or a home, we shop around to receive the best deal. We go out of our way to introduce ourselves to multiple car salespersons, or even visit 20-30 homes before we buy. Most of the time our sales cycle is completed within 30-60 days. But when it comes to our careers, sometimes it seems that candidates and colleagues take the shotgun approach. I like to call this the easy way out.

We utilize our car and home about 35% of the work week while awake. But when it comes time to focus on our career we take shortcuts. Or even worse, become lazy. We spend approximately 55% of our daily hours at work. Shouldn’t we spend at least double the amount of time searching for a new work environment that is right for us?

Don’t have that amount of time? That’s where your friendly qualified recruiter steps in.

Get to know your recruiter

It only seems natural that we will get to know a recruiter before we decide to work with him or her. Think about it like dating. If you were just getting to know someone and you told them that you were seeing several other people, what do you think your chances of becoming exclusive would be?

Most likely, they would feel that you’re not interested and then move on. Would it be any different with a recruiter?

A recruiter wants to know you are committed to the partnership. If you are communicating with several other recruiters, it’s only natural for the recruiter to become a bit disinterested. Major cities are a lot smaller than you might think. Recruiters within the same industry across multiple companies do communicate with one another. Think about the image that you are projecting. Is it stellar, or something less than desired?

How can you tell you are dealing with a great recruiter

There are many different levels of experience and work environments that each and every recruiter markets to. LinkedIn is a great tool to measure the recruiter’s reputation in the industry.

Log in to your LinkedIn account. In the top right click on the Advanced option. Add the Postal Code and search by the radius you are willing to commute on a daily basis. It’s usually best to identify a local recruiter since they better handle the market place. This is not always the case though, and should not be used as a mandatory field since you might be leaving good solid recruiters off the table.

Next, enter your field in the title section along with “recruiter”. For instance “technical recruiter” or “engineering recruiter”. Select the appropriate check box in the Industries section, such as “Defense & Space”.

A recruiter’s stability is a key to your successful placement. Steer clear of recruiters who change jobs every other year since they may not be taking their career very seriously.

Review the recommendations section at the bottom of their profile. What types of things are said about their work style, knowledge of the industry, and so on?

Once you narrow down the list to three to five recruiters, call and introduce yourself. Ask questions such as:

  1. Is the recruiter a third-party agency recruiter or a corporate recruiter, working directly for a hiring company? If they are an agency recruiter, do they earn a commission – not paid for by you — when they make a placement?
  2. Find out how many people the recruiter places in any given month, which gives you an idea of their success rate. Agency recruiters will place 5 to 12 people a month. Corporate recruiters place 20 to 30 people a month. That placement number will be less for a corporate recruiter if they work for a small company.
  3. Determine a period of time for a commitment to each other. Sixty days at the most.

Often times multiple agencies may have the same opening. Make sure you are not double submitted for the same position by different recruiters, as this might cost you an opportunity.

Your Recruiter is a Resource   

Try to get a commitment up front from the recruiter not to release your resume without your permission. Once an interview is scheduled, check with the recruiter to see if they will help you prep so you’re better prepared to rise to the top. That’s right, ask for their help.

Your recruiter is an expert in salary negotiation. They may be able to help you tactfully negotiate the best salary for you, particularly if they are an agency recruiter. If you are working with an agency recruiter, it’s in their best interest to get you a higher salary.

Building a solid relationship with your trusted career advisor is priceless. Happy hunting for your next interview, and good luck finding your next partnership. Take it seriously. It’s your career. Choose wisely.

Jay Perreault has been recruiting top talent since 2000, and is currently the Recruiting Manager for the Talent Acquisition Directorate, National Security Programs at AECOM. Check out Jay’s web site or follow him on Twitter @DCTechRecruiter.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:26 am

3 thoughts on “Choosing a Recruiter to Help Your Job Search”

    1. Hey Dina, thanks for taking the time to comment! It’s certainly my pleasure to offer these tips. Please feel free to consult with me at any time if you have any questions or additional feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of updates to this conversation