Stick or twist? (The candidate version)

I recently wrote a blog on how a company can make sure they’re using the right recruiter for a specific role, however, it’s just as important for you as a candidate to be represented by the right recruiter too. Here are a few tips and things to look out for to help you determine if they’re a match.

As in the last blog, first and foremost, ask them the following;

“What were the last 5 roles you filled and with which businesses?”

Even if they’re coy on their client list (which I wouldn’t imagine as they’d want to impress you, right), then getting a sense of the size of business and sector they tend to recruit for is good enough to get going. Looking to work in a client-side business and the recruiter only works with digital agencies? Perhaps it’s time to move on.

The next thing to do, as before, is to check out their LinkedIn profile. You know us recruiters love LinkedIn, so their profile better be in tiptop condition. Who are you mutually connected with? Do you know them well? Can you ask them to reference this recruiter? Then check out their recommendations? Are they people you know or look up to in the industry? Do they work for businesses that you’d want to be working for? If yes, chances are this recruiter has contacts within those brands or agencies, so things are looking good.

The key difference from my last blog for companies and you as an individual is asking them how they are working a specific vacancy. The mecca is they have the role retained. Not only will this demonstrate to you that the hiring company is serious and not just window shopping, but they have faith in and have vetted the recruiter / agency. When working in this way you will also find your overall experience better. Why? Well, working a vacancy on a retained basis means they’ll be much closer to the company and really know the ins and outs of the business, the role, culture, etc. This means you’re more informed. You being more informed means you can make better choices if the role is right for you or not, but you’ll also have the opportunity to prepare much better for the interviews, again increasing your chances of success.

The next one down is they’re working it on an exclusive basis. Basically, they are the only agency / recruiter working the job. Again, you know the process is being done in the right way.

Lastly, multi-agency contingency. Horrible word. Means multiple agencies/recruiters are working the vacancy and chances are neither you or the recruiter will really know how many that is. Now, I’m not saying if the company is working with multiple recruiters to stay away from it, just be mindful. Chances are you are about to walk onto a battlefield where CV’s will be flung left, right, and centre. The chances of not hearing from the recruiter or not getting feedback from an interview goes up dramatically. I’m not saying it’s the recruiter’s fault per se, it can sometime be the company who doesn’t share the info to pass on to you. It can sometimes lead to a poor experience for you and one of the main reasons many people associate the word recruiter with names I won’t repeat in this blog.

So, there you have it. It’s not war and peace, and it’s not the bible. However, it certainly should give you food for thought and a solid foundation when making the decision to work with a certain recruiter, or not.

Good luck.