MATRIX staff writers are comprised of professionals with a background in recruiting, hiring, contracting, coaching, and more.
How to Choose the Right Recruiting Partner
We all have heard the negative stereotypes of recruiters: they never call you back, they don’t have enough information about the role, they reach out about positions that aren’t a fit, they aren’t technical enough, etc. But one thing we rarely hear about is how to choose the right recruiter and use their resources to land your dream job.
Five years into this industry, I know for a fact that there are a lot of bad recruiters. But I also know there are fantastic recruiters and I would not be where I am today professionally without my recruiting partnerships. Almost every position I have ever obtained has been through a recruiter, and I've only partnered with two recruiters in my career. That is because I chose the right recruiting partner: someone that understands my needs, understands their clients, and has the relationships to make it happen.
But how did I determine that those two recruiters were the best partners for me? And how can others determine which recruiters they should use? Ask yourself these five questions.
- Do they take the time to understand what you're looking for?
This seems obvious, but a lot of times recruiting can be transactional. There are a lot of job positions coming in and only so much time to call candidates. A lot of recruiters will call you with the intention of fitting you into a role instead of finding a role that fits you. Make sure you are partnering with someone that understands your motivations and priorities, not just your technical skills on paper.
- Are they upfront about who their client is?
Some recruiting firms will not tell you who the client is until you have agreed to be submitted to a job or agreed to give references. Be careful with recruiters/companies that use this tactic as you can be presented to a position you have already applied for or sent to a company you aren't even interested in working with. I strongly suggest partnering with recruiters/firms that are honest and upfront about their clients.
- What is their relationship with the end client?
This is a big one. Not every recruiter is going to have the best relationship with every client, and that's ok. But they should be able to answer this question in detail. A recruiter acts as a representative of their clients and should be able to speak to the client's environment, culture, and their relationship with them.
- Do they put you first?
It is easy for recruiters to get wrapped up in the financial aspect of recruiting and forget about the people aspect. The last thing you want is to get an offer that isn't the right fit and feel bullied or guilted by your recruiter to accept the position. Make sure you partner with someone that wants you to find the best position for you, whether that's with them or not.
- Are they transparent with you?
The best partner you can have is an honest one. The best recruiters are ones that truly partner with you on how to grow within your career and give you honest feedback on how to get there. Sometimes this can mean resume changes or lowering your salary to stay competitive with other candidates. You are looking for a partner who is consultative and can give you insight into the market and how to stand out.
Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to act strategically with recruiters and use their resources to help you! It's easy to forget the importance of building a relationship and partnership with your recruiters, especially if you are getting 10+ calls a day about all different types of jobs. Finding a new job truly is all about networking, and networking with the right recruiters can help you land that dream job and build a long-term partnership for roles in the future.