6 Tips for Choosing the Right Recruiter

In today’s IT employment market job seekers are faced with a dilemma when opting to pursue career opportunities with the help of a recruiter. Unless you’re a social media hermit you will have been privy to the horror stories and stigma surrounding recruitment consultants. It would be fair to say that some candidates may be overwhelmed by all the choices, while some may think that they’re better off not going through a recruiter at all. There are thousands of recruitment agencies in the UK so it can be daunting when choosing the right recruiter to represent you in the market.

We’ve narrowed it down to the 6 most important tips to help make choosing the right recruiter easier for you:

1. Specialist Recruiters

A specialist recruiter is the way forward, not a generalist that dabbles in everything! You wouldn’t want a general surgeon performing brain surgery on you, would you? You want the best options in the market and you want to be speaking to a recruiter that has relevant contacts in the industry. The last thing you want is to be shopped around to irrelevant organisations by someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. You’ve worked hard to build up your experience, so you need someone that lives and breathes your specialism.

The easiest way to suss out a market expert is through a simple conversation. If they don’t ask inane questions and can hold a conversation about what’s going on in the industry, then you’ve got yourself a winner. Someone who knows the difference between a programming language and a programming platform is who you want taking your profile out to market!

2. Do you Know Where Your CV Is?

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the CV farms out there. You want to work with a recruiter that will take some time to discuss the options with you rather than sending you a list of 20 clients to consider. The latter type of recruiter will most likely send your CV out in a mass email to hiring managers they’ve probably never even spoken to. Quality over quantity is more important when you’re looking for a move.

Find a recruiter that will shortlist say 5 companies that match what you’re looking for closely. They will then be able to go out to those clients and discuss you in detail, highlighting why you would be the best hire for their business and truly mean it. This way you’ll be better represented in the market and you profile won’t get caught in a digital game of snap.

3. Personality Fit

While industry knowledge is very important, chemistry is something to consider too. What you need to remember is that if you put your trust in a recruiter they basically become your best friend throughout this process. Job hunting can take weeks or even months from the initial phone conversation through to starting your dream job, so you need someone who you like not just on a professional level.

4. They Talk the Talk

Most recruiters will be able to talk the talk, but when it comes to delivering what they promised, it may not materialise. This is where your probing should come into play as well. Make sure you ask them about their experience recruiting for the clients they will be putting you forward to as well as their general knowledge of the market. Some consultants will promise you the world even if you’re not quite there yet in terms of experience and these are the ones to watch out for. While we all would like more than our market worth, a reality check is a good thing. Partnering with a consultant that won’t spin fairy tales better than the brothers Grimm is a far safer bet even though it may not be as glamorous.

5. Reputation

Some people may confuse reputation with the size of an agency, but it’s not always synonymous. A sure-fire way of knowing you’ve made a good choice is by asking your professional network for recommendations. The last thing you want is to deal with an undercover cowboy recruiter; what you want is to be in the hands of a consultant that has credibility in the market and isn’t known for blindly firing CVs hoping something will stick. If hiring managers are steering clear of your recruiter then you should as well.

6. Do they Listen?

Perhaps a bit of a cliché, but good listening skills do make a great recruiter. Consultants are in the business of helping you further your career so if your motivations and drivers are going in through an ear and out the other, then they’re not going to be offering you the best solutions.

You should be doing most of the talking, especially in the earlier stages as they should be trying to find out as much as they can about you and your career aspirations. A dead giveaway of a bad recruiter is when they only ask you basic questions because it’s a sign of two things: either they don’t care about anything except making a quick placement or even worse they’re unqualified to help you and as such don’t know what to ask you.

So there you have it, 6 tips to get you started in choosing the right recruiter.

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