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Top 10 Questions To Ask A Recruiter

You Are Top Talent - Make Sure You Are Working With A Top Recruiter

If you’ve read Get the Career You Want and Top 5 Reasons Why Recruiters Don’t Call Back, and you still feel you should be working with a Recruiter (and by Recruiter, I mean 3rd party Agency, not an internal Recruiter working for one specific company that you are applying to), please read on.

If You Are In The Top 10% of Your Peers, Then You Should Be Working With A Top Recruiter! 

Increase your odds by asking these questions:

  • 1)  Do you specialize in my specific niche?
  • 2)  Can you tell me the titles of your last 5 placements you’ve made?
  • 3)  Can you tell me how many placements you’ve made in the last 6 months?  Note:  If the Recruiter normally places people in the $75K to $110K range, 3 to 5 placements in the last 6 months are great results considering the current market.  See Find A Recruiter Now to see how Recruiters are paid for more insight.  If they place candidates in the $110K to $250K range then 1.5 to 2 placements is a great result.  
  • 4)  How are you planning to work with me?  
    • Are they going to actively market you to a select number of companies you agree on?
    • Are they just going to let you know when they have an opportunity that matches your background, but not really apply any active marketing on your behalf?
    • Are they going to market you to companies that they have in mind (and not disclose those companies as they may be confidential searches)?
    • Other?  Find out the specifics.
    Depending on how they answer these questions is how exclusive or non-exclusive you should work with them.
  • 5)  How often will you update me?  Remember they should be very busy.  A Recruiter that has a lot of time contacting you isn’t contacting companies on your behalf and that should worry you.  If they agree to a weekly email update, that should be good.
    • Keep in mind the following example and scale it to your personal situation:  If the Recruiter is calling 25 companies on your behalf, it takes about 10 attempts before they connect with the appropriate person.  Sometimes it takes 3 connects before there is a yes/no decision to move forward.  If you guesstimate 2 minutes per attempt and 15 minutes per connect, that’s approximately 45 hours of a Recruiter’s time on your behalf, with no guarantee of a return on investment.
    • If they’re a good Recruiter, that equals $3,375 of value to you for free (basing it on an average Recruiter making $150K year)!  Even a $75K Recruiter is giving you $1,687.50 worth of value to you for free.
  • 6)  How do I honestly rank amongst my peers?  Follow up question:  Are there a lot of “me’s” on the market right now?  If the answer is yes, I would caution you to not use a Recruiter.
  • 7)  What geography do you specialize in?  Don’t be surprised if they respond nationally.  Depending on your specific niche, this may be a very valid response.
  • 8)  How many other candidates are you working with on an active campaign?  If they answer 3 to 5, that is okay even if they are the same titles and looking to work in the same geography as you.  That means that Recruiter truly is specialized in your niche and you can bank on it that they are working extremely hard on your behalf.
  • 9)  Are you working on an active assignment for a client at the moment?  If the answer is yes, ask; “how many and how much time is devoted to that?”  It is normal that ½ of a Recruiter’s day is spent working on an active client assignment.
  • 10)  After you’ve completed my campaign, how do you plan on working with me?  Make sure you are clear so you can decide if you need to find another Recruiter at that point as this one may have exhausted all their resources.

Note:  I didn’t mention asking the names of companies they place for because many times companies keep their recruiting efforts confidential.

Note:  The .5 placement in #3 above indicates the Recruiter shared a placement with another Recruiter.  This is common practice among Recruiters.

Note:  Make sure you are also open and honest with your Recruiter.  If you are working on your own campaign or if you are working with another Recruiter, you need to explain that to all parties so that no one is overlapping the other.  It will bite you in the end if two Recruiters go to the same company trying to represent you.  It confuses the company and rather than be confused, they just won’t agree to interview you no matter which Recruiter you say you are working with.

If you are In Career Search Mode, you may be facing certain financial struggles if it is taking longer to find the Career You Want.  Please check out my Free Webinar I conducted regarding legitimate options candidates have.


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