I’ve been working as a Technology Recruiter for over six and a half years now and I still maintain that one of the biggest struggles for me is fully engaging candidates and really getting them to invest in me as the chosen, reliable person to help them find their next job.

Although this has dramatically improved through experience over the years, I still find that one of the biggest issues that candidate’s have is to trust the Recruiter that they’re dealing with. Attempting to rid that common age old stigma that all recruiters are just greedy, money-hungry wide boys with zero morals who are purely out to use you for their own financial gain, is still a tall order.

Although it seems obvious and in some cases, just pure common courtesy and decency to another fellow human being, I have included some simple points below as to what to expect from the recruitment process when dealing with a good Recruiter.

1. From the very first moment of contact, they should be polite, well mannered and sympathetic towards your current situation; what I mean by this is that you may be at work sitting next to your boss when they call so they shouldn’t have a problem arranging a more convenient time to speak rather than carry on the conversation, which will be very one sided.

2. When you speak to the Recruiter, make sure that they tell you the name of the client and that they send you a job description / company profile. Problems arise and start to make you as a candidate look less credible to clients if your CV turns up twice or thrice via different Recruitment Agents.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who will advertise and/or present you with fake jobs just to get you on the phone and attempt to get your manager’s name in order to approach him/her for business. Some, for the same reasons, may also ask you directly what other companies you are interviewing with, during your very first conversation. I’m not saying that there’s anything necessarily wrong with this but I personally will only ever ask this question if and when I have established a good relationship with you and have met you at least once.

3. It is always a good idea to check the Recruiter’s LinkedIn profile. Good Recruiters are likely to have a healthy amount of recommendations from clients and candidates alike that they’ve previously done business with and they will be happy to display. Please note: It doesn’t mean that if a Recruiter doesn’t have recommendations on their public profile, they’re a bad or dishonest person.

4. You’ve studied the spec, the location is fine and you’ve been provided with enough information to determine that the company look interesting and suitable to you, not only technically but culturally. Given the above, you have given the Recruiter authority to send your CV to the client and ‘represent’ you for the role. If nothing else, it is common courtesy for the Recruiter to keep you informed throughout the process. This means that they should tell you if your CV has been rejected and for what reasons. Sometimes, the end client will fail to elaborate on specifics so it’s not always possible for us as Recruiters to gain valuable feedback. If the process is dragging, you should expect at least an email from the Recruiter, explaining why it’s taking so long.

5. You have the interview(s) and you give your feedback to the Recruiter and he/she is now in a position to go back to the client and get a decision on whether or not they want to offer you the job, and if not, why?

As stated above, it is not always possible for the Recruiter to procure in-depth, detailed feedback as to why a candidate has not been successful at interview. However, if the Recruiter has a good relationship with his/her client, they should be in a position to get this in enough detail for you to take on board and learn from for the next time around.

In return, some simple things that you can do to help your chosen Recruiter out:

  • I’d certainly say that you should pick one, two or three credible Recruiters. Ones that you’ve either been recommended to, had a good experience of previously or someone who you’ve been impressed with in the initial exchanges.
  • Be honest. You don’t have to tell us who you’re interviewing with, but please just let us know honestly where you are in the interview process with other companies. This allows for us to manage our clients’ expectations and can even be used as a vehicle to put pressure on them to get feedback / interviews arranged quicker. A good Recruiter should always ask you this, without being intrusive.
  • If you are having second thoughts about attending an interview, make sure you let us know rather than not turn up at all!

So, I suppose the message here is to choose wisely and remember that there are some Recruiters out there who genuinely care about the careers and big choices that others make. If the Recruiter is doing all of the above then it’s likely that you’ll end up with a much more pleasant and smooth experience!

Written by Luke Pentney

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