How to Distinguish Between a Good and Bad Recruiter
by Xavier Patterson, Senior Healthcare Recruiter
For those actively looking for a job, or passively open to testing the waters, the benefits of working with a recruiter far exceed trying to find something on your own. But sometimes recruiters get a bad rap – in part because there are good ones and bad ones, as there are in any profession. So how do you determine which recruiter you want to work with? Here are some tips to help distinguish a good recruiter from a bad one.
- They Listen. From early on in your first conversation, the recruiter should be asking questions to really figure out the “why” of you the candidate. Questions such as “Why are you looking for a change?” and “What are the most important things you are looking for in your next job?” should always be discussed before any new job options are brought up. Recruiters who immediately start to pitch new jobs without first getting an understanding of the candidate will not have your best interests at heart – how could they? They don’t know enough about the you to do so. As a candidate, the best way for you to determine this is to give the recruiter the opportunity to ask these questions! Many candidates will get on the phone with a recruiter and immediately ask “What do you have available?” We at KA quite literally have thousands of positions available – and though we probably have something in mind we feel may be a good fit at first glance, only asking questions to truly get to know you will determine which positions would really fit the bill.
- They add value. One of the benefits of using a recruiter is for insight knowledge into the company, position, or hiring manager that they provide. Do they know what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate? Is there more about the position they can tell you than the basic website job description? If the recruiter is not providing additional value of some sort, what is the point of working with one? Good recruiters are going to add that extra value that makes working with them worthwhile, while bad recruiters are simply honed in on getting you to say yes to submitting their resume.
- They ask the hard questions. I tell candidates all the time throughout the interview process, that if the position is not the right fit – don’t take it! Good recruiters should always have the candidate’s best interests in mind, even if that means a declined job offer. However, good recruiters should also be asking questions from every angle when it comes to making a decision on a potential offer. This may mean questions that make the candidate uncomfortable, or that they don’t like, or don’t want to think about! This is not the recruiter being mean – it’s the recruiter’s job to make sure you the candidate have completely thought through the decision prior to making it. If you have, then no matter what your decision, you and your recruiter will be on the same page. If you haven’t, it’s the recruiter’s job to ensure you do so.
Finding a new job can be a stressful process, and utilizing a recruiter should make that process easier and smoother. In order for that to happen, it is vital to choose a recruiter to work with who listens, adds value to your process, and asks the hard questions to keep your best interests in mind. If you’re not working with someone who does – it may be time to look for a different recruiter to work with.