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7 Ways to Tell if You're Working With A Good Recruiter

We recently wrote about why working with a recruiter can give your career a boost, but not every recruiter is the same. In an industry rife with rogue practice, it’s important to make sure you’re working with someone professional and trustworthy. Here are the top 7 things to look out for when assessing whether a recruiter is reliable.

They look credible online

Most recruiters today will do a lot of their work through social media, particularly LinkedIn. This means you can quickly assess the credibility of any recruiter you’re in contact with by checking out their online profile.  If they have very few contacts or little activity on their social media pages, this is not usually a good sign (though it may just mean they are new to recruitment). One thing to look out for is industry insight and posts that aren’t just job adverts – good recruiters tend to keep abreast of what’s happening in their industry and share useful info with others in their network.

They’re astute, transparent, organised, empathetic and pleasant

Being a recruiter is a tough job, but you often wouldn’t know it from speaking to one. You’ll know you’re working with a professional if they leave a brilliant impression from the first moment they contact you. A good recruiter will be courteous, honest, and genuinely interested in helping you find a role you love, and this will come across right throughout their interaction.

They take the time to understand you

Good recruiters don’t want to waste your time or their clients’. That’s why it’s vital that they get to know you well, to make sure you’re well matched to the role and employer. This includes understanding your current situation, reasons for considering a move, and current salary. From this, they will be able to qualify whether you’re a good fit for any of the roles they’re recruiting for. Even if they don’t have anything in the right area or fields for you, there’s a good chance that will change in future, so it’s always worth giving a recruiter an honest appraisal of where you are in your career right now, and what you’d like your next move to be.

They provide market insight & positively challenge you

Recruiters often develop a granular knowledge of the industry they work with, built up over many years. You can be sure you’re working with a top-tier recruiter when they can discuss the specifics of your job, know what kind of challenges you face, and what your average day looks like. They should be able to ask insightful questions and assess your knowledge, strengths and weaknesses.

They sell the role to you

It’s just as important for you to be excited about a role as it is for you to be qualified, and a decent recruiter will always try to explain why they think the job would be a good move for you. They should provide in-depth information for any potential role, explain what a normal day will look like, and help you understand the unique benefits of working for their client.

They provide constructive feedback

Didn’t get the offer? A good recruiter should make sure you know exactly how to improve in future. Of course, it’s not always your fault, sometimes you interview for a very competitive field and someone else is simply better qualified, but other times you might be making an interview faux-pas you’re not aware of, or otherwise presenting yourself in a bad light. You should always receive honest feedback after an interview, regardless of the outcome, so the time you spent applying is never wasted.

They respond promptly

Recruiters are busy people. It’s a job that often involves a lot of long hours and late meetings, but a decent recruiter will never leave you hanging on an email or phone call. It’s a huge red flag if a recruiter doesn’t keep an appointment without notifying you, or takes weeks to respond to emails. It takes good organisational skills to be an effective head hunter, so late or unprofessional replies to your questions reflect poorly on their ability to do the job. Of course, there are times when a recruiter might not be able to answer a question you have, but they should always make an effort to stay in touch and keep you in the loop.

Once you’re certain you’re working with a reliable recruiter, make sure your CV is polished and you’re prepped for any interviews you’re invited to. The recruiter will do everything they can to help you find your ideal role, but impressing the employer and securing the job is up to you.

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