We go back to one of the original questions in the recruitment process and gives some advice on how to evaluate the best consultant to work with during the recruitment process.
How to choose a recruitment consultant?
In many of our blogs, we reference how you should “talk to your recruiter” about questions you might have about the job process. Before all of this, there is the initial question of how do you find a consultant? There’s a seemingly unlimited supply of agencies, consultancies, and recruitment consultancies out there. So, which one is right for you?
A good relationship with a consultant or company can be very advantageous and get you in front of some exclusive roles and so it is worthwhile taking the below points into consideration when deciding with whom to work.
1) WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM THE RELATIONSHIP?
Like a lot of things in life, you need to decide what you want. Do you want someone who is going to stay in constant communication or someone who will basically leave you alone unless they have a job that suits you? Different companies and different consultants have different methods, the best should be flexible to your desires but asking yourself this question is an important first step.
2) BE AWARE WHAT IS THE JOB OF A CONSULTANT
Our job is to match jobs from our clients up with suitable candidates. It isn’t our job to go out and find a job for you. We’ll absolutely do our best to find a match with our client base and to advise you on the open roles we have which might suit. However, if we don’t have a job open that suits, it’s possible we can’t help you right now. The best of us will try to give you advice about companies we know with suitable tech stacks and openings or other options for you to pursue but if the role isn’t on our books we are somewhat constrained.
3) ASK FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Ask around. People won’t hesitate to tell you about their bad experiences but might not tell you about their good experiences unless they are prompted. Ask colleagues or friends if they used a recruitment consultant for their last job and if they had a good experience. If that experience was what you want from your job hunt, then you might have found your consultant.
4) CALL A FEW CONSULTANTS FOR A CHAT
Find some consultants on LinkedIn or job sites that work in areas in which you’re interested and call for a chat. See if you get on well and if you feel you can work with this person. Again, it depends on the type of relationship you want. Some people just want to be sent job specs and have little contact other than interview requests. Others might want the full suite of interview prep and weekly check-ins. Your relationship will be important as the recruitment process is one which involves a level of trust.
5) GOOD INDUSTRY AND MARKET KNOWLEDGE
No matter what kind of job you are looking for, it’s vital that the consultant you are dealing with knows what they are talking about. The more they know about the industry and the current state of the market, the more helpful they can be.
Are your current set of technologies a little old-fashioned or are you seriously in demand right now? What sectors might be the best for you to target? If you know what job you really want, what is the best way to get there? A knowledgeable and well-connected consultant will know all of these things.
6) ONLY DEAL WITH RECRUITERS WHO BEHAVE FAIRLY
We have all heard the horror stories of poor recruitment experiences. Some early warning signs can be if the recruiter:
- Won’t tell you the name of the client without giving a good reason why.
- Refuses to proceed without a face to face meeting. Meeting in person can be valuable but your time is valuable too, make sure they respect your time.
- Pushes you too hard to lower your salary requirements.
- Pushes you towards jobs you don’t like or want.
- Adds you to mass mailing lists for irrelevant jobs
- Leverages your conversations to gain market knowledge for themselves.
These are often signs that the recruiter isn’t playing fair – it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wasting your time. There are many great consultants in companies with less than great practices but it might be a sign that you need to be more watchful of yourself and your CV.
Basically, it’s all common sense but by choosing the right consultant for you it can be the differentiator in finding the perfect role for you and enjoying a painless recruitment experience. It’s easiest to work with a recruitment consultant when you have a connection. You’ll get the best experience if the consultant is good at their job. Don’t forget though, that a relationship is a two-way thing – you need to work with the consultant by providing information when asked and by listening to advice when it is given! 😊