How To Get The Most Out Of Working With A Recruiter

Magnifying glass being held over a resume

Working with a recruiter or headhunter can be a rewarding and beneficial process — they can be a tremendous resource for your company. In addition to having the knowledge and expertise for delivering top talent, an experienced and reliable staffing agency will have a clear understanding of what to look for (and avoid) when screening and placing candidates.

According to Inc., there are three main types of recruiters:

  • Reactive — Working with a job recruiter who operates in a reactive manner ensures that your positions will be posted indiscriminately on various job boards. This type of recruiter limits themselves to a pool of random (and often unqualified) applicants who apply, rather than taking a strategic and targeted approach to recruitment.
  • Proactive — This is a recruiter who uses sales techniques to target and attract higher-quality candidates. While more successful than reactive recruiters overall, these professionals are still missing out on crucial recruiting and placement opportunities.
  • Interactive — This interactive recruiter focuses on building relationships with top-performing talent — including passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new job. They also know how to showcase your brand to attract the best candidates.

As a professional recruiting and staffing agency, we work with a variety of small and large employers across nearly every industry. As such, we wanted to share some of the ways small business owners, HR teams, and managers can get the most from their experience when working with a job recruiter.

Tips For How To Work With Recruiters Effectively

Knowing how to work with recruiters and headhunters effectively is essential to becoming more comfortable and familiar with the process. Being able to answer the question “how does a recruiter work?” will help to prepare you for this process.

Related: How Does An Employment Agency Work?

Here are a few key things to keep in mind to make the most of your time and money when working with a recruiter from a third-party firm:

Tip #1 Be transparent

Professional recruiters screen and place candidates based on both their market knowledge and the criteria you provide — the more specific the information, the better your results.

Recruiters work most effectively when they have a clear understanding of your goals and expectations. Some of the specific types of information your recruiter will need to know when screening individual candidates include:

  • Values, beliefs, and mindset — Do these traits for each candidate align with those of your organization?
  • Skills — Do they possess the skills you need for the role?
  • Knowledge — Do they have the knowledge needed for the position?
  • Experience — Do they have experience in your industry or a similar role?
  • Expertise — Experience isn’t enough; do they have the expertise required to meet the rigorous needs of the position?

Tip #2 Be responsive

The best “working with a recruiter etiquette” advice we can offer is to respond in a timely fashion to emails and phone calls from your recruiter. One of the most frustrating scenarios as a professional recruiter is working with a client who is unresponsive or inaccessible.

The recruiting and hiring process needs to move quickly to keep the best-qualified talent from being snatched up by a competitor. Being responsive to your recruiter:

  • Shortens the hiring process (saving you both time and money);
  • Leaves candidates with a positive impression of your company or brand; and
  • Helps to make your company more productive by placing the best people in the right positions.

Tip #3 Trust their expertise

As with any professional partnership, trust is an integral component of working with a recruiter. Not only is it important to trust the relationship you have with your external recruiter, but you also should be able to rely on their expertise. A reliable and experienced professional recruiter invests countless hours developing and nurturing relationships with their large pool of active candidates as well as their network of passive candidates.

If you do not feel like you can trust your recruiter to put the needs of your company first, or that they can’t competently screen and place candidates, then it’s time to find a new recruiter.

Tip #4 Find the right recruiter

Sourcing the best talent with the right values, mindset, knowledge, and skills is a challenge on its own. Trying to find them at the right time makes the process even more complicated. This is where working with a specialized recruiter — someone who has experience hiring for roles in your niche field or industry — can be highly beneficial.

Partnering with a professional recruiting and staffing agency with specialized experience adds a higher level of structure to the recruitment process. This is because they are more likely to have:

  • An in-depth understanding of your market and industry trends concerning talent;
  • Access to an extensive network of candidates; and
  • Relationships with passive candidates who are experts in your field.

Tip #5 Build a long-term relationship

The more time you spend working with a job recruiter or headhunter who demonstrates extensive experience and expertise, the more they will get to know your company. The better the recruiter knows you, the more they can help sell your company and make it stand out in a competitive job market to candidates.

Ultimately, the job of a professional staffing agency is to act as an extension of your company while attracting and screening the best talent. Regardless of the size of your business, working with a recruiter who is the right fit for your business can help you attract and hire the best talent in a tight job market.

Tip #6 Focus on integrity 

There is something to be said about integrity in recruiting — not only concerning the conduct of job seekers or employers, but how the professional recruiters they work with operate as well. No one likes to be lied to, which is why honesty is important in every type of relationship (including professional ones).

When all sides value honesty and are truthful throughout the recruiting process, everybody wins:

  • Employers land their ideal candidates,
  • Applicants get the jobs they desire, and
  • Recruiters keep their clients and candidates happy.

Tip #7 Honesty is the best policy 

Although it may be tempting to “upsell” yourself by embellishing information, lying on a job application or your resume is never a good idea. Being dishonest about your salary, leadership experience, or employment history is ineffective because your employment and salary history will be verified as part of the recruiting process. According to CareerBuilder, “Half of employers (51 percent) said that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie on his/her resume.”

It does not matter how high or low the position — no one is immune from being caught lying about their credentials. For example, Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson resigned from his role in 2012 after it was discovered that he lied about his education.

Fabricating information can result in your application being excluded from consideration for that specific position. Furthermore, it could taint you in the eyes of the employer and recruiter for other jobs for which they would have otherwise considered you. Therefore, when working with a recruiter or interviewing directly with an employer, stick to being as honest as possible.

Tip #8 Set clear expectations 

The more upfront you are throughout the recruiting process, the more effective your headhunter can be in finding you the best candidates. If you’re vague about the skills, expertise, and other factors you’re seeking, or if you say you want quality A when you’re really looking for quality B, you’ll be less likely to get the ideal applicants you want.

Be honest about your organizational culture:

  • Is it very hierarchical in nature?
  • Does your organization promote specific values?
  • Is your organization more laid back or is it a more strict and professional environment?

Being open about these factors will help to attract the right candidates and eliminate ones who may not be the right fit. This saves time while leaving applicants with a positive impression of your organization.

Tip #9 Don’t wait to make a move 

Our last piece of advice for employers is this: If you like a candidate and think they are a good fit for your position and organization, do not wait. As a recruiting firm, we’ve seen this happen a lot — a client loves a candidate after interviewing them but delays on making an offer because they want to interview other candidates for comparison. 

Good candidates are hard to find, so do not wait! In the end, it may mean you will lose the candidate you should’ve hired in the first place. In other words, don’t be afraid to commit when you find the right person to hire — even if it’s the first one you interview.

Work With a Recruiter That’s The Right Fit For Your Company

Don’t hire just any recruiting and staffing firm — make sure you’re working with a job recruiter who is the right fit for your business. We are a nationally-renowned staffing agency that works with businesses around the United States.

We hope this information helps you get the most out of working with a professional recruiter to help you meet all of your company’s staffing and hiring needs. To learn more about working with a professional recruiting and staffing agency, contact our team of experts today.

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About Crystal Lang

Crystal Lang is a Senior Client Manager for 4 Corner Resources, the highest rated recruitment firm in Central Florida. She has eight years of experience working in the staffing and recruiting industry. She is a results focused professional, recognized for building and growing enriched relationships with a myriad of clients. Her experience encompasses supporting SMB’s to enterprise-level clients. In her free time, Crystal enjoys traveling the globe!