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Candidate’s Questions for Staffing Firms

Working with a recruiter is very much like friendship. Like a friendship, you want the relationship to be based on open and honest dialog. You wouldn’t want to feel neglected or misunderstood. Perhaps most importantly, you want the confidence your recruiter is interested in your success and will find you the accounting or finance job of your dreams.

It pains me greatly to say it, but not all recruiters approach the job in this way. Some just want to fill their database or force a candidate into a position that’s not a good fit. As a result, I have had many candidates, friends, and even family members ask me how to tell a good recruiter or staffing agency from one that’s not so good.

For me, there are several questions which can help you determine if a recruiter and staffing agency are highly efficient, responsible, and interested in you and your success:

Process Efficiency

  • Is their submission process for your resume easy to use?
  • Is information requested in a logical fashion, or is the form disorganized?
  • Do you receive notification that your information has been received/uploaded?

If the staffing agency does not have core processes perfected, chances are they don’t give their clients or candidates detailed attention they require.

Recruiter Focus

  • Does the firm have a process and did the recruiter explain it in detail?
  • Did the recruiter ask questions to get to know your career goals, or do they seem to be trying to fit your experience and skills into a predefined role?
  • Do you feel comfortable that the recruiter knows both your skills and the positions in which you would be interested and well-suited?
  • Would you feel comfortable contacting the recruiter with questions or concerns? Or, would you feel you were imposing?

This really is about a professional relationship. If you don’t have enough information to feel good about the process or feel you have easy access to a focused recruiter, you might not be with the right team.

Managing Expectations

  • Does the recruiter promise to find you work in a specific amount of time, say three weeks?
  • Does the firm claim to have “dozens of jobs perfect for you?”
  • Are you offered any data or information that helps you to understand the market demand for your skills and related salary ranges?

As a recruiter, the only promise I can make is that I will work hard. There are no guarantees of a job.

A quality recruiter will share information with you on the kinds of jobs that are open, the types of candidates applying and how you compare. If your recruiter does not help you see how you fit in the marketplace and just makes empty promises, you should consider finding another one.

As a job candidate, you should feel positive that your recruiter or staffing agency understands you and is working to find you the right position. If not, don’t waste any more time, energy, or emotions. Make a change and find one that is right for you. Trust me, we are out there.