How often are you inundated with calls, emails, and LinkedIn messages from recruiters telling you all about their latest opportunity? We’re guessing it’s a lot. In fact, you’ve probably gotten pretty good at tuning it all out.
You’re not alone.
For every staffing firm out there promising they’ll act in your best interests, there are at least a thousand professionals who don’t believe them. Recruiter after recruiter will try to differentiate themselves by saying they’re “all about people,” but it’s a noisy marketplace, and it leaves professionals like you challenged by which ones to actually work with.
So, how can you tell if a recruiter actually cares about you and your career?
What Are Your Peers Saying?
When’s the last time you made an Amazon purchase without reading the reviews first? In today’s marketplace, reviews and referrals trump almost every other avenue of marketing. Any company can spend their resources making a beautiful website, compelling messaging, and engaging advertising, but the candid word of their users and customers is almost always more compelling.
The same is true when you’re looking for a new career. Ask former colleagues and friends about their experiences with different recruiters and don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction. Furthermore, although you may need to take them with a grain of salt, sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn can give you a window into the quality of a staffing firm’s service for consultants as well as how they treat their own employees. If they’re really “all about people,” then you’ll see that reflected in the reviews of the people they work with and employ.
Do They Measure Experience?
Glassdoor and LinkedIn can only get you so far. It’s often the case that disgruntled employees are the only ones who take the time to anonymously review a company, and it’s difficult to tell how accurate their reviews are against the big picture. Instead, look for a staffing firm that is transparent about how they measure their candidate experience.
Recruiters who actively ask their candidates for feedback, taking the effort to measure their candidate experience, are ones who care about improving that experience. They might do this through a third-party partner like Great Recruiters, a platform that asks every candidate, whether they are placed by the firm or not, to review their experience with their recruiter. If a company is asking for feedback, they’re doing it for a reason: they actually care about the people they work with and want to get better at what they do. Don’t hesitate to ask a recruiter how they or their company solicit, measure and respond to candidate feedback. If they don’t have an answer, find someone else who does.
Qualities to Look for in a Recruiter
Outside of peer reviews and formal measurement systems, knowing what to look for in your own experience will be key. The Great Recruiters platform provides a compelling list of qualities that make a great recruiter:’
Genuine – When you first get in touch with a recruiter, do they ask the right questions to really understand you, your career goals, and your experience? If they’re not getting deeper than the details of your resume, it’s questionable whether they’re trying to make a genuine match between you and the best-fit opportunity.
Responsive – When you make the decision to reply to a recruiter’s call or email, how responsive are they in return? Does it take days before they get back to you? Do they take the time to thoroughly answer your questions?
Experienced – A recruiter can only match you to the right opportunity when they truly understand the job you’re applying for and the industry you’re in. This requires more than just matching keywords on your resume to the job description their client gave them; it requires experience.
Advisory – When you choose to change your career, you’re putting your life in the hands of a stranger. A recruiter who understands this responsibility and supports you through the process as an objective career advisor is someone you can trust.
Transparent – Is your recruiter keeping you in the loop throughout the hiring process? Or are you in the dark? Again, your career is in their hands, which means their transparency is paramount to your success.
Ultimately, you’re looking for a recruiter and a staffing firm that is knowledgeable in your market and skill set, capable of providing value throughout the process, and centers their service around the individual. The staffing market is increasingly transactional, but you’re more than a number. You need a firm that isn’t afraid to share their stories (check out our “Real Stories from Real Recruiters” series here) or give you a sneak peek behind the scenes (check out our employee spotlights here). These are the recruiters who genuinely seek to make a difference in your career and your life.
Ready to work with a recruiter that cares? Say hello to your career advisory team and search our open positions today.