Monday, August 2, 2010

What To Expect From A Recruiter

A while ago I posted “How to work with a recruiter”. I thought it would be appropriate to post the corollary – what you should expect from a recruiter.

I divided this post into two segments, for clients (meaning the hiring company) and for candidates. They are both inter-related. But since I have never seen these “rules” written anywhere, I thought I would write them. I understand that there are nuances and differences among headhunters, but what follows are the basics, at least from me.

For client companies
One overriding thought: a recruiter should be your partner and an extension of your human resources department or, if you are the hiring manager, the recruiter should be an extension of yourself.

• Recruiters should understand your company. They should know your culture. They should know your work environment so that they know what kinds of people succeed there.

• Recruiters should fully understand your job specs.

• Recruiters should screen candidates to insure that they meet those specs and are appropriate to your culture.

• Recruiters should be told about issues with the job so that candidates can be screened accordingly.

• Recruiters should only send qualified candidates. Their initial submission should be two or three candidates. Feedback on those people will help give direction on further submissions.

• Recruiters who are in proximity to your location should meet with you in person periodically.

• Recruiters should have recently met in person with any candidate who lives in proximity to your location. There is no excuse for not meeting the candidates they submit unless those candidates are from out of town.

• Recruiters should be able to give an honest appraisal of anyone they submit. They should certainly be able to compare and contrast the candidates they send.

• A recruiter should be your ally and partner, not an adversary

• Recruiters should be in constant communication with their client companies during the interviewing process so that there are no surprises.

• If recruiters do reference checks, they should provide in writing the verbatim comments of the people they called.

For Candidates
A recruiter should have your best interests in mind. To that extent, recruiters should work for the companies who pay them. However, they cannot do a good job for their company clients unless they do a good job for their candidates.

• Candidates should be interviewed in person by a recruiter. If you are within commuting distance of the recruiter, you should meet him or her. If you are from out of town, the phone interview should be thorough and candidates should be comfortable that the recruiter understand their needs.

• Your résumé should never be sent anywhere without your express permission. That also means that you should not be discussed with a company unless you know the recruiter is doing so.

• You should always know what jobs you are being submitted to a company for; if it is for a speculative interview, you should know that as well.

• You should only be sent on interviews appropriate for your interests, skills and abilities.

• A recruiter should brief you before every interview so that you are prepared (this means you have to be in constant touch with your recruiter).

• After every interview, candidates should be debriefed. A recruiter should know how the interview went and what issues arose so they can address those issues.

• Salary expectations should be discussed before you are submitted and again during the interview process.

• Recruiters should promptly return your phone calls and emails.

• You must have trust in your recruiter so that you can be candid and feel that your interests and needs are being fully represented.

• Recruiters should not discuss your candidacy with anyone else. They should not gossip.

• The longer you know and are in contact with a recruiter, the better they should understand your needs.

• Because recruiters are constantly meeting new people, you cannot expect them to be in touch with you on a regular basis. That is up to you.

I would love to hear comments about this post from hiring managers, HR and from candidates. My readers would enjoy sharing expectations.

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