Consultant Thursdays: Top Five Ways To Find Credible Third-Party Recruiters

I’m not going to take credit for this one — this is a great post from Laurie Ruettimann over at Punk Rock HR. I’m currently on the prowl for more work (you know, life of the consultant) so that means a lot of back and forth with recruiters. I have my favorites (Mindy Worel, where are you?), have a different opinion of some others. They are a necessary evil, but can be a wonderful asset.

Great recruiters are as interested as finding work for you as you are.

Punk Rock HR is one of my favorite blogs of all time because of her common sense. Her comments are classic and I absolutely agree with.

The original post is here. Enjoy.

I love it when someone sends me an email and asks, "Do you know this recruiter? Is he a good guy?"

Believe it or not, I don't know every HR professional or recruiter. I just know a few – but most of them are good people. (Sure, some of them are chumps but there are scam artists and losers in every industry. Look at sales.)

You need to use your brain — and your smarts — to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Here are some thoughts.

  • Do the work and make sure the recruiter is credible. Don't be shy. Ask probing questions before you allow a recruiter to represent you. You can ask for a biography. Request references. Connect with him on  LinkedIn. Look him up on  Twitter and  Facebook. Make sure this guy hasn't burned bridges or created any sort of ruckus.
  • My favorite recruiters are those who have established relationships with VPs, hiring managers, and Human Resources professionals.  That's a tall order, actually. For starters, you can ask the recruiter to talk about his networking strategies. You'll want to hear how he stays current in the industry
  • I ask for an overview of my industry.  I'm not looking for an economic treatise; however, I am curious if the recruiter can speak intelligently about my career field  without using a ton of jargon.
  • Ask the recruiter to describe his last couple of placements.  This is about data, yo. I like to know the positions filled and how long it took him to find the ideal candidates. Recruiters won't talk about specific clients or placement fees, but they will talk about general metrics if you ask. It's not tacky to ask.
  • You will  never  have to pay to get a job.    I hate to add this bullet, but there are a few sketchy ‘operators' out there. Credible recruiting agencies don't ask for money.

Finally, I think it's important to know where a recruiter is submitting your resume before the resume is sent. You can ask for this specific information – it's not rude.

Remember, a relationship with a recruiter is like any other business arrangement. Do your research, ask thoughtful questions, and operate with integrity. Don't forget that a recruiter is risking his reputation on you, too.

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