As a candidate you should not only be qualified yourself, but you should also be qualifying the company, the role and if there is one – qualify the recruitment company that approached you in the first place about the opportunity as well as the consultant you are working with.
Why? If you choose to progress with the opportunity presented to you by the recruiter, you not only represent the search firm with their client but the search firm also represents you. Take these tips on board to make sure you’re working with the right people.
What is the company’s approach?
How did they get in contact with you? Ask how they got your details and judge whether they approached you with professionalism, understanding and friendliness.
When it comes to the recruiter’s approach understand their whole recruitment process before progressing with them. Ask them about past roles they have helped fill with the company they’re hiring for and how things have worked in the past. Get to know the entire recruitment process before running away with the opportunity.
How experienced is the team?
You want the right people representing you and you need them to know what they are doing. Ask about their experience, current clients, recent placements, industry experience and number of years in the industry. Pre-screen the firm by taking a look at their LinkedIn profiles so you know their history and background in executive search and ask them about the sectors they work in. Executive search consultants are highly skilled and should have knowledge of the industry and companies they work with. By establishing how experienced the team are you can establish whether they are qualified enough to work with you.
Can the Executive search firm provide testimonials and references?
Successful executive search firms should be able to provide you plenty of testimonials, references and case studies from clients and candidates. If these aren’t displayed on their website, ask for some to be sent to you via email. By reading what others have to say about the company will provide you with some idea of how others have perceived their experience with the firm – giving you some indication on whether they are worth working with.
How are they at developing a relationship with you?
Although the relationship between a candidate and a recruiter is a two-way street, analyse how the recruiter is talking to you and how they are presenting the opportunity. Consultants who are experienced and care about your career needs won’t do all the talking – they will want to listen to you, your needs, goals, priorities and your experience. As the relationship is a two-way street so should your relationship building. Consultants who don’t listen don’t really care about you – and this matters!
By qualifying your recruiters, you ensure you are working with the right people for the right reasons. Always qualify your recruiter and never over look the importance of having a good one represent you to their clients. They can make the difference between your next roles being ok or great.
Don’t underestimate the value of good recruiters – A good relationship with a few excellent, ‘career recruiters’ will make your career choices more likely to be strong ones. It’s worth investing some time in finding a few good ones and building relationships with them….
…but don’t forget to always qualify them first.