Recruiters sometimes get a bad rap! Between misconceptions that they’re only focused on making money and that they don’t have their candidate’s best interest in mind, many professionals can be hesitant to enlist their services. This is especially true if you have been burned before. 

While your experience  with every recruiter may be different, building a relationship with a great one can make all the difference! Not only can they help you with your job search, but they can be an excellent resource to turn to throughout your career. With unique insight on market and salary trends, as well as new skills in-demand, they can really help you stay competitive in your industry beyond your job search. 

This is why trust is key. If you are going to work with a recruiter, you want to feel confident they will do right by you. So, how can you tell that you’ve met a great recruiter? Here are the signs that you should stick with them: 

When you begin a relationship with a recruiter, take notice of how interested they are in you. Most recruiters will ask about your background and resume, but a great recruiter will want a more in-depth idea of who you are and what you are looking for. During early conversations, see if they are asking you about:  

They want to learn about you

  • Your career goals
  • What you liked and didn’t like about your previous jobs
  • What company values are most important to you
  • Your interests outside of work
  • Why you want to make a move and what you’re looking for in your next job

By asking about the above, the recruiter is showing that they’re prioritizing roles that make sense for you, your career, and your future goals.  

They’re experts in your industry

When looking to partner with a recruiter, pay close attention to their level of industry expertise. Do they focus on everything, or do they specialize in certain industries? If you have a choice between the two, the industry specialist will be the better option. These recruiters often have extensive knowledge of (and are sometimes experienced in) your industry, and are therefore better equipped to understand your background, the jobs they are working on, and evolving industry trends. This industry expertise will ultimately allow them to find you the best fit for your career. 

They’re honest

Great recruiters are honest. At the end of the day, their goal is to provide you with the best possible job search experience and fit. They know they will not be successful if they overpromise or entertain unrealistic expectations. They will leverage their market expertise to help guide you in the right direction by being honest every step of the way—from your resume and interview performance to your salary and job expectations. 

They check in regularly

At a minimum, your recruiter should communicate about important updates during your job search. A great recruiter will take this a step further by reaching out about interesting market trends and other resources that can help you advance your career. They will even reach out to chat if you are not actively job searching! 

They’ll help you prepare

A great recruiter will help you prepare for every part of the hiring process. While you should do your own share of preparation ahead of time, they will give you an in-depth picture of the company, advise you on what parts of your resume to highlight, and explain what makes this role a great fit for you. Additionally, they’ll be able to give you some background on the hiring manager who is interviewing you and questions you can ask during the interview that are sure to impress.

They follow up

After each interview you go on, a great recruiter will follow up with you to ask how things went. If you’re not feeling the role you interviewed for, they’ll either work with you to address your concerns or they'll help you look for another opportunity that better suits your needs.  Additionally, they’ll be proactive about reaching out to you regarding any conversation they have had with your interviewer. If the interview didn’t go as planned, a great recruiter will be able to provide you with guidance and constructive criticism for how you can improve for the next one.

They won’t push you 

A great recruiter won’t make you take a role that you aren’t completely excited about. For example, if the role seems great but you didn’t feel a good connection with the hiring manager, your recruiter should listen to your concerns and will never pressure you into taking a role you are hesitant to accept.  A great recruiter will prioritize your happiness before everything else!

The Execu|Search Group is a leading recruitment, contract staffing, and workforce solutions firm with offices throughout the U.S. They've been connecting talent with leading employers for over 35 years! Learn more here.

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