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Know who you are working with

The recruiting industry provides a valuable service to candidates and employers alike. Professional recruiters develop relationships and networks. They have industry knowledge developed over time and through experience. Confidential access to these contacts and knowledge helps to provide solutions for industry.

Career change is a personal decision. As a professional, you should know your recruiter’s background and experience. You are going to trust them with confidential information, and seek their guidance. You should know who they are. Are they successful professionals? Do they have experience in your field? Do they have a record of assisting candidates such as yourself? Can they operate discreetly? What do you know about them?
Just as a recruiter will guide you through an initial screening you should screen your recruiter as well. With the availability of Linkedin, and other sites, there is no reason you can’t quickly review a recruiter’s credentials before revealing too much information to them. If a recruiter represents himself or herself as a market specialist make sure they can walk the talk.
As a candidate the recruiter you work with is your representative to a potential employer. You should work with someone who has a feel for your market and can provide guidance based on current conditions. Do you trust them to represent you professionally? You can compare this to a sports agent representing a professional athlete. Are you sure you have the best agent?
As a hiring authority you will want to ensure that the recruiters you work with have the market connections and knowledge to source candidates that would be difficult for you to access. It is relatively easy to do a database search, match keywords, and send resumes. You should expect more than that. Professional recruiters have connections to passive candidates and an awareness of your market dynamics and competitors. A good recruiter will be able to understand your requirements, and team with your organization to identify talent. In working with a recruiter you want to ensure that they support your search efforts and provide you access to the top talent for your needs.
When selecting an agency you should know who would be working on your assignment. What is their background and experience? You will want to know who will be representing your company to potential candidates. Do they project an image consistent with your corporate culture?
Some recruiting firms will have a lead recruiter develop the business then pass on the work to a junior staff member. Ask about the process they utilize and who will be working on your assignment. You should receive regular updates on the status of your assignment. Are the candidates fitting your criteria? Have the candidates been screened or are you just getting resumes with keyword matches?

It’s crucial to understand the recruiter’s methods as well as their ability to represent and work with your organization.

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