7 Steps to Choosing a Recruitment Consultant

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Choosing a Recruitment Consultant that can really help you with your next job role can be a tough decision and one that may take a significant amount of time initially.

More than 70% of job vacancies are not advertised. Many are filled through word of mouth, via social media or internally as staff move up the career ladder. Just as many are in the hands of recruitment agencies, who work to quickly put their existing candidates in front of their clients (employers), so unless you are registered with them, you may miss out on opportunities for which you are suitable. So how do you go about choosing a Recruitment Consultant that is right for you?

1. Choosing a Recruitment Consultant for Your Sector

In most towns and cities, there is a good selection of recruitment agencies, however, it is vital that the recruiter you choose understands your sector. There’s no point in registering with Office Angels, for example, if you are looking to work in construction. Choosing a Recruitment Consultant that is a specialist in your field of work will mean that they have a good understanding of the career path you want to take and can offer you valuable advice.

2. Is the Recruiter a Specialist in Your Sub-Sector?

You may want to find work as a chef, however, cooking up a storm in a café is very different from a 5 star hotel or Michelin Star restaurant. Likewise, there can be significant differences in the offerings of a hospitality and catering consultant depending on their specialist sub-sector. Always ask which career areas they recruit for and for what types of establishments. They are unlikely to give you their full client list, however, they will be able to tell you things like 5 star, country house hotels and health spas, for example, as opposed to pub grub, fast food and bistros. Ask the Recruitment Consultant to share with you examples of their recent successes. You need to know that they are actively placing candidates into job roles regularly within your sector.

3. Size Doesn’t Matter

It would be easy to assume that the larger the agency, the more jobs they will have. Perhaps there may be some truth in that, however, when choosing a Recruitment Consultant, square footage won’t guarantee success. You only need one Consultant that has the drive and passion to help you into work who has an appropriate client base and the expertise to pitch you into roles. The larger the agency, may mean more jobs, but this in turn could mean more candidates and less individual attention for you. Don’t let the size (or indeed glossy office interiors) sway your decision when choosing a Recruitment Consultant.

4. Be Specific About What You Want

The mistake many candidates make when choosing a Recruitment Consultant is that they aren’t detailed enough in their requirements. Being vague, doesn’t give the recruiter enough to work with and can be frustrating for both parties. The recruiter simply won’t have enough information to match you with suitable job roles and you will end up wasting each others time. Talk to the recruiter and be really clear about your goals and aspirations. They are sure to offer you some advice and guidance, but don’t be sidetracked (unless you are being unrealistic!) A Recruitment Consultant worth their weight in gold will listen to what you want and make suggestions to enable you to explore all the options available to you. This is very different from you coming up with a wish list, them simply not being able to deliver and you being coerced into a career path that suits them. If they are a real expert, you will feel confident that any change of direction will be realistic and orchestrated with support from the Recruitment Consultant. If they can’t help you on your way to the job of your dreams, then it’s time to move on and find one who can.

5. Leader or Follower?

If this is your first experience of choosing a Recruitment Consultant, you may already have preconceived ideas as to how they operate or what the recruitment process will be like. Do a bit of investigating to establish whether your recruiter is a leader or a follower. Do they have a strong social media presence and appear to be well connected? You can find clues on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook pages. I don’t mean stalk them online – I definitely don’t mean that! What I do mean, is to look for evidence that they are on top of their game and not just reading CVs and talking on the phone. Do they have testimonials publicly available? What reputation do they have locally? Recruitment Consultants are essentially sales people, so aim to do some research to gain information, which could substantiate any claims.

6. Do you like them?

OK, so this sounds a tad obvious, but your relationship with your next Recruitment Consultant will be a close one if you are both working effectively together. It is imperative that you actually like the person that is trying to find you a job. Building a relationship of trust, integrity and professionalism is an absolute must, however, if your personalities don’t gel, the road you travel together won’t be such a comfortable ride.

7. CV or See Ya!

And finally… Don’t be brushed off by any Recruitment Consultants that are not prepared to speak with you or meet you face-to-face until you have emailed in your CV or filled out a registration form. YOU are the one that is deciding if they are suitable. You are a person – not a piece of paper. If they aren’t interested in what you have got to say, then find someone who will listen, and therefore be rewarded by the commission they will receive when they place you in your next role.

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