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Top 10 Questions to Ask your Recruiter

By: Toby Marshall

Careers There are many, many questions you need to ask, to find a good recruiter. Ask them the hard questions. After all, these are the people who are going to find the individuals who will drive your organisation forward. Would you give that task to just anyone? Ask them:

1. Will you personally run the campaign? Or will you play SWITCH?

Often senior sales people are sent in to reel you in, and then the actual job is passed onto a junior member of staff.

You must meet the person who will be handling your assignment. The destiny of your organisation depends on this person. This person determines the fate of your search. The tone of their voice, choice of words, and level of commitment will all affect the quality of candidates you receive.

You donít want to be wooed by the best front man, only to be left with a blue-eyed two-dimensional MBA to pick up the pieces of your search. Donít allow a switch to take place (slick front man to wet behind the ears MBA).

2. How long have you been in the trenches (i.e. how long have they been consulting?)

Recruitment might seem easy, but it isnít. It takes a long time to learn well. It is fundamentally simple to describe its processes, and seems easy because so much is 'common sense'. But high level skills take time to develop: through practical experience of the hundreds of issues that can come up, and focused training. Turnover in the industry is very high, with many only staying in recruiting for less than a year. Make sure your recruiter is not one of these who have less than twelve months of experience, otherwise you may be paying for it dearly later.

3. What is your industry experience?

You need someone who regularly recruits in your field. The alternative is that they learn about it at your expense. Are they knowledgeable on market trends and remuneration advice? Up to speed on the technical aspects of your field? Ask which organisations and positions are the most likely sources for your particular need. Ask to see whom they have on file prior to beginning work on the Search, and the type of information they hold on them. Ask who their contacts are in your particular industry sector - good contacts provide two critical aspects - informal reference checks and opinions. Ask them to discuss the main strategic issues affecting your business and industry sector, and to give you an overview of the main competitors.

The best way by far to effectively assess expertise is to arrange to meet at short notice and address the questions above. It may seem tough - but you will be able to establish if they are starting with a broad base of understanding and information. Why would you want to waste your time training them, and add more risk into your recruitment?!

Ask them to be clear about what similar roles they have hired for, if they have experience in this area and who for. Also, when they most recently hired in this area? You need to be assured that they have current knowledge. Ask them if they can show you a list of similar roles - this one really sorts them out! Especially if you don't give them much notice. However, you cannot expect to keep the listÖ!

4. What salary range is right for this position?

This is a very powerful indicator of whether they know what is going on 'out there', in your field. Knowing the salary range will also help you define the type of person you are seeking more clearly.

5. Where will they look for the highest quality candidates?

Ask the recruiter what sort of organisations they will look in for your prime candidates. This question will further demonstrate the consultant's knowledge of your sector and is critical to the process.

6. Can they give you references?

Warning bells should ring loud and clear if you get fobbed off on this question. It is a real danger sign. You need to check all references carefully.

To get the rest of this free article and other free resources on this topic, visit http://www.abacusrecruit.com.au/library-of-articles/39-testimonial-article/94-hiring-a-recruiter.

Toby Marshall is an active speaker on the international conference circuit. His mission: To give all companies, no matter how few employees they have, the information and expert help they need to do their own recruitment and selection and find great new staff. You can get more resources at www.abacusrecruit.com.au
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