In part one of this two-part recruitment series, PASA outlined how to choose the right recruitment agency for your organisation.
For many job-hunters, working with a recruiter can be a matter of concern. Some bad apples have given recruitment agencies a reputation amongst job candidates for being unreliable, untrustworthy, and disloyal.
But for every bad recruiter out there, there will be several who are capable of landing you your dream role – you just need to know what to look for.
1. They ask questions about what you want
There’s no denying that a recruiter’s number-one priority is to find a suitable candidate for their client (and your prospective employer). After all, it’s the client that pays their salary, not you. However, the best recruiters won’t exclusively focus on their clients’ demands. They know that if you’re not happy in a new role you won’t stay put for long, and that impacts the success of the placement.
You know you’ve found a good recruiter when they make an effort to understand your expectations and career aspirations, ask lots of questions, and actively listen to (and act on) your responses so they can provide a personalised service. For example, you don’t want to work with a recruiter who puts you forward for a role offering $20k below your salary expectation.
2. You like them
When it comes to finding a recruiter, it’s worth trusting your instincts. When you like a recruiter and get along well, you’ll find it easier to work together and they’ll better understand your expectations
If you’re struggling to build a rapport with your recruiter, the chances are that they will feel the same way and won’t deliver the service you deserve.
3. They understand procurement
A recruiter will be much more adept at finding roles that work well for you – in terms of compensation, seniority, level of spend managed, etc. – if they understand the procurement profession.
Shop around to find a recruitment agency with experience in placing procurement and supply chain professionals. These agencies are more likely to be able to negotiate you a salary increase and a more senior position, because they will be familiar with a typical career trajectory within your industry.
A recruiter who seems unsure about the work you do and the relevance of your former experience, or appears to have little-to-no understanding of your “procurement jargon”, probably isn’t the right fit for you.
4. They give feedback
A good recruiter is committed to selling the best version of you to their clients, which means offering feedback and advice on your application. When meeting recruiters, find out if they are happy to work through your application together, including your CV and cover letter.
Some agencies offer workshops or courses on how to write a successful job application, which are often free of charge.
5. They’re experienced
You want to work with a recruitment agency that has a good track record for successful placements and happy candidates. This is something you should be particularly wary of when a recruiter approaches you on social media about a role. When this happens, don’t hesitate to ask the recruiter important questions such as the history they have with this client, how many positions they’ve filled in the past year, and their attrition rate. You have no obligation to send across your CV to a recruiter before you feel comfortable working with them.
Take the time to do your research, read reviews online, and find out what other candidates are saying about working with this recruitment agency.