It is no secret that job seekers can have vastly different experiences working with recruiters. Some will tell you how valuable their recruiter was in helping them to get their job. Others will tell you horror stories about working with a bad recruiter and vowing never to do it again. What I have found is that most negative experiences could have been avoided by a simple explanation of services. So what sort of services should you expect from a quality recruiter?

  1. Job Details – When a recruiter calls to tell you about a job opportunity they should have a full understanding of the job requirements, salary range or hourly rate, location, and duration. In addition, they should be able to provide you with a written job spec. In some cases, a hiring manager does not supply a full description but just provides a series of notes to the recruiter. A good recruiter will be able to transcribe those notes into a job spec for your review.
  2. Interview Scheduling and Preparation – Your recruiter should take care of scheduling your interviews on a date/time that works for both you and the client. In addition, your recruiter should make sure that you are as prepared as possible to succeed. Do you need to bring certain materials with you like a portfolio, a writing sample, or a laptop? Will you be required to take a written test? What is the appropriate attire for the interview? Who will you be meeting with and what are their titles? Are there any “quirky” aspects of this client’s interviews that you should be prepared for? A good recruiter should provide answers to all of these questions before you interview.
  3. Communication/Feedback – Open lines of communication are key to any recruiter/candidate relationship. When you call or email your recruiter, you should expect a reply as soon as possible. When your recruiter gets feedback on your interview, good or bad, it should be communicated to you immediately. Please note, many hiring managers do not provide feedback promptly. While a good recruiter will make every effort to get feedback, sometimes it just doesn’t happen as quickly as most job seekers would like. Your recruiter should still keep in touch and let you know about the delay and keep you up on any changes with the position. Communication between a recruiter and candidate is a two-way street. If you have committed to be submitted for a position, you need to return calls and emails from your recruiter. We are working as an advocate on your behalf and need to be able to reach you. Also, feedback from candidates is crucial to our understanding of the inner workings of the client’s interview. Feedback from the person that interviewed before you is what helps us to prepare you better for your interview.
  4. Respect and Honesty – You are not going to be a fit for every position you apply to. It can sometimes be difficult for a recruiter to get that point across to someone who desperately wants or needs that job. Still, it is your recruiter’s responsibility to be honest with you. Just because you may not be right for one position does not mean you won’t be right for the next position that comes across your recruiter’s desk. Your recruiter should show you enough respect to deal with you in a professional manner when delivering good or bad news. You are asking your recruiter to help you get to the next step in your career. It’s not a responsibility that should be taken lightly. The very least you should expect from them is respect and honesty in every step of the process.

All Recruiters and Recruiting firms are not created equal. Some will deliver better results than others. Regardless of whether you ultimately get the position you are targeting, you should expect nothing less than your recruiter’s full effort and these basic responsibilities.