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“How do you separate good recruiters from bad ones?”

“How do you separate good recruiters from bad ones?”
I recently spoke at a large meeting of engineers and was asked a question that stumped me for a few minutes. It made me think, and dig deep inside for an answer. “How do you separate good recruiters from bad ones?” Spending 30 years in the recruiting industry as a headhunter I have heard many horror stories from individuals about their experiences with recruiters.
Bad recruiters have a lack of trust with potential candidates. They always use that famous line “the client wants me to keep their name confidential.” No, recruiters are paranoid the candidate is going to run off and apply on their own which is a ridiculous assumption. I want my potential candidates to research the company so they can make an educated decision. Telling a potential candidate the name of my client company up front builds a relationship based on trust.
There are still some recruiting firms out there that try to strong arm candidates into taking an opportunity and requiring candidates to sign a contract to stay on the job for a year or pay a fee to the recruiting firm for leaving early. This is terrible, but it still exists. They won’t discuss contracts till you have mentally placed yourself in the new position and verbally accepted the opportunity, so now you are emotionally involved. If a recruiter presents you with a contract run away.
I loathe recruiters that do not follow-up, follow through, or do not provide closure. This is another key way to separate good recruiters from bad ones. I hate making the call to tell a candidate that a company will not be making them an offer. It is one of the worst parts of my job, but it happens and I do it. Recruiters that avoid you are not recruiters you want to work with.
A good recruiter will take the time to get to know you, and your value system. I tell my recruiters “God gave you two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you talk.” I hear so many times a story how a recruiter tries to force a candidate to look at a positon that is a bad fit based on a candidate’s priorities. A good recruiter wants to make sure you’re a right fit for their client. Repeat business is critical to a good recruiter.
A good recruiter will be honest with you. My number one goal when talking to people is building a relationship. Over the years I have made many friends that stared out as candidates for a position. One individual comes to mind that I have never placed, but we became friends. Sure I’m in this business to make money, and building relationships make it a whole lot easier. A good recruiter will get to know you the person.
Kevin Pierson, Owner
New Era Technical



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