Is Your Recruiter is Really Working for You?

by EdgeLink on May 25, 2011 in IT Recruiters, Uncategorized


Target with Arrowsby Justin Brewington, Technical Recruiter – Direct-Hire Services


In our previous blog article, “How to Find a Good Recruiter: Six Useful Questions to Ask,” EdgeLink Technical Recruiter, John Kahlil Somera explained the process of identifying and qualifying a recruiter from a job seeker’s perspective.  I would like to expand on the topic by asking, “once you have found a great recruiter, what’s next?  How do you ensure your relationship is a productive one?”

First off, just like any other professional in the services industry, recruiters rank and prioritize their customers (clients and candidates).  It should go without saying that we appreciate customers who are polite, open, honest, respectful and responsive.  The foundation for productivity is built during the first conversation/meeting so make sure your first impression is a good one.

If you are ill-mannered, condescending, not forthright with information, or inconsiderate of a recruiter’s time, you immediately become a lower priority.  Like you, we too are busy balancing multiple priorities and have to focus our efforts on what will provide us the greatest chance for ROI and success.  I say “greatest chance” because (from a direct-hire perspective) EdgeLink, like a lot of agencies, is contingency-based; meaning we don’t get paid unless a successful hire is made.  Given the context, we unfortunately, can’t help everyone so we have to spend our time finding the most marketable candidates and focus our efforts on companies who view us as valued partners and offer us timely feedback.

That being said, do a great job of selling the recruiter on yourself/company.  For job seekers, if you make me believe, I will advocate for you to companies with no active openings and/or lend my personal network.  Make sure the recruiter is clear on everything you bring to the table but if you are not one of the most qualified, don’t take it personally.  In most cases the company pays the agency to deliver the most qualified people who meet strict parameters.  The service is free so you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.  For companies, if you make me believe, I will gladly call into your competitors, have a compelling story to tell, and be more effective at direct-recruiting.   Like Jerry Maguire says, “help me, help you.”

Good recruiters are well connected and influential people.  From Malcolm Gladwell’s, “TheTipping Point,” we are often times “connectors”, “mavens” and “salesman.” That is, “we help ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread like viruses.”  Take full advantage of the service and achieve the maximum potential by following the Do’s and Don’ts listed below:


For Job Seekers:


  1. Make sure your resume clearly spells out all of your relevant skills for a specific job/desired position
  2. Be friendly, open, honest, flexible and treat your recruiter with respect
  3. Track where you send your resume and make sure your recruiter knows exactly where you have already applied
  4. Communicate for your audience (i.e. if you are an engineer and the person you are speaking with is not technical, then speak at a high level.)
  5. Be clear on your expectations and express them openly
  6. Understand how your recruiter is compensated and what motivates him
  7. If your recruiter helps you, take the time to thank him or her. (send him a card, recommend her to colleagues  or take him out to lunch, etc.)


  1. Be rude, dishonest or hide things from the recruiter
  2. Say things like “I would never say that to a hiring manager or “I would never say that in an interview” – think of recruiters as the initial interview
  3. Call him/her all of the time – discuss appropriate follow up with the recruiter
  4. Let past frustrations or market conditions cause you to be negative
  5. Spend too much time talking about minute technical details or industry jargon the recruiter might be unfamiliar with
  6. Speak disrespectfully or condescendingly to the recruiter
  7. Go around him/her (contact company directly) or go dark (disappear with no communication)


For Clients:


  1. Meet with the recruiter, show him your office and introduce him to your team – the more familiar he is with your environment the better his ability to make a great match
  2. Sell the recruiter on what makes your company a desirable place to work
  3. Provide complete job descriptions and compensation information (salary range, bonus, benefits, stock etc.) – offering this information up-front will save everyone time in the long run
  4. Give timely and detailed feedback after reviewing resumes, conducting phone screens and interviewing candidates
  5. Be clear and open about your interviewing/hiring process and expectations
  6. Understand how your recruiter is compensated and what motivates him
  7. If your recruiter does a great job for you, thank him (send referrals, or recommend him to colleagues, send a card, etc.)


  1. Negotiate hard on a recruiter’s rate – a reduced fee is often times a lower priority
  2. Go dark (disappear without communication)
  3. Withhold feedback – feedback is critical for refining a search
  4. Circumvent the recruiter and contact the candidate directly
  5. Have a disorganized interview process and or stall on making a hiring decision
  6. Discredit a recruiter’s advice or recommendations – we know our candidates and the market
  7. Create and extend an offer without consulting your recruiter first


At the end of the day, good recruiters can be trusted business partners; we deserve your respect and appreciation;  we are helping people in the advancement of their careers and are delivering talent that helps companies meet both their short and long term initiatives.  If you take time to consider the tips I’ve shared, your next recruiter might just become your new best friend and work harder for you than ever before.