There are two types of recruiters in this world - the good ones and the cowboys.
It's hard to differentiate between the two because both types can look, dress, and smell the same. But there’s one important difference: where a good recruiter can make your career, an amateur can break it.
Ok, so aside from looking, dressing and smelling similar, there are some tell-tale signs to help you discern a kick-ass recruiter from a drop-kick.
Here are the 5 things good recruiters do (and the amateurs don't).
1. Good recruiters will meet you face to face
Good recruiters will want to meet you before they take things further because they're somewhat paranoid and think you're a catfish. Well, that's one reason, but there are some more reasons behind personal interviews.
Recruiters have deep insights of the companies they represent. When they meet you in person, they'll have a better understanding of your personality which will help them decide whether you'd be a good cultural fit for a company or not. You don't want to end up in the wrong company and think, "how on earth did I end up in this rut?".
Also, it's hard to decide whether you have the right skills and work experience just by looking at your CV. Especially for recruitment in the construction, planning and surveying industries, prepared to go through a lot of screening because good recruiters will only choose the cream of the crop candidates.
Think of it this way - if you get a job easily without much screening, you're probably dealing with a dodgy recruiter who's sending you to a dodgy company. Good luck.
2. Good recruiters will have in-depth knowledge of the industry
If you, as a client, are looking for a Civil Engineer and the recruiter doesn't know what risk identification and mitigation is, you're risking working with an amateur recruiter.
Good recruiters usually work with specific industries and have in-depth knowledge of it's terms, acronyms and skill sets. Amateur recruiters dabble into multiple industries, "jack of all trades, master of none", as the saying goes, whereas good recruiters stick to a particular industry and nail it.
Also, good recruiters have exceptional relationships with the best in the business and have access to those 90% of the jobs that don't even get advertised. In-depth industry knowledge along with close relationships with employers makes good recruiters outstanding matchmakers.
3. Good recruiters keep you updated
"Are we officially dating or what?" I asked my high school crush once, who then blocked me for being too needy.
If it’s been a few days since your interview with a prospective employer and you have to desperately email your recruiter, "Did you hear back from the employer? Did they like me?" then chances are -they’re an amateur. A good recruiter will metaphorically hold your hand through the process – they won’t leave you hanging and feeling needy.
Good recruiters understand your enthusiasm, keep you updated on progress and respond to queries. On the other hand, the amateurs only respond when the candidate gets a job. If the headhunting fails, they disappear, into the sunset, on the lame horse they rode in on.
4. Good recruiters respect your career goals
If you ever listen to Aretha Franklin, you'll know the value of respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
This is what a disrespectful conversation with a amateur recruiter looks like:
Amateur Recruiter: "Hi, we came across this new job opening you might be interested in. Project Engineer at ABC Construction Limited."
Candidate: "Sorry, but remember how I explained to you in that meeting that I’m only looking to leave my current role to advance to a Project Manager role?"
Amateur Recruiter: "Oh did you say that? I don’t remember but I don't think you're qualified for that. I think you should consider settling for this role."
Candidate: (Hangs up)
If you're ever involved in a conversation where the recruiter's trying to persuade you to accept a role that you're not really interested in and it makes you feel under-valued, hang up as soon as you can.
5. Good recruiters focus on long-term relationships, bad recruiters focus on one-night stands
This point would really resonate with you if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to hear the, "You're a great person, but just for hook-ups. I'm not ready for a relationship." line. Dun dun.
Bad recruiters dump your CV into the recruitment pipeline and only contact you if there's good news. Maybe they hate to be the bearers of bad news, or maybe they're just emotionless pimps.
Either way, it's no good for a candidate or a business. That's why a good recruiter walks the extra mile to ensure their clients and candidates achieve what they want.