Who’s handling your job search? Choosing the right recruitment consultant

When it comes time to seek a new role, the possible avenues open to you can seem daunting, ranging from company websites, social media and networking through to job boards and recruitment agencies.
Most people will try a number of options, but if you decide to solely use a recruitment agency to save time and be provided with an overview of the marketplace, how can you be sure you’re dealing with a reputable and trusted consultant? By following the tips below you should be able to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff fairly quickly.

1. Are they able to help?

Arguably the first thing to establish is whether they are actually able to help you. To make sure you’re speaking to the right recruiter for you personally, before anything else you need to know whether they understand your market and the skills you possess. Taking the time at this stage to talk through your experience will save you disappointment in the long run. When having that initial conversation, make clear what it is you do as well as what it is you are looking to do (not always the same thing). You should then clarify whether this is an area the recruitment consultant is knowledgeable about and has experience in. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions regarding the types of roles they place and who they’ve worked with. If they are a reputable consultant, they should have no problems answering these questions satisfactorily.

2. Can they “sell” you to you?

So you’ve taken 10, 20, 30 minutes to speak to a recruitment consultant about your aspirations and job criteria, but has it all been a valuable use of time? Once you’ve covered the relevant ground and are happy that you’ve communicated everything you wanted to, make sure you take a minute or two to ask them to recap what you’ve discussed. Key things here include the locations you’ll consider, length of commute (whether you’re willing to work away), desired salary or contract rate, availability and any organisations you’d like them to approach, and likewise, perhaps those you’d prefer they didn’t.

Do you know the next steps?

So what happens next? Is the consultant going to approach a shortlist of relevant clients, only come to you with vacancies as they arise, conduct a marketing campaign or send your CV out to everyone under the sun? It’s important you discuss this with the consultant and agree on a course of action that suits your needs and the timeframe you’re working with. Reputable consultants will not send out your CV or personal details without prior consent but it’s always worth checking that first.

4. Recommendations

Finally, are you able to see recommendations? Most of us when looking for a service seek recommendations, whether that’s having work done in your house, getting the car fixed, finding a childminder or simply going out for a meal. Make sure you check recommendations of previous candidates the consultant has placed; most will have these easily available on their LinkedIn profile or company website. If not though, don’t be afraid to ask.
For those seeking new roles, I hope this helps you get the most out of your consultant, after all, they get paid for their service so make sure it’s a good one. For further advice with job hunting, and the latest health and social care roles, be sure to follow Wilson Grey on LinkedIn or join the group.