How can job seekers tell if a job recruiter sucks?

Recently I recieved a question on linkedin from a friend.  His question was, “How are recruiters evaluated on the interview performance, or rate of hire, of the applicants they select for interviews? Is this tracked in any organizations?”

This is a very interesting question.  Recruiters have made a good living in the recession.  It’s been helpful for people to find a guide and have someone coach them up before an interview.  I know how good it feels to have others on your team in a time of uncertainty.

Many recruiters are execptionally good and very professional, but I bet there are a few job seekers who have less than choice words for their experience with job recruiters.

I don’t claim to have an opinion on recruiters because I know the idea behind the profession is help and there is nothing wrong with helping people accomplish their goals.  I bet if many recruiters could do their job for free, they would but unfortunately, good deeds don’t pay rent or put food on the table.

So my question now turns to recruiters, what ways can job seekers know you’re crediable, reliable and sincere in helping their job search?

Is there an organization you’re apart of that shows a certain level of credibility?

Do you have a win-loss record on file or even in your own personal records?

What warning signs of quality can a job seeker use to know if a recruiter is right for them?

I hope to get some answers from recruiters because, this is everyone’s reputation, not simply that of the good or bad.

If you don’t want a recruiter and plan to use your own method to land a job read the article:

How to Land More Interviews In a Bad Economy

If you’re interested in asking me a question directly, please feel free:

Ask the Career Doctor a Job Search Question


6 Responses to How can job seekers tell if a job recruiter sucks?

  1. Tomilyn Richards says:

    What a great post…and so many great questions. Yes there are great Recruiters out there…and then equally there are recruiters that aren’t so great.

    I would say a lot has to do with how they were trained, How many trial and errors they have had…and what their long term motivations are for Relationship building.

    I was very lucky to have some exceptional Mentors and Trainers in my life of recruiting. And I was always told…better to have a client for life…then make a dollar and have them walk away.

    Doing what is right…doesn’t always end up with $$.

    Our job as a Recruiter is to match up the best candidates with the best clients in the market. It doesn’t always work magically…but for the most part it should if we are doing our job right.

    In 12 years as a Recruiter…I could count on one hand how many times one of my placements did not work out. And I don’t have regrets for them…sometimes you have to consider the fact that people are people and they can surprise you!!!

    There really isn’t an Organization that I have ever belonged to that would show credibility…I would say my references would speak louder to that.

    Win/Loss records…that is a tough one…I do track my sendout to placement ratio. (How many people I submit to interview…versus how many get the job) Additionally, I track Fill Ratio(How many jobs I take on versus How many I fill)…to make sure I am representing the right companies and jobs.

    Warning signs….hard to pin point this all the time. The most important is, if you don’t feel comfortable…or you don’t feel the Recruiter is being honest, SAY SO! Be open with your Recruiter…tell them you don’t feel comfortable and you need to figure out a way to work through it. If the Recruiter is resistant to that statement or comment…I would be careful. The Recruiter is a Coach…just as much as a representation of you. They should be walking you through the interview process…regardless if you already know how. they should be telling you what you don’t know and can’t find on your own about the client you are interviewing with so you are well prepared to interview.

    Tip to all Job Seekers. Don’t ever hold anything back from your recruiter. Be honest and upfront in the beginning. If something doesn’t feel right…say so. If you are interviewing other places…say so. The most difficult job of a Recruiter…is assuming they know whats going on.

    Hope this helps!

  2. daceV says:

    What an easy question. The best example of a bad recruiter was several I had at Robert Half. Phone goes well. 2nd tech call goes well. Then they invite you to the office. This is where the communication subleties scream for attention.
    > first – evil eye scan of you from head to toes
    > have you sit (looking for confidence)
    > start talking about the company and not the position
    > start tlaking about how many years they have been pimping (you never hear who was sales dog for the month)
    > then a handshake, and we’ll keep you on file (file 13 you mean)

    Do not waste your time unless you are 25. Looks are everything, credentials mean little, experience less.

  3. John Bunting says:

    I actually had a terrible recruiter experience with a recruiter from a firm in Los Angeles about 2 years ago. This gentleman spent the first 10 minutes of our conversation bragging about how he went surfing in Hawaii and lived on a multi-million dollar yacht. Like I cared where he lived or what his fascination was with meeting his maker through sharks. Anyway, he hadn’t even read my resume and I could hear the paper rustling on the phone when he was talking to me and fumbling through the pages. The ironic part was that he was the owner of the recruiting company and the original recruiter who had spoken to me from the same company was light years better. I pitied him that he had to work for such a self-righteous moron.

  4. SKrebs says:

    I believe that LinkedIn is a great resource to verify the credibility of a recruiter. Do they have a lot of connections, how many recommendations do they have, what do the recommendations say about their quality or success….etc, etc.

    • ilostmyjob says:

      Linkedin is a great resource. If you’re looking for a job, use it as your starting place. A profile & the right searches will help you develop your network quickly & efficiently.

  5. Karen F. says:

    These days with any service-oriented position, clients are looking for providers who care, who are consistent and who provide the best value for service. There are recruiters out there with stellar reputations and some whose idea of customer service is to make sure they have a user-friendly answering service. 😛 Job seekers who decide to go down this route have to evaluate such services with the same watchful eye as they do with any other provider, since they are paying for the service. Lots of research is needed before they decide to part with their money. On the other hand, I think a lot of recruiters these days are doing their best to ensure the quality of their services and accrediting their operations. Good people are hard to find, and they often have the connections you need to be matched to the right job with the right benefits.

    Karen, The Resume Chick

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