What Makes a Good Recruiter?

Finding a recruiter you can trust to manage your career isn’t always easy. If you’ve ever been bombarded with recruiter spam on LinkedIn, you’ll know that there are some recruiters out there who give the industry a bad reputation.

But finding a great recruitment consultant to support you in your job search will be excellent for your career. With the right recruiter on your side, you’ll always know your worth, where you fit into the market and you’ll never have to trowel through job sites again.

6 signs you’re working with a great recruiter

Here are some of the signs of an exceptional recruitment consultant who has your best interests at heart.

1. They’re a good listener

You’d be hard-pressed to find a recruiter who isn’t a great talker, but are they doing a good job of listening to you?

If a recruiter calls you up and barely gives you a word in edgeways, this is a warning sign that you’re simply a recruitment fee-generator to them. They’re more interested in selling a job to you that’s already on their desk than taking the time to find a role that fits your specific requirements.

A good recruiter will ask questions, take time to talk through your CV and really listen to your needs and expectations for your next role. When they give you details on any jobs they have on that they think you could be a good fit for, they leave space for your thoughts and will never push you towards a role that doesn’t fit your requirements.

One way to check if a recruiter is really listening is to ask them to summarise your requirements back to you – there’s really no way of talking your way around that one!

2. They know your industry inside out

To ensure you’re getting the very best recruitment service available to you, you want to work with a recruiter who is a specialist in your industry.

So, if you work in financial services and you’re approached by a recruiter with a LinkedIn tagline that tells you they specialise in construction, don’t waste your time talking to them. This is a sign that they’re just looking for a quick fee to help them reach their monthly targets.

Think about it: If you were an employment lawyer, would you actively seek out clients going through divorce settlements? A good lawyer would refer these clients to a good family lawyer, and the same goes for recruitment. If the recruiter genuinely wants the best for your career, they’ll refer you to a recruitment specialist in your niche.

A great specialist recruiter will truly understand your niche, current market rates and the type of role and company you’d be best suited for. They know exactly how you fit into the current market and can comfortably suggest a clear career path to get you to the level you want to operate in now and also in the future.

3. They keep in touch

If you’ve ever been ghosted by a recruiter, you’ll know just how infuriating it can be. Let’s be clear: No decent recruiter would ever ignore a candidate, whether they’re successful in a role or not.

A good recruiter will speak to you regularly throughout the hiring process and provide continuous feedback. If a client is slow in providing feedback, they’ll communicate that back to you rather than hiding from your emails until you give up.

Before putting you forward for a role, they should clearly communicate the various stages of the recruitment process and the timescales they are working towards with the client so you know what to expect and when. If they give you no mention of timescales, this is a sign that they’re not close to the client and the employer might not even know who they are.

4. They give you honest feedback

Similarly, a good recruiter will pick up the phone to give you honest feedback, whether it’s good news or bad. Any recruiter who hides behind voicemails and emails instead of calling to give you comprehensive feedback is not worth a minute of your time.

A good recruiter knows how important it is to support you in overcoming objections and addressing any weaknesses that could be holding you back from interviews.

They will play the devil's advocate by asking you challenging questions about your goals to ensure your expectations are realistic. Don’t be surprised if at any point it sounds like they’re trying to talk you out of a role – this is simply a way of making sure you’re asking yourself the right questions and have covered all bases before putting you forward to a client.

5. They provide value outside of the hiring process

One sign that tells you you’re working with an exceptional recruiter is when they consistently provide you with value even when they don’t have jobs for you at that time.

Recruiters only get paid if you’re placed with one of their clients, so this is a sign that they genuinely care about building a relationship with you for the longer term.

So the next time you receive market intel from a recruiter in your inbox – or salary information, interview prep guidance, insights on new skills employers are looking for in candidates within your niche – you’ll know they’re not in it for a quick win.

This is all information they can provide that will give you competitive edge over other candidates in your niche.

6. They’re transparent

A good recruiter will paint the full picture of a role and company – even if this means information that could put some people off.

For example, if a recruiter tells you the last candidates didn’t pass probation because the role was more demanding than they expected, this is a sign that the recruiter has integrity and cares about giving you the full picture.

A recruiter who does this understands that it’s important you know what’s ahead of you. They won’t hesitate to tell you if your skills and experience don’t quite match a role – they focus on finding the right role for you.

They will know their client well and have the full details of the salary and benefits package, so use this opportunity to ask more questions from an honest third party.

At Lusona, we are a team of specialist professional services recruiters who keep these traits at the core of our practice.

If you’d like to speak to a specialist consultant in one of our recruitment specialisms, please get in touch and we’ll help you find the best path for your career.

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