Hiring the right candidate is a serious and often expensive endeavor. And, when you’re running your own recruitment agency or staffing firm in this tight labor market with an ever-changing economic landscape, it can be difficult to hire a recruiter who has all of the qualities needed for success.
The current recruiting trends have changed dramatically over time as well – there was once minimal variance among different firms; now, each one emphasizes certain attributes depending upon what they need from their recruiters at the moment: some specialize in placing nurses while others might focus more heavily on administrative positions within small businesses looking to downsize.
The best way to ensure quality hires? Ask interview questions that will help determine whether recruiters possess desirable skillsets without first assuming that they do.
Here are four questions to ask when hiring a recruiter:
1) What makes a recruiter great?
A great recruiter knows how to use their skills to find the best match for a job opening. Conversely, a recruiter who is not willing to go the extra mile–for example, by cold calling or networking with referrals–will struggle in their position regardless of whether that recruiter possesses other desirable qualities like strong work ethic and attention to detail. This question gives you an idea of how they will perform in their position because you know how they will measure their own success.
2) How do you pre-screen candidates?
This question is designed to determine how involved recruiters get into each stage of the process: interviewing, screening resumes or applications, and conducting reference calls. Then, ask them to share their process with you. It’s important that a recruiter is not only on board with your company’s process but that they are actively involved in each stage.
3) Tell me about the last deal you won and the last deal you lost.
When it comes to the business of recruiting: no recruiter is perfect all the time, and almost every recruiter will tell you stories of deals they’ve worked on that didn’t end up working out. Why? Many reasons, including uncontrollable things like the candidate, decided to take another offer or the hiring manager changing their mind at the last minute.
Asking for this information upfront gives you insight into how honest a recruiter is likely to be during discussions with candidates and clients and can give you some idea of what kind of sensitivity level you should have around your open. To hire a recruiter that’s a great fit for your agency, it’s important to understand how they’ve been successful and where they have failed. This way you can get a real-life view of their strengths and weaknesses as a recruiter.
4) What is your turnaround time from the date we submit candidates’ information until they are hired or committed to working with us directly?
When does the recruiter typically call, email or text you about their progress in filling your position(s)? How long does it take them to place a candidate once all interested parties have agreed upon terms of employment and both sides have signed a contract? Are there any exceptions to this rule during slower times of year for recruiting (e.g., late summer/early fall between high school and college graduation?) Ask how quickly you can expect results on a recruitment project so that you know whether or not they will be able to work within your company’s deadlines.
For example, if you need a position filled immediately, and it takes the recruiter 5 days to respond, and another 2 weeks to follow up with you about their progress in filling the position after contacting potential candidates, they could be expensive for a company on a strict deadline.
If possible, avoid placing restrictions on recruiter communication, as this can lead to recruiter frustration over not being able to contact you directly. To hire a recruiter, never force them to go through your HR department or other gatekeepers since it will only create barriers between them and prospective employees.