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It is said that you cannot put the same shoe on every foot. What works in one situation does not necessarily work in all situations. I believe this is to be especially true when working with an executive recruiter. Over the years recruiters have been given a bad rap and like any other business relationship, great communication and trust must be evident on both sides. Nowadays, both small and large recruiting firms recognize the importance of providing good customer services to job seekers because of an over saturated and highly competitive marketplace. Gone are the days when lack of communication and follow through is acceptable; particularly when the ability to review one’s services are literally at a disgruntled candidate’s fingertips.

With there being over 20,000 staffing firms in the US, which does not account for the numerous independent recruiters, finding the right recruiter can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Here are a few clues to help you identify a recruiter that will assist you with a new career opportunity.

A recruiter is good if they…

1. … will manage your expectations well. They are not afraid to provide clear and concise information about what can be expected during the hiring process by walking you through as much of the hiring process as possible and its outcomes from the onset.

2. … will not make unrealistic demands. They will be mindful of your scheduling needs and will make suggestions that will help you become a better candidate.

3. … will keep you engaged. They will continually connect with you, provide updated information regarding your chances regarding a position, and will let you know you are still top of mind and/or priority for them.

4. … will politely correct you. As you develop a relationship with your recruiter or they sense you will heed their advice, they will correct any behaviors, negative mindsets or doubts you may have during the hiring process. They will point out any bad interview habits which could hinder your chances of successfully being placed.

5. … will want to understand you. They will not try to push you into a role that does not meet your needs or your skill set.

6. … will communicate with you. They will provide timely updates and find the best way to communicate with you based on your lifestyle..

7. … will have a good relationship with their client. Ideally, you want to work with a recruiter that has successfully placed candidates with the client you will be presented to. The more experience they have with their client, the more likely they understand their client’s needs. Plus, they will be able to give you the inside scoop on the company, its culture, and hiring manager.

8. … will not be afraid to fight for you. They will not come to you with a low-ball offer from their client. They will always speak up on your behalf and will know when or when not to push the client before presenting an offer..

9. … will not waste your time. A good recruiter will be upfront with you if you are not a good fit for their client. If you become out of process in the early hiring stages, keep an open mind, stay on good terms with the recruiter, and check in once a month to learn if a better position has come across the recruiter’s desk.

10. … will treat you like you are their only candidate. Here is where you have to be realistic. Most recruiters make a high volume number of calls on a daily basis and it is highly unlikely that you are the only candidate that a recruiter is working with. But, really good ones will answer their phone, respond to your emails, and text messages in a timely manner and make you feel as if you are always a priority.

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