Checklist: How can I recognise a reputable recruitment firm?
Recruitment firms support companies in their professional search activities and take care of the advance screening in this process. The client (=the company) is thus only introduced to the best candidates and selects the candidate who will get the advertised position. But working together with a selected recruitment partner also makes sense for the candidate's career. Recruitment firms...
- ... often support candidates for many years and consult when the next step in their career is imminent.
- ... have good knowledge of the current situation in the jobs market.
- ... work very discreetly and give you an objective insight into the company.
- ... organise the application process to be as pleasant and transparent as possible.
There are other facts that make working with a recruitment consultant advisable. The question is simply, how can you recognise a reputable recruitment consultancy? In Germany alone, there are around 3000 recruitment consultants, many of them sole traders. Read on to find out what the difference is between reputable consultants and black sheep.
Checklist: 10 ways to recognise a reputable recruitment consultant
- The consultant identifies themselves. A contact person, for example in the job advertisement with accompanying contact details, is essential. Job adverts which do not mention a contact name should give you good reason to be skeptical. What does this company have to hide? Or is it the personal assistant who is responsible for the pre-screening here?
- Fast reaction time: Someone whose core competence is recruitment will be primarily focussed on communicating with candidates. If you have to wait three weeks for an answer to your email, then you can write off that recruitment consultant.
- Transparent application process: A good recruitment firm will value the "candidate experience" of their candidates. This also means that candidates should always know where they currently stand in the process.
- Experience: recruitment is a demanding service, which requires procedural expertise combined with sound instincts and social skills. You should therefore check how long the recruitment consultancy has been established in the market. Experience in placing candidates and years of client relationships make a good recruitment consultancy.
- Discretion: A recruitment consultant is often not allowed to disclose the name of the company. The more senior the position, the longer it will take for to be told the name of the client. However, it is important that the consultant is still able to provide you with good insight into the position and the company. Which brings us to the next point.
- Comprehensive information: a good recruitment consultant knows his clients and can therefore give you comprehensive information about the potential employer. He is well informed about the company, its values and structure, he can describe the advertised position as if he had done the job himself and has an instinct for whether you would feel professionally and personally at home in this company.
- Specialisation: there are no recruitment consultants who can know every single sector. Often recruitment consultants have therefore specialised in a certain area, where they also have their network of candidates and companies.
- Size: Many recruitment consultancies are sole traders. Take a look at the website or on XING / LinkedIn to see how big the recruitment firm is. The size does not of course allow an automatic conclusion regarding competence and quality, however as a rule larger recruitment firms will also have larger networks and job opportunities.
- Rating platforms: Check glassdoor.com or kununu.com – these employer rating platforms allow an authentic insight into numerous companies. Employees or indeed candidates report back on their experience and also rate the application process, for example for recruitment consultancies.
- Recommendations and word of mouth: nothing beats a personal recommendation. Good recruitment consultants often have a reputation in the sector. The consultant specializing in technology roles, or the consultant who recruits solely for high-value and exclusive roles.
If a recruitment consultant contacts you, you should ensure that you make clear that your documents cannot be forwarded to third parties without your consent (yes, those kinds of rogue traders do exist). It therefore makes no sense to send you CV to all sorts of recruitment consultancies, sit back and wait for the right job to be put forward. You need a good relationship to a recruitment consultant you trust, and who will represent you appropriately.
But don’t mistake your consultant for an employment agency. It is not a good strategy to approach a recruitment consultant with a request for placement, because the consultant’s client will always be the company.