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Published: Mar 28, 2022 7 min read
Illustration of multiple clipboards with photos of potential job candidates with one of them reaching out and shaking hands with a recruiter
Martín Elfman for Money

At the time of hiring, every company is looking for the right candidate for the job. But finding someone that helps you discover those candidates is even more important. Let’s take a look at what job recruiters do, why it’s necessary, and what are the best methods to hire one.

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What is a recruiter and what do they do?

Job recruiters are experts at knowing how to find employees. They find and screen talent for potential hires, look through job applications to figure out if there are good candidates, and make the job search process easier by focusing on the particular traits, skills or previous job experience the open position requires. They work under the umbrella of human resources and can be part of an in-house team or outsourced to a recruiting agency or staffing agency.

Job recruiters work directly with potential candidates and as such are usually the first impression a candidate has of a company. Therefore, they are often fulfilling the dual role of brand ambassadors as well as headhunters. Recruiters are often the ones who negotiate offers with candidates, as well as informing them the position has been filled. In short, job recruiters connect qualified candidates with job openings that meet the candidate’s skill set and the company’s needs.

How to find a recruiter?

Online Directories

Directories are a good resource for companies looking to hire employees, as they are an easy way to get connected with qualified candidates. In the job recruiting market, some directories even cater to specific fields, such as medical recruiters or insurance recruiters. Whether the industry your company is a part of has one such directory or not, recruiter directories are an invaluable tool.

Social Media

The good thing about looking for a job recruiter is that the nature of their job means their presence in professional social media sites is probably a significant one. Social media websites focused on professionals like LinkedIn or Facebook’s collaboration with ZipRecruiter are a great place to find qualified candidates without the need for referrals. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated with the new opportunities you’re offering as well as detailing the types of jobs currently available.

Use Search Engines

Search engines are usually the first point of contact on any online query and are a great way to find job posting sites for employers. Google searches have the lion’s share of the search engine market and have dedicated job listings, which can come in handy to contact those headhunters actively looking for job openings. Job boards and job sites are other useful resources.

Tap your professional network

Your company’s internal human resources team is a great source of potential candidates, as professionals tend to be part of a network of people with similar skill sets. Reach out to your employees, who may already have someone in mind to fill out the new position, and incentivize suggesting qualified candidates by rewarding those who suggest candidates you eventually hire.

Why work with a recruiter?

  • Recruiters’ area of expertise is recognizing potential and early red flags in the hiring process, saving your time and effort to focus on your company’s other needs
  • Recruiters work directly with candidates to let them know what’s expected of them for the open position, serving as an intermediary to what can sometimes become an adversarial process
  • Recruiters equipped with the knowledge of what the open position requires can be laser-focused on finding the right candidate for it in a way that your company might not be able to accomplish without them
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How to find the right recruiter

Seek expertise in your industry

Not all recruiters are equipped with the same level of knowledge and some specialize in a specific industry, such as insurance recruiters, executive recruiters or medical recruiters. Many of these industries have membership associations with searchable online directories, such as the National Banking & Financial Services Network. Make sure to use all resources available to you to make sure your candidate is qualified and a member of one of these national associations if applicable.

When working with a client company, it is important to choose one that’s familiar with the industry your company is in. Using this or a hiring company could serve as a good alternative to directly hiring cold from a directory.

Evaluate their feedback about you

When talking to the right recruiter with experience in the job market, you may want to get their feedback on what you can do to make the recruitment and eventual onboarding process better. Whether it be a need for streamlining your job listings or just a different approach to interviews in general, you are in a unique position to take notes from and it would serve your company well to take their feedback.

This feedback could improve your search for a recruiter or hiring manager, even if the particular applicant that provided the feedback does not get the job. It also brings you the dual perspective of someone who is part of the job hunting experience from both sides.

Ask Questions

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but asking the right questions during the recruitment process can save you some time, especially when interviewing a wide range of job seekers. You can use their CV or cover letter as a reference to ask them relevant queries about their qualifications, experience or any other relevant information.

Other important questions to ask that might not be in a CV is asking them about their biggest recent accomplishment, what resources should be helpful to them that have not been discussed regarding the new job, and if they are familiar with using recruiting software such as job aggregators, applicant tracking systems or candidate relationship management software.

Make your expectations clear

It’s a good idea for a potential hire to be familiar with company culture and policy before joining full-time, as job seekers will want to know what is expected of them. When hiring a recruiter, it is even more important, as they will be the ones preparing job listings and representing your company to other hires in the future.

How to find a recruiter FAQ

How to reach out to a recruiter?

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You can either bring in a recruiter to work in-house as part of your HR department or you can outsource to recruiting or search firms. Either way, when contacting a recruiter for a potential job offer, be sure to use clear, professional language and include as much information about the position as possible. Studies have shown job postings with clear salary, level and skill set requirements get more responses from qualified candidates, so make that a priority.

What to ask a recruiter?

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Besides the traditional questions about relevant job experience and education, a job interview with a recruiter offers the employer a unique opportunity to flip the script and inquire as to what they would ask in an interview. This allows you to refine the interview process while also getting insight as to how this particular candidate would fit within the company culture you have established.

What makes a good recruiter?

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A good recruiter needs to be able to navigate the competitive terrain of the job market in order to recognize candidates that could be a good fit for the company for which they are a headhunter. As the representative of the company, a recruiter must be familiar with company culture and policy, as well as have constant communication with upper management to achieve company hiring goals.