Saturday, March 19, 2011

Contingent Recruiter Interviews

What makes a great contingent recruiting firm? The recruiters and their practices. What makes poor recruiting firms? The recruiters and their practices. There are great, good, and poor contingent recruiters. I was a successful contingent recruiter for 12 years in the Washington, DC/Baltimore market. As a contract recruitment consultant, occasionally clients request that I use contingent firms to add to the candidate list.

Therefore I will suggest how growing firms can best pick contingent recruiters to help them staff their teams. How do you pick the recruiter to help you be more successful attracting and delivering the best qualified and the best fit candidate? It is important to interview contingent recruiters prior to selecting them to spend time recruiting for you.

How do poor contingent recruiters sell you on using their services? They say, “Oh just remember, you don’t pay unless you hire someone we send to you!” Does this sound like someone who will partner with you? Of course not…chances are that mindset will only result in wasting your time. Contingent recruiters who are the low cost providers must deal with lots of numbers in order to stay in business. Therefore they will spin your wheels with many unqualified candidates, hoping that one will stick. Hiring companies – is that what you want? Of course not!

How do the best contingent recruiters sell you on using their services? They take the time to build a relationship with your company, you, and your managers. In that process they develop the process to help you attract the best candidates for your firm. Their fee reflects the commitment they are making towards your success. In other words, they are not low cost providers.

If a recruiter tells you they specialize in your industry, ask “What companies in our industry are your clients?” That answer will tell you which companies are on their “don’t touch” list. If you receive a candidate from one of those companies, be very aware. That means they will mine your company.

Always ask for corporate references. Then ask the reference for their sense about the recruiter’s honesty and integrity. Was the candidate they introduced an impact performer? How many candidates have they successfully introduced to that company? How many left after the guarantee period?

Only after you are comfortable with the results decide to work with that recruiter.