Sunday, March 20, 2011

Interviewing the Seasoned Contract Recruiter Consultant

As the “jobless recovery” begins to transition to a hiring recovery, companies nationwide need to begin to plan for the need for more employees. This is the last in a series of four articles on deciding whether the company needs an additional corporate recruiter, support from contingent recruiters, or the more strategic support a seasoned (not $35/hr.) contract recruiter consultant provides.

In the previous two articles, we discussed the interview questions that companies may ask the corporate recruiter candidates and contingent recruiters (yes, you should interview them!). This article is focused on contract recruiter consultants.

A seasoned contract recruiter consultant has a minimum of 15 years of recruitment experience in a variety of companies. Why 15 years of experience? This demonstrates they have the knowledge and skills to survive a recession. Why a variety of companies? No one solution fits all situations. Therefore it is best that person has successfully experienced a number of corporate environments. How do you measure “successfully experienced”? If they have worked with a client more than once, that client was happy with their services. If they do not have a history of repeat business, that should be a flag for you.

Ask the contract recruiter consultant what industries they have recruited for. If they specialize in one industry and trumpet they have a rolodex of candidates in that industry, ask who their clients are. If their clients are your competitors, you will probably not receive resumes from those clients. If they forward candidates from those clients, they will also help create churn in your organization by recruiting out the new people in their rolodex from your company. Remember the premise behind behavioral interviewing?

Certainly you want to ask them about their most difficult assignment and probe why it was difficult. Ask them about their most interesting project and why? What impacts did they make on each project? Keep in mind that occasionally people inside of a company block potential impacts because they perceive the consultant is “making them look bad”. Those situations are not as satisfying for the consultant but they need to handle them.

This series of articles should help Salt Lake City companies make better choices on the type of recruiter they choose and the specific recruiter. You may reach me at if you have questions. works nationwide.