How To Work With A Professional Recruiter – Effectively!


Every day astute professionals leverage their recruiter’s network to find exceptional opportunities they otherwise would have never known about. Headhunters put forth hours of work to uncover those opportunities, and often exceed their candidate’s expectations while solving their client’s business problem(s). There is very essential groundwork that must be laid before these perfect scenarios play out, however. Serious candidates can maximize their recruiter’s efforts by focusing some attention on a few areas of that process. Communicating clearly, setting expectations, and remaining transparent throughout, are three critical areas that should not be overlooked.

Clear Communication by far is the most important. In many cases, the initial meeting between candidate and recruiter is to identify what the candidate is looking for in their next role. Being as specific as possible with your criteria is key. Industry, company size, position title, target salary, and work arrangement are all examples you should consider. If you see a job online that you’re interested in pursuing, send it to your recruiter, as you may be able to leverage their network and get a warm introduction. Also, provide thoughtful feedback when roles are presented. This will help sharpen your recruiter’s focus as they continue to be on the lookout for new opportunities for you. Always be considerate of your recruiter’s time and be responsive to their communication as well.

Setting Expectations will always increase your odds of a successful search. Let your recruiter know what your timeline is for making a move. Perhaps you’re passive but willing to move in two weeks for the right reason. Maybe you’re locked into a retention plan until a future date but would like to establish a relationship now. Also, commit to speaking with a company if the criteria you shared have been met. Avoid moving the goal post or shying away from engagement at the last second. Establish the lowest acceptable salary for yourself. Your recruiter is incentivized to maximize your compensation, but they also need to know what they should keep you in mind for.

Be Transparent with your current situation and intent. The unspoken truth is many candidates use other opportunities as leverage to better their current situation without seriously considering a new role. Be forthright with the potential for a counteroffer, any pending bonuses or retention plans, and other opportunities being pursued. Ethical dilemmas aside, being up front with your recruiter about true intent will foster rapport and relationships thus keeping you in consideration for an even better opportunity in the future.

At The CSP Group, we strive to better understand our candidates’ career goals and make a conscientious effort to match them with fulfilling opportunities. Following a few simple principles helps our mission to create successful, everlasting, mutually beneficial partnerships with everyone in our pipeline.

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