Be an asset not a resource & make your recruiter work for you

The relationship between recruiter and candidates is the key to success.

Have you had a call like this before?

“Hi James, it’s Dave from Joe Blogg’s recruitment. I wanted to speak to you about a role I have on that you would be great for..”
Followed by a generic 1 min job spec, then 5 minutes of questioning on colleagues and management at your current job.

What this call actually means:

  • I have searched recruitment on Monster and your CV has popped up along with 150 others that I am going to call
  • I need to send my client a load of CV’s and yours will do
  • I am being made to fulfill my call KPI’s
  • I can’t work with you but I will put you on the database
  • I am now going to call all of your colleagues with the same job spec
  • I want your bosses name and you’re my stepping stone to getting it

Now… how to respond to this call:

  • Think:
    • Why am I “great for this role” ? How do they know?
    • Maybe I want to leave this industry and become a chicken farmer!
  • As a recruiter myself, I will start a call with “how can we help each other?” Developing a relationship with your recruiter is key – Make sure you’re not just a number on their database, and don’t let them rush through your needs.
  • A 1 min generic job spec is not good enough, think about these questions:
    • Why is their client recruiting? When did they start recruiting? Is the company growing? Why would I be a good fit?
    • And, what are they looking for in a new employee?
    • A good recruiter will know this information, they would have developed the job specification with their client, a great consultant will have a list of names that their client wants to hire
    • What make you the right company to represent me? What is in it for me?
  •  Why do you want my colleagues names? I thought I was great for this role, not David sitting next to me?
  • That said, I will always ask a candidate to refer me, and have on many occasions asked my candidates to help me with jobs that they are not suitable for, but have friends that are.

Bringing us back to the importance of building a relationship with your recruiter.

Building that relationship

I cannot say this enough trust is key! As a recruiter I must be able to trust my candidate and it’s important that my candidate trusts me too. If I lie to you about a role – you won’t get it, equally, if you lie to me about your skills, then you won’t get the job!
As a job seeker it is important that you know exactly who your recruiter is speaking to on your behalf and why. Everyday I come across clients that have already been sent CV’s of my candidates and they have no idea!
Too many people in my industry are far to happy to edit and send your details to anyone they want, ultimately this is damaging to you and to your industry. It’s time for a change… A good working relationship is needed between recruiters and their candidates!
A recruiter should have your permission. If you are broadcast “willy nilly” it can make you look desperate – which is not a good position for negotiation.
Therefore, follow these best practices:

  • Keep a list of roles that your recruiter has spoken to you about
  • Inform your recruiter that you will provide written authority for your CV to be sent in every instance – and make sure you do so in a timely manner
  • Be honest about what roles you have applied for, or been invited to interview at. Your recruiter will in most cases will already know about the role and it will save not only the embarrassment of bulk applications, but will also save you from looking desperate


This is key – I can reel off many stories from a recruiters candidates turning up to interview in; shorts, facial piercings or in one case, missing an arm and 2 fingers (whilst interviewing for a brick layers job).  Meanwhile from a candidate’s prospective, I want to know that your committed to working with me to find my next and in most cases, final career move.
You wouldn’t buy a house without meeting your estate agent, or buy a car without meeting the seller, so why entrust your future career and family’s well-being to someone you have never met ?
We are changing the industry for the better, but we need your help:

  • If you’re missing a skill, tell us – and we will train you up after you start with our client
  • Meet us – it’s a free coffee
  • Keep us informed and we will do the same

Working TOGETHER for your future