Last month we promised you tips on how to handle a call from a recruiter. 

First of all, know that a recruiter could be inside a specific company and only knows of their opportunities. Usually, larger companies have the funds to employ their own internal team of recruiters. Or, they could be with an independent firm who’s been hired by the company to find candidates to fill their open positions. 

As we mentioned last month, it is key to work only with reputable recruiters. Here are some tips of what to look for if  you get called by a recruiter:

  1. Do they have a strong LinkedIn profile showing them as a recruiter, their history and their connections? That is the #1 place to confirm they are who they say they are.
  2. How long have they been in business? Do they have a history of working in your industry so that they can answer important questions and have a strong grasp of the position, the company, the market and more? 
  3. Do you share any connections who can speak to how they do business? Checking them out with peers is always recommended.
  4. If external, do they have a website? Does it share critical information on who they are and why they are qualified to work in your industry? 
  5. Ask how many placements they have done in the last year in your industry. Inquire what companies they have worked with over the years. 
  6. At what point will they release your information? A reputable recruiter will never send your name or information without your approval. This is especially sensitive if you are employed and don’t want to put your current job in jeopardy.    
  7. Is the recruiter internal or external? If external, do they work on a contingency or retained basis? This is important.  If a client is really only interested in kicking the tires, and not really serious about hiring, they probably won’t invest in a retained recruiter. Oftentimes, contingency recruiters may get frustrated and quit before the job is filled whereas a retained recruiter stays until the job is filled. 

Most importantly, understand that no reputable recruiter should ask you for money to represent them. They are hired by the employer to fill open positions.  They only need valid information from you if you are interested in their position and will give you their advice on how to approach the interview process as part of the process. Your name and reputation are crucial to your career and should only be trusted with solid recruiters.