With so many firms of recruitment consultants out there offering so many different services, specialisms, locations etc; it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack for any hiring company trying to choose who they should partner with.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right recruitment consultant to work with:


Have they worked in your sector or recruited into the discipline before? Yes, recruitment is a process that can be adapted to many different types of vacancies but at the end of the day if a recruiter has done a similar job well for someone else then it’s a far bet they can do it again for. Go with experience.


Can they get to meet you? Being local can help but I don’t think it’s an absolute requirement. I’m based in Northern England and have worked with clients across the length and breadth of the UK. More importantly, is the recruiter willing to leave their comfy office to meet you where you work and get a feel for the brief face-to-face? Go with commitment.


Are they well networked? Let’s face it, if the recruitment process was only about responding to job advert applications then you could jolly well do it yourself with a bit of advertising budget and some time to filter CVs. The best recruiters add an extra dimension to the recruitment process through the value of their networks. A recruiter without an established network is just a salesman hoping you’ll buy off him/her. Go with the connected.


Do they have the tools to do the job? It might sound a bit silly but it’s worth asking if they do in fact have a good database system, IT infrastructure, mobile technology, Skype, access to enhanced Linkedin licenses, job board accounts etc. You want to be working with the recruiters who have the right tools and not the ones “winging it” with a little black book and fax machine. Go with the professional.

Forward Thinking

Do they get Social Media (aka Social Recruiting)? Online networks such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook etc are becoming more and more important in the continuing search for and engagement with talent. Any recruiter not able to get their head around how these routes to market work won’t be seeing the whole picture. Go with the forward thinking.


Do they get your culture? Even a recruiter with 6 months experience can play CV snap and match a CV to a job description. It’s not hard. The better recruiters, the ones you want to work with, explore what it means to be an employee in your company in more ways than just what the day-to-day duties are. Go with the inquisitive.

Value Add

Can they add value and can they justify their fees? If you’re going to buy in a service it needs to be able to save you time or money or both. A recruiter’s proposed services should meet these requirements and stand-out as ways in which they add value to the recruiting process … if they don’t then why are you using them? Can the recruiters you’re talking to offer anything more than just producing a handful of CVs like a bunch of flowers whipped out of a magician’s sleeve – Ta- Daaaa! Go with value-add.

So to re-cap look for Experience, Commitment, Connections, Professionalism, Forward-thinking, Curiosity, Added-Value 

Photo credit: cartoon by Nick. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.