What to Expect From a Reputable Recruiter


While most agencies and recruiters maintain high integrity and squeaky clean reputations, staffing does have a seedy underbelly; at the fringes of our world lurk all manner of sharks and crooks, eager to make a quick buck by devouring the ill-advised.

Here are some things that, as a marketable candidate, you should expect of any decent recruiter looking to legitimately represent you. If you feel that he or she is lacking in any of the below areas, don’t be afraid to speak up and move on. This person is going to represent you to a company that you may end up working with for the next ten years, so don’t settle. Your time and reputation are too valuable to waste.

Four Things Job Seekers Should Expect From a Reputable Recruiter

A desire to know you.

Who are you? What are your short and long term goals? What unique features make you the best candidate for a particular job? These are some of the things a recruiter will be looking to figure out during your first conversation. We’re looking to build a long term relationship with you so it’s in our best interests to maximize your marketability; what better way than to discern the fine details?

If you feel like you’re working with a submittal mill that prioritizes quantity over quality, get out. Get out fast.

Legit job openings (all the time) and a relationship with the hiring manager (most of the time).

Although there will always be that “first req with a new client,” relationships and referrals make up the beating heart of staffing. It’s pretty easy to tell early on if your recruiter has any sort of established relationship with a manager. You
can feel this out by asking about frequency of placements with a particular company over the last year. You can ask for specifics about the interview process, typical feedback timeline or insight beyond what’s listed on the job description. The key is to be willing to ask.

More importantly, you should determine up front if your recruiter is an approved vendor for a particular job, or if the job actually exists. There are many – MANY – questionable recruiters out there who collect a bunch of resumes and then shotgun them at a manager or HR rep with whom they’ve never spoken. The manager or HR rep may not even have a real opening at the time. Yup, the first time a potential employer sees your name and resume might be at the top of this unsolicited, unwelcome slush pile. Way to make a first impression!shutterstock_229841482

Timely, detailed feedback or at least regular check-ins.

The reality is that managers, even those with whom we have a strong relationship, sometimes (or often) don’t provide helpful feedback following submittals or interviews. You deserve to be made aware of that; your recruiter should be checking in with you once a week or so just to let you know where you stand, and perhaps to provide insight into the situation (the hiring manager or key team members may have been out of the office and unable to respond to submittals, for example).

I have heard something along the lines of, “Wow, I can’t believe you really called me back to update me. I really appreciate that…recruiters never get back to me,” an astonishing and, frankly, unacceptable amount of times. When there is feedback (positive or negative), your recruiter should relay it to you promptly. A “no” will give you closure, and can be helpful to you if it comes with insight into what you can do differently on your next interview.

A desire to help increase your marketability.

It’s simple: if you don’t get placed, we don’t get paid. As mentioned, it’s absolutely in our best interests to make you as marketable as possible so that we can find the perfect job for you. If you’re a contractor, we want to find multiple jobs for you and keep you working.

A good recruiter will give you advice about your resume. If something is missing or looks off, he or she will give you advice on how you can make it better. Through either conversation or a value-added service like a recruiting blog, you’ll also be able to get general job search advice such as tips on how to keep track of jobs you’ve applied for (no reputable recruiter will ever want to double-submit you to a position you’ve already applied for or, worse, interviewed for), how to prepare for an upcoming interview, and how to optimize your social media presence and personal brand.


What are some other traits you look for in a strong recruiter? What makes you want to work with a particular recruiter? Let us know!

About Adam Barron

Adam supports EDI and IT professionals throughout the Midwest region of the US. As a recruiter with EDI Staffing since 2006, Adam has over 10 years of experience working with candidates to fill contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire positions, aiming to match each person’s unique goals with those of our clients. He is a frequent contributor to our blog, where he shares insight on industry topics such as marketability enhancement, resume improvement, interviewing and offer negotiation. Adam believes that strong relationships are key to the business and strives to connect with people, often keeping in touch long after a person has landed a job or interviewed with our clients.

Adam graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Prior to joining EDI Staffing, he worked as a Business Development Representative for its sister company, B2B Contact. Outside of the office, Adam loves to spend time with family and also enjoys writing, Boston sports, skiing, movies and board/video gaming.

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