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4 questions a job applicant should ask their recruiter

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How can you be sure you're going to get good service from a recruiter before you send them your CV?

Most job applicants have, at one time or another, felt frustrated with recruiters. Maybe you’ve been let down because you didn’t hear back about an application, or they told you there was nothing available but when you look at their website there are roles advertised that seem just perfect for you.

So how do you avoid that disappointment? How can you know you’re going to get good service from a recruiter before you interact with them?

The first port of call is often to check their website, as many recruiters list their service standard there. Otherwise, here are four questions to ask a recruiter to make sure you’re going to get the kind of service you expect.

Do you respond to everyone?

Not only should recruiters keep the companies they represent in the loop but they should also have the integrity and respect to let you know your application status. Even a simple email or text message is better than no communication at all. Ask them how they will update you on your application.

Do you get my permission before sending my details to your clients?

All too often I hear of people like you and me whose CV has been ‘floated’ to a company without the individual’s permission. Do you really want your personal details sent anywhere? Who knows where they could end up?

What screening processes do you carry out to ensure this is a legitimate role?

At the minimum, the recruiter should be able to provide you with an outline of the role and an understanding of the salary and working conditions. They should complete a brief interview and ask about referees and your availability. Anything less and you may want to query if they have permission to work on the role, or are they just floating CVs in the hope of securing a placement. Trust me, this happens.

Do you get paid a commission?

We are definitely not against people making money for quality service, but commission-driven recruiters have a vested interest in making a placement  otherwise they won’t get their commission. This sometimes means the service they provide to unsuccessful candidates is not a high priority for them.

These are all very basic questions and every recruiter should be able to answer them straight off the cuff. They should not have to ‘um’ and ‘ah’ about their responses. If you don’t get the answers you are looking for, it’s probably time to find someone else to help you.

A final note

Remember though, that some recruiters can only assist people with experience, so take that into account when finding a recruiter you want to work with.