5½ Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter


Not all recruiters are created equal.  There is no certification process for our wonderful profession – heck, a person with zero qualifications can hang a shingle and call themselves a recruiter.  Alternatively, a skilled and well-trained recruiter can bring you great value over the expanse of your career.  How do you tell the difference?

Here are five-and-a-half questions that we believe will give you great insight into any recruiter you are considering partnering with.


What is your philosophy of recruiting?

Hopefully, your potential recruiting partner will not start quoting Nietzsche.  By “philosophy”, what you’re really getting at is whether they are the kind of recruiter who merely “fills jobs” or is someone who values developing long-term relationships.  The best recruiters LISTEN to your big picture goals: where do you want to be in five years, a decade, and beyond?  Watch out for the transactional recruiter only focused on placing you in a job so they can collect a fee.  You deserve a true-professional supporting your ideal career path.


What is your success rate?

You will be surprised how many recruiters do not know their success rate.  In my opinion, not knowing your success rate as a recruiter is like a baseball pitcher who doesn’t know their ERA.  I sure would not want that pitcher on my team.

For comparison, over the past decade the annual success rate at Accountants One has never dropped below 90%.  Our data shows that the industry average is around 60%.  You deserve a recruiting partner with a strong track record of success.  After all, you do not want to wind up in the wrong job at the expense of poor recruiting practices.


What kind of placements do you usually make?

This is where you find out what a recruiter’s specialties are, the roles and businesses that seem to be their sweet spots.  The more specific they can be with these experiences, the better your chances of finding a recruiter who “majors” in your niche.

If you are an Accountant, you deserve a recruiter who specializes in Accounting and Finance, not a generalist, or worse, a recruiter who normally works in another industry.  Again, the ideal recruiting relationship should be beneficial for your entire career.  Having a specialist in your industry can be extremely helpful – not only for future job changes, but salary data, industry trends, and career coaching.


What does your client list look like?

Again, this is your opportunity to check for alignment.  If you are talking to a recruiter who works with all small companies, but your career path is in the Fortune 500, then you are misaligned.  Now, please note that confidentiality is incredibly important to a quality recruiter.  They may not be able to name drop without an NDA in place, but asking the question is important as you make the decision to align with a truly professional recruiter.


What do you like to do when you are not recruiting?

This may seem like the most off-the-wall question, but it may be the most important one. If you are in for the long haul with a recruiter, you really should like them.  When the phone rings, you WANT to talk to them, you WANT to schedule a catch-up lunch.

Choose someone who you truly connect with and feel comfortable being around.  You do not have to tell them your life story, but isn’t it nice when you can openly discuss common interests and swap stories with someone, rather than just “do business” and move on?

QUESTION #5 ½:  

Do you have a job that fits me today?

This question only gets a ½ because, frankly, it is not that important.  Remember, great recruiters work on multiple jobs every week.  What is the chance that you get the one job that a recruiter is working on at this precise moment in time?  Pretty low.

So much more important to build a relationship with someone who truly listens to your career goals and is capable of ethically and confidentially exploring career options with you.

Accountants One is here to answer your questions.  All of them…and we’ll have a few that help us learn about your career goals and philosophy as well. Feel free to call us at 770-395-6969 so we can discuss how we might partner with you on your career journey.

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