When an independent recruiter gives you a call on a job how many times have you begun to ask the recruiter some vital questions to see how well THEY are positioned to get you the job? “What?” Yes, YOU need to ask them some questions, after all, who the heck is this recruiter (if they called you out of the blue). Why is this important? Because a recruiter that is truly a valued partner to the hiring manager (and Human Resource Department) is in a GREAT position to give you and your resume the edge in the interview process.

The “plugged in” recruiters opinion is valued and often their resume’s are almost always opened and reviewed over another recruiters; yes multiple outside contingency recruiters will often be called to fill the same open job, especially in this economy with so few jobs and so many recruiters! The difference between your resume getting “play time” with the hiring company or “no time” could be based on the strength of your recruiter!

If you are actively and aggressively looking for a new opportunity, then you are probably applying for posted positions and networking to find a new job. You are in a great position to also select the recruiter you would prefer to work with when you see an opening (vs. being called out of the blue by a nameless recruiter when you are NOT looking!). If you do not know how to identify and tie a hiring companies opening to the various recruiters working it, you should read my previous article, and you should also know from another earlier article that you NEVER apply to a hiring companies data dump!

So how does one determine if your Recruiter is Plugged In? Simply ask them the right questions:

7 Questions to Test the Recruiter:

1. Is this YOUR contract with the hiring company or are you working this as a split recruiter (if they are a SPLIT RECRUITER, they are one person removed from the hiring process…chances of getting the job from this recruiter are GREATLY reduced). If they say they are a split recruiter, don’t even BOTHER to ask the rest of the questions, because they are working behind the scenes with the recruiter who has the contract!

2. How long have you been working with this company?

3. How many people have you placed there and what type of positions?

4. How long have you worked with this hiring manager?

5. How many placements have you done with this manager?

6. Where do you send my resume (HR, the hiring manager or both?). Who makes the decision on who gets the phone interview: HR or the Hiring Manager? In other words, you are trying to determine who the first gate keeper IS and who conducts the first interview.

7. Do you have a relationship with the HR interviewer?

If you get answers that are not painting a good picture, you may just want to pass on this recruiter and use my earlier methods to find a BETTER Recruiter, because once you submit your resume or give permission for a recruiter to send your resume; YOU ARE COMMITTED to have that recruiter present you in the hiring process (hiring companies have a rule, first resume in by the recruiter, that candidate is owned by the FIRST submitting recruiter….regardless if you request a change!).

If you don't like the answers from your recruiter, take a pass; say you want to think about it, politely ask the recruiter for their website and LinkedIn Profile and tell them YOU will call them back if you are interested. Go immediately to both locations and check out their credentials and the level of sophistication presented by their on line profile. If they don’t have an online presence in this day and age, you have to ask yourself, “is this the type of recruiter I want representing me”?

Remember, if your Recruiter is not plugged into the job you want, you will be UNPLUGGED! Do your homework right from the beginning; don’t randomly let just ANY recruiter send your resume into a hiring company to represent you! You become a reflection of the recruiter who represents you so choose wisely.

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