5 questions to ask when meeting a recruiter

Build a relationship with two or three recruiters who specialise in your sector and skill set.

Find out if you and the job are a good fit before taking the next steps.

It’s a common misconception that the recruitment process is one-sided and favours the hirer more than the candidate.

While it’s true that recruiters are paid by the employer and so are there to serve a client’s interest, it’s equally important to remember that recruiters are trying to find the best candidate, so it's up to you to be that person.

“Recruiters generally only place around one in 10 candidates that they meet,” says Carrie Stoney, Senior Conslutant at Hudson Global Resources in Melbourne, Australia.

“It is a tough market and opportunities are rare, so it is important to build a relationship with two or three recruiters who specialise in your sector and skill set.”

What are the best questions to ask when meeting a recruiter about a new role? Below are five that will give you a good idea if a job is appropriate for you or not.

What salary range is the employer willing to consider?

This is probably the most important question of all. Candidates don’t want to discover that the salary offered is significantly below what is expected. Find out early and decide whether to proceed with the job interview process.

“Find out salary details prior to meeting with us [a recruiter]," says Stoney. "If there is an issue, it needs to be raised then. I am more than happy to answer any questions people have, even if they might think they seem silly. Better now than in front of the client.”

How much experience does the employer seek?

Some hiring managers are adamant about the number of years' experience they need to see on a resume before they will conduct an interview, and a good recruiter will have discussed this with her client. Asking upfront will give an indication as to whether a candidate is a good fit for the role or not, and whether the resume will be sent to the company.

What areas of experience are relevant?

It’s not always about the number of years of experience a candidate has in an industry that counts; sometimes the role demands a very specific area of expertise. Find out what that is before going any further.

“When you get to the interview stage with us, you will most likely know the company the role is with and specific requirements or offerings such as salary, location, et cetera,” says Stoney.

“It is important for us to see that you have done your research and now is the time to flag any issues or raise any questions so there are no surprises when we put you in front of the client.”

What are the three most important things the employer is looking for in a candidate?

If the recruiter can’t tell you this, alarms bells should be ringing. If they’ve had a proper brief with the hiring manager, they should be well versed in the requirements.

Would the employer reconsider the position description and salary if a candidate could bring additional skills and experience to the role?

This is a good question, and definitely one to raise early on in the job interview process. If the recruiter has been in contact with the employer about this question on the candidate’s behalf and the response is positive, this could be a great point to discuss in an interview.

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December 2021
December 2021

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