Critical Questions for External Recruiters - dummies

Critical Questions for External Recruiters

By David E. Perry, Mark J. Haluska

In choosing an external recruiter, there are several key questions to ponder. You can pair these with a recruiter scorecard, using them in tandem to select the best recruiter for your firm.

  • Is the recruiter free to recruit from your direct competitors?
  • Does the recruiter understand the role you need to fill?

You can tell a lot about an external recruiter by the amount of due diligence she performs to define your requirements. The more, the better!

  • Will an experienced recruiter perform the search?
  • Does the recruiter have experience with similar recruiting projects?
  • Does the recruiter have a high success rate?
  • Does the recruiter offer a performance guarantee?
  • Will the recruiter represent your company in a satisfactory manner?
  • Will the recruiter be the one who makes initial contact with prospective candidates?
  • Does the recruiter understand what a typical search entails?
  • Can the recruiter articulate a well-conceived search strategy?
  • Has the recruiter ever had profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities?
  • Does the recruiter serve on any boards or committees related to your industry?
  • Does the recruiter’s domain expertise help you?
  • Is the recruiter located in the same geographic area as the position?
  • Can the recruiter devote adequate time to your search?

Recruiters who use a low-volume model will likely deliver the best results.

  • Will the recruiter work on your search until it’s successfully completed?

As you assess external recruiters, be realistic about the time and effort it will likely take to land your dream candidate.

  • Does the recruiter conduct business in an ethical manner?
  • Will the recruiter approach active and passive candidates with equal fervor?
  • Can the recruiter structure executive compensation packages?
  • Does the recruiter have experience relocating executives?
  • Is the recruiter willing to meet with all relevant stakeholders?
  • Can you see the recruiter becoming a true partner?
  • Is the recruiter objective?
  • Does your recruiter have a sensible process for checking references?
  • Will the recruiter provide you with highly detailed supplemental candidate information, such as a confidential candidate brief?