Once your job hunt gains momentum, you will start getting lots of calls from agency recruiters.
Some of them will be happy to have a quick phone chat before forwarding your CV to vacancies.
But others will want to meet with you first.
In an ideal world you could meet them all, but with limited time in your busy schedule you have to be selective.
Sometimes meeting a recruiter can be the start of a great working relationship and lead to numerous job interviews.
But sometimes it can be a complete waste of your time
So how do you decide whether it’s worth meeting a recruiter or not?
As an ex-recruiter myself, I can give you a few tips to help you judge each recruiter on their own merits and make an informed decision.
Find out if they are reputable
A good recruiter from a reputable agency should have plenty of online proof to back up their status.
- Check the agency’s website – Take a good look around their site and look for signals of their reputation. Is it a professional looking website? Do they work with well-known clients? Do they advertise plenty of relevant jobs?
- Look the recruiter up on LinkedIn – Find the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile and look for signs that they are trusted in the industry. Do they have lots of relevant connections? Do they have many recommendations from previous candidates?
- Check the company’s social profiles – Take a look on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Do they actively engage in industry discussions? Or is their wall full of candidate complaints?
Ask for details of their vacancies
If you’re going to take time out of your day to meet a recruiter, then you should make sure that they have real vacancies that are suitable for you.
Sometimes less-professional recruiters may attempt to charm you into interviewing for some of their less-desirable jobs – don’t let that happen to you.
- Who is the client? – If a recruiter cannot tell you this, I would be extremely doubtful of them
- Where is the role located? – You don’t want to spend half a day meeting a recruiter, only to find out that the vacancy in question comes with a 5 hour commute.
- Do you have a job description? – Recruiters will not always have a job description for every vacancy because clients don’t always provide them – but if they do have one, it’s a great sign that this client is very serious about hiring somebody.
- What is the salary? – If you’re going to make the effort of meeting a recruiter, then they really should be able to give you an idea of salary for the role.
After running the above checks, you are satisfied that the recruiter is reputable and has good vacancies to speak to you about – then you should definitely find the time to meet up with them.
Forming strong relationships with good reputable recruiters will open the door to lots of potential job opportunities for you.
When you do meet a recruiter…
When you do decide to meet a recruiter, make sure you approach it with the same seriousness that you would an interview with an employer.
Too many candidates make the mistake of thinking that meeting a recruiter isn’t important – so they turn up late, don’t dress smartly and aren’t prepared… This won’t do you any favours
The recruiter will assume that your approach to your meeting with them, will reflect the way you approach job interviews. So if you aren’t professional, they won’t risk putting you forward to interviews with their clients.
Yes, a recruiter meeting will be less-formal than an employer interviewer, but you still need to make a good impression if you want your CV to go forward to that employer.
So make the effort to impress when you meet any recruiter.
For more information on interview preparation, check out my Ultimate Interview Preparation Guide.