SUMMARY: Executive recruiters usually have a love hate relationship with HR people. Like any industry, there are executive recruiters who are excellent, but all too often there are recruiters who pretend to be a candidate’s best friend to get a resume, but as soon as the person is no longer a candidate they are dropped like a bad habit.
I have dealt with some excellent recruiters, but for every one that was really great there were five that were horrible. They approach you and ask about your background, try and sell you on an open position and if the client feels you’re not a good match you never hear from them again.
On the HR side recruiters often are needed to fill open positions, but the line between becoming an asset and an annoyance quickly blurs as they submit candidates.
A good recruiter will ask not only for a position description, but will also ask “what does it take to succeed in this job?”. They will want to know about the company culture and the hiring manager to try and find a good fit.
On the candidate, they should spend a lot of time talking with the person. Their goal is to find out about the candidate beyond the resume to determine if he/she is worth presenting. Some recruiters spend one or two hours on the phone with a potential candidate and that’s it. These are the people that just want to place people to get a fee. They are to be avoided at all costs.
How do you find good people to fill open roles? Seek them out online and ask other people. They are the ones on LinkedIn who talk about their work interests. They often mentor or help others and they could be mentioned in trade magazines, although you have to beware of people who use the trade media as a self promotional platform.
Recruiters can help fill a void, but it’s often hard to find a really good recruiter. Candidates have horror stories about recruiters and more and more are shying away from recruiters email or calls.