Like any other profession, there are good recruiters and those that might be better served by choosing another occupation. Recruiting is all about relationships and knowing how to use the latest tools to efficiently place talented candidates with clients – all while navigating good economic markets and bad. As a hiring manager, finding the best recruiter for the job isn’t always easy when your company’s reputation is on the line. Asking a recruiter the following interview questions will help ensure that your hiring decision is a smart one.
What was your relationship like with your last hiring manager?
Again, being a successful recruiter relies on relationships, including those they’ve had in the past – or still maintain – with fellow hiring managers. Your recruiter must be a vested partner in the candidate search process rather than someone who checks in when it’s convenient for them.
Ask each recruiter to describe two or three working relationships they’ve cultivated with other hiring managers and how they handle recruiting issues when they arise. Listen attentively for “red flags,” for instance, speaking unprofessionally about a client or blaming others when a placement opportunity didn’t pan out.
Find a headhunter that is confident in their abilities yet humble enough to admit mistakes they might have made in the past and learning opportunities that ultimately made them better at their job.
How do you treat candidates who don’t get the job?
Most recruiters earn cash incentives and bonuses based on how many requisitions they close, and how fast they close them. That sometimes causes recruiters to neglect candidates who are not otherwise qualified for a specific job while focusing all their efforts on those who have moved forward in the hiring process.
Unfortunately, this “favored candidate” approach to recruiting can tarnish your company’s reputation in the process, and possibly even the relationships you have with clients or customers. Top-tier recruiters offer all applicants the same level of professionalism and support, including those who might not currently have what it takes to proceed to the next phase of the job search process.
When compiling a list of interview questions for a recruiter position, how they treat candidates who don’t get a job is one of the most important ones you’ll need to know.
How do you use data to help you recruit?
In today’s digital world, another essential quality of a good recruiter is being tech-savvy. “Cream of the crop” recruiters take advantage of the latest data management and communication tools to better serve you. As a trial run, use a platform like LinkedIn to contact a potential recruiter and ask them some basic questions to see how quickly they respond.
Once you’ve gotten their attention, schedule a phone or video interview during which you ask them to describe two specific recent examples of how they’ve used recruiting data to enhance the hiring process. Any reputable recruiter will be able to cite several examples, along with how they adjusted their recruitment approach accordingly to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
How are you building your personal brand?
Merely sending out blanket emails or posting on professional job boards isn’t always a sure-fire way to attract top talent to your company or organization. Successful recruiters must build and cultivate ongoing relationships with talented candidates using today’s digital technology; a quality that makes it easier to source openings later.
For example, do they utilize social media and professional platforms such as LinkedIn to market their brand to a wide range of prospects – ones that might help your brand be more successful in the future? Even though some hot prospects don’t use social media for one reason or another, a recruiter that takes full advantage of digital technology to market their brand will probably do the same for yours.
How do you measure the quality of a hire?
Before you ask a recruiter this question, bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answer. That’s because there doesn’t seem to be a consensus from industry to industry as to what constitutes the definition of a “quality hire.”
However, most employers will agree that quality of hire is by far the most essential metric in the recruitment process. As a result, a strong recruiter must have a firm grasp of – and be able to effectively share insight about – how to measure and define this key metric.
Once you ask a recruiter this question, their response will reveal much about their level of commitment and “real-world” expertise while addressing the biggest challenge facing today’s hiring managers.
When a top candidate rejected a job offer, what did you learn from the situation?
All seasoned recruiters have a story about the “big fish that got away.” If a recruiter tells you differently, they’re probably not being truthful. Rather than letting a negative experience bring them down, a top-notch recruiter will devise a strategy to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
They will spend time analyzing why the candidate turned down the offer and what they can improve on so that next time the placement process will play out according to their game plan. Any recruiter that admits their recruiting mistakes during an interview will give you valuable insight into their character and what it would be like to work with them.
What is your stick rate for new hires?
Although recruiters are often tasked with filling multiple openings quickly, speed and efficiency
won’t matter if the new hire quits within the first few months. Look for a recruiter that doesn’t feel rushed to fill a requisition even on short notice. Instead, choose one that has your best interests at heart while emphasizing the need to find plenty of qualified prospects who are also the right fit for your company’s culture and workplace environment.
How would you position our company to attract candidates?
Top-quality candidates are often simultaneously pursued by multiple employers. As a result, you’ll also need to know how a recruiter can help your company gain a decided recruiting advantage while attracting the attention of a pool of qualified prospects. Any recruiter worth their salt should be able to relay specific facts about your company and why it would be a great fit for new hires to work compared to similar companies in the same industry.
What role, if any, does social media play in your recruitment process?
Better recruiters are always seeking ways to gain the upper hand while representing the interests of their clients, including the latest recruitment tools. Social media is an effective-yet-inexpensive tool that can provide you as an employer with a major recruiting advantage.
A prospect’s public social media profile is an easy way for a recruiter to assess their likes, dislikes, and professional aspirations. Recruiters can also scour social media pages to learn about a candidate’s skills, experience, and interest in relocating to a given geographic location.
As a precaution, trying to screen candidates via social media on your own can be a double-edged sword. Be careful not to violate any ethical codes or place yourself at risk for legal ramifications. In most cases, it’s best to leave this recruitment tool up to the experts.
What media do you consume to stay atop of the recruiting industry?
Because recruitment is a fast-paced, rapidly changing industry, good recruiters are often the first to deploy newer tools and methods to stay informed. Podcasts, blogs, social media, industry publications, and newsletters are all popular information sources for top-level recruiters. Find out which ones the recruiter uses and why before agreeing to retain their services.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a recruiter?
Passionate, positive people are contagious in any line of work. Ask recruiters that you are interviewing why they got into the profession and what they like most about doing their job. As they are responding, read their verbal and nonverbal cues to determine their true level of enthusiasm and dedication in the event something doesn’t go exactly as planned during the placement process.
Conversely, any recruiter that is simply “phoning it in” every day to collect a paycheck is probably someone you should avoid.
Questions to Ask After the Initial Interview
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to two or three viable recruiters, here are some additional questions to ask each one so that your final decision will be more rewarding:
About how many candidates did you communicate with for your last job order? Tell me about your process in narrowing them down.
Successful recruiters maintain a deep talent pool that they can “dip” into as client needs and market forces change. They also have the capabilities to screen vast numbers of prospects and recommend the best ones so that you don’t have to waste your valuable time sifting through stacks of dead-end resumes.
As a valued resource in the placement process, a reputable recruiter can even anticipate a client’s changing needs based on market factors and economic trends. They must also possess good communication skills and be available on nights and weekends – within reason – to provide clients and candidates with updates.
Describe a time when you were unable to make a job placement? Why? Did you need to restart the process? Did you leave on bad terms with your client?
Recruitment is a highly competitive industry. Sometimes, even the best recruiters have a bad day and are unable to place someone with a client. Rather than wallow in self-pity, top-tier recruiters learn from their mistakes and adjust their strategies accordingly so that it won’t happen again.
In some situations, it may be beneficial to start the process over from the beginning to ensure that everyone’s objectives get met. Any recruiter who’s committed to making it a career also understands the value of cultivating long-term partnerships and will do everything in their power to ensure that their client relationships remain strong – even if it means admitting fault.
Are your clients happy with the candidates you are able to source? Was there ever a time when a long-term client no longer wanted your services?
Good recruiters also take the time to periodically follow up with their clients after the placement process is over. That allows them to gage how effective their services are and if they need to fine-tune anything. For example, it might be necessary to change their screening interview techniques in lockstep with changes within an industry.
Sometimes, even the best recruiter can lose a client or two due to factors out of their control. On the other hand, you should probably cross any recruiting firm that’s lost multiple long-term clients within a short amount off your list.
When you need to tell candidates they didn’t get the job, what do they say? Do you remain on good terms with them?
Prestigious jobs attract multiple prospects – but only one will get hired. A reputable recruiter is someone who’s considerate of the non-placed candidates’ feelings and able to break the bad news gently and constructively to them. How candidates respond to that news is a powerful reflection of how they feel about the recruiter. As a result, that candidate will be more likely to remain on good terms with the recruiter and work with them on future placements.
How the Legal Recruiter Directory Can Help
As an employer or candidate, finding a talented recruiter to work with can be challenging. No matter what role you find yourself playing, seamlessly navigating the talent acquisition process takes planning, patience, and perseverance. At Deep Footprint, the agency responsible for the Legal Recruiter Directory, our specialty is results-driven digital marketing solutions for legal headhunters, law firms, and legal placement firms.
Assisting those we serve to realize higher client engagement and conversion rates is something
we’re excellent at. The Legal Recruiter Directory also provide a variety of online support that lets legal recruiters place talented active or passive attorney candidates with law firms and corporations in a timely and efficient manner. To learn more about our services, contact one of our marketing specialists today.