Looking to Join a Recruiting Firm? Ask These 6 Questions First

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Recruiting is a rewarding and profitable career choice, and joining the right recruiting firm can bring you a lifetime of opportunities and success. On the other hand, working for the wrong recruiting firm can quickly derail your career and severely damage your earning potential.

If you’re on the hunt for a new recruiting firm to join, you have to carefully research your options to ensure you are making the right choice. As you consider your options, keep these six key questions in the front of your mind:

1. What Are the Firm’s Core Values and Principles?

One of the first things you should ask any recruiting firm is: “What core values or principles do you follow?”

The best firms take the time to think through the values and principles that guide their business practices, and they make sure to share those values and principles with current and prospective recruiters to ensure they are on board with the company way. By laying out core values up front, a company lets you know how it operates, how its members work with one another, and how it expects employees and partners to behave. You can also use these values and principles to understand whether you are a good fit for the company.

2. What Is the Firm’s Reputation?

Before you join a recruiting firm, you need to do your due diligence. That includes researching the company’s reputation.

Start by Googling the firm. What is its online presence like? Have current and past recruiters posted reviews about the company on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and other jobs boards? If so, what do those reviews say about the company?

Have candidates or clients who have worked with the firm posted reviews on Google or elsewhere? What do those reviews say? Has anyone listed any issues with the firm on the Better Business Bureau’s website?

You can dig even further by checking your LinkedIn contacts. See if you are you connected with anyone who has worked at or with the firm, or if any of your connections know someone who has. Ask your connection to introduce you to their connection. Use the opportunity to ask candid questions of someone who has firsthand knowledge of how the firm works.

For more expert recruiting insights, check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine:

3. What Kind of Training Does the Firm Offer?

This is where the rubber hits the road. The recruiting firms that produce the best results typically invest in strong training programs to bring new recruiters up to speed quickly on all the tools at their disposal and ways to grow their revenue streams. Ask any prospective firms what their training is like. Key questions include:

  1. How long does the training program run?
  2. Who manages the training program?
  3. What results do new partners typically see from the training program in their first six months?
  4. Does the firm offer ongoing development beyond new recruiter training?

4. What Tools Does the Firm Supply to New Partners?

As with training, it is critical to join a recruiting firm that invests in the right tools for its partners. Does each partner get a LinkedIn Recruiter license? What advertising assistance does the firm supply? Does the firm have contracts with Glassdoor, Indeed, CareerBuilder, or other job boards? What additional sourcing tools does the firm provide?

The tools a firm supplies to its recruiters can make a dramatic difference to your bottom line. Before you go in, know exactly what level of support you can expect.

5. What Are the Firm’s Key Differentiators in the Market?

Does the recruiting firm stand out from the competition? If so, what are the key differentiating factors that make this firm better than its competitors?

Consider also how the firm aligns with your own specialty. Is this a go-to recruiting firm for candidates and companies in your niche? Why or why not?

6. Does the Firm Have a Strong Growth Plan?

Ask any firm you are considering about its growth plan for the next year, the next three years, and even the next five years. You want to be part of a firm that is looking ahead and planning for both its own future and yours.

Make sure that your specialty is a key part of the firm’s growth plan and that it is invested in building on its success in that niche. Ask about the marketing strategy and budget to grow the firm.

Asking these questions of any recruiting agency you consider joining will place you in a stronger position to make the best decision for your career as a recruiter. Recruiting is not an easy path, but with personal drive and the backing of the right firm, it can be a highly rewarding and prosperous career choice.

Scott Gaba is the chief operating officer at Goodwin Recruiting.

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