There are many approaches to working with recruiters, but only one real way that a fruitful relationship arises. Candidates are encouraged to form a partnership with their recruiter and recruitment agency, so that their unique placement needs can be fully understood. That’s why we’ll be explaining to you exact what the most efficient, effective approach to working with recruiters is. 

How to Work with Recruiters

The right recruitment agency is not a relationship that you should rush into. When you select the right recruiter, both the candidate and company hiring are rewarded with greater efficiency and quality of placement. From suitability to financial benefits, recruiters help. However, all too often, recruiters have a poor reputation due to underhanded practices in the industry. If you continue working with a random recruiter (or recruiters)  just because you were contacted at the right time, you will most likely continue to have bad experiences. Why are you working with a particular recruitment agency in the first place? Is it because they contacted you first? That's a bad reason! Refine your choice of recruiter, and you'll have far better results.

How Recruiters and Recruitment Agencies Get Paid

Recruiters charge a fixed percentile rate to find a suitable candidate to fill the current vacancy at a company. Recruitment costs vary but generally range between 20% and 30% of a candidate's first annual salary. Low recruitment fees are normally an early-warning sign of a recruiter who uses underhanded advertising practices to secure placements. With no reputation to uphold and no competitive professional pricing schedule, you can expect basic CV distribution and nothing more. You get what you pay for when it comes to recruitment fees. A good recruitment agency has both the monetary motivation to focus on the unique staffing concern, and there is the backing of accountability that guarantees stellar service.

Tips for Working with A Recruiter

Stay in touch with your recruiter - talk to us! The better we get to know you, and the more we grow in partnership, the better your placement potential. If you want a fruitful recruitment process, follow these tips, and you're bound for success:

  1. Amass Information - Demand more information about the company and the recruitment process.
  2. Company Impressions Are Important - Share your impression of the company. Speak about your likes, dislikes, and hopes.
  3. Discuss Your Interview - Tell us how your interview went, including all likes, dislikes, and concerns.
  4. Ask For Feedback - Ask us for the hiring manager’s feedback. It’ll give you specific ways to improve if things don’t work out.
  5. Never Send Your CV In An Editable Format - There is no reason that a recruiter will ever need an editable CV. If it happens, ask for an explanation regarding why they need a specific format (unless it’s PDF) always send your CV in PDF.
  6. Do Not Forward Your CV Before Knowing Exactly How It Will Be Used - You should probably not trust recruiters that tell you they have "x" number of positions within your field of expertise, giving you only general information about these opportunities. Chances are they will try to pitch companies using your CV and zero key information, which will most likely damage your reputation and impair your chances for career advancement. 
  7. Name And Shame - Let others know on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or any similar platforms. This is not an act of revenge by any means. However, it will warn your contacts about collaborating with that recruiter or the recruitment agency. 
  8. Stop Working With That Recruiter -  The general advice is if any of these bad practices occur, confront your recruiter and ask for an explanation. If they are unable to explain their behavior factually, stop working with them immediately. Moreover, since they are probably a good representation of the agency they are working for, do not work with that particular agency again.

How to Identify A Bad Recruiter Vs. Good Recruiter

Don't stay with a recruitment agency just because they were the first to work with you. Unless you picked the recruiter or received an in-depth well-researched proposition, it's unlikely that you're going to be getting anything more than basic service and often poor placement. Here are a few ways that you can identify a bad recruiter vs. a good recruiter if you're being contacted:

  1. Google The Recruitment Agency - Start with a simple Google search and see what you can find out about them on the first page of your search results.
  2. Profile The Recruiter On LinkedIn - Have a look at their LinkedIn profile and see what information they are listing. 
  3. Check For Blogs & Posts - See if they write a blog or if they are active on platforms like Medium, Twitter, Quora, Slack, or Reddit.
  4. Identify A Mutual Connection - Try to find a mutual connection, perhaps on LinkedIn, and ask them if they worked with that recruiter. If the answer is yes, find out what their experience was. How long have they been working at the company, and under what circumstances have they received your CV?

Warning Signs

If you find an extremely limited LinkedIn profile with little to no personal information at all or a Twitter account with nothing other than a stream of jobs tweeted, then this is a cause for concern - rather avoid the recruiter completely. While it is possible that honest individuals may be grouped under the same umbrella, this is an unfortunate consequence of spam and poor practice recruiting. Rather save your time and effort for recruiters who are involved in relevant activities and discussions that are transparent to the public. If your CV has been sent to a company without notifying you for permission, this is a bad recruitment firm. The same goes for interviews - each, and every interview must be set up with your prior approval after speaking to you about the prospect.

Do Enough Research & Look for Influential Recruiters

Research your potential recruiter and the agency candidates. Stay vigilant regarding what is happening with your CV and the current rules for recruitment agencies. Never work with a faceless recruiter who gives away no personal information, or one who has a limited online presence only. A genuine recruiter, in most cases, won’t be hiding their background details, photographs, customer experiences, and other pertinent information. The best recruiters are knowledgeable and known in their fields, with a strong online presence and frequent community engagement within their relative areas of expertise. 

Tips to Stop Recruitment Spam & LinkedIn Spam

One way of stopping poor recruitment practices is to recognize how the spammer obtains your details in the first place. Here are a few top tips to protect yourself from recruitment spam:

  1. Don’t Post Your Resume / CV “Out There” - Personal details in public places is an identify and spam risk.
  2. Keep Your Phone Number Off Your CV - Telephonic spam is just as prevalent as email, so keep your phone number off of your CV. 
  3. Get A Dedicated Email - Have a separate job-hunting email address. Don't mix them.
  4. Ignore Recruiter Emails With Bad Subject Lines - When checking your email address for job offers, don’t open emails with subject lines such as “Guru needed,” “Immediate interview,” “This position is just calling your name!” Unsolicited recruiter emails with spammy subject lines hoping to get a reply out of as little as one to two people out of ten generic emails. Don’t waste your time.
  5. Find Your Own Recruiter - If you want to move jobs quickly, research your own recruiter. Don't allow your emotional standing to force a hasty decision. Rather plan your exit, and pick your job transition wisely. Working with a good recruiter is the quickest way to find a placement. 
  6. Blind Interviews Are Bad Practice - If your CV has been sent to a company without your knowledge, this is a bad recruitment firm. You should make sure they have told you about this opportunity before any approach is made. No interviews are to be arranged without prior notification of the opportunity, and a request to present your details in the first place. 

Benefits of Working with A Recruiter 

There is seldom a comparison that can be made between not working with a recruitment professional over seeking out the services of a recruiter. The benefits of working with a recruiter include:

  1. Job Market Insights - A reliable recruiter will supply you with insights that are the product of devoted research and business networking, information that isn’t available elsewhere. 
  2. Career Goals Defined - Recruiters work with you to develop a framework for your career advancement, so that you always have the greatest job satisfaction, translating to a favorable image for the agency or recruiter. 
  3. Craft The Perfect CV - Ideally, every CV needs to be customized for the individual job application at hand. Working with an agency helps you refine a basic CV into something that will be noticed. 
  4. In-Depth Company Info - Without being armed with the right information, every job application is severely lacking. Your recruiter will give you up-to-date opinions and info concerning who you’ll be speaking to, what your role is, and how you would best fit into any current team setting. 
  5. Regular Feedback - Feedback is to be expected at all times, allowing you to align your career trajectory with your vision and goals for the future. Your recruiter liaises with hiring managers and other upper-level staff, which supplies you with a valuable source of context for your current or future job applications. 
  6. Better Offer Negotiations - Closing and negotiations can make or break. Working with a recruiter takes the pressure away while presenting you with all of your options from a clear point of view. There's no better way to secure yourself the best closing salary. 

Final Recruitment Notes

If you do one simple thing, the bar will inevitably be raised - avoid bad recruiters at all costs! As good recruiters receive more referrals, the market leaves less and less place for underhanded business practices and poor service delivery.  Almost all industry complaints are the result of recruiters who rely on value-based approaches to secure leads. Methodology whereby the agent doesn't even care if they've got your name right, let alone any other details.

Blind CV Submissions

The only time that you’ll ever have a hassle finding the right time to do an interview is if you’re put on the spot by a reckless recruiter who sent out your CV to a company without your knowledge. This also means that they don’t understand your needs, nor the needs of the hirer. Timing is never a problem when you work with a skilled recruiter, who evaluates every step of the hiring process with you as a partnership. 

Does the recrutier reveal the Company Name? Think Twice

A key way to identify that your recruiter doesn't really have your best interests at heart is to see whether they reveal the name of the company supplying potential placement. A bad recruiter will use your CV to approach the company, attaching a standard 'Terms and Conditions' agreement with an email. This approach is avoided by professional recruiters and headhunters. The name of the company they're representing is not revealed for confidentiality reasons. Doing so would, in most cases, be a breach of contract. Although it may seem counter intuitive, avoid interviews scheduled by recruiters presenting  "interesting jobs" randomly from named companies from the start. You'll find out the name of the company after the application is made, not before.

Recommendations Help Everyone

If you know of a good recruitment agency, recommend them actively! Recommendations help more than most expect, promoting the good work of dedicated, honest recruiters and their agencies, while at the same time supplying the crucial info needed to help your friends & colleagues develop their career. The right recruiter will work to understand your needs entirely, while not pushing you towards any particular direction or anything that may not be in your best interest. You should keep in mind that being contacted by a professional recruiter or headhunter should always be considered a positive hallmark of career development, your experience, and achievements. Most recruiters will aim to be professional and will introduce you to a host of career development opportunities that would be hard to find without help. With a good recruiter at your side, your interview with be the smoothest, most enjoyable hiring experience ever. Don't settle for substandard service, rather switch recruiters.

How to Get A Developer Job in Berlin: Appendix

Part 1: Job Preparation - What to do before applying

Part 2: How to Effectively Work With Recruiters

Part 3: CV Writing Tips for Developers

Part 4:Interview Tips: Everything You Need To Know

Part 5: Analyse a Job Offer: Accept or Reject?

Part 6Handing In Your Resignation

Looking for an Honest Recruiter? 

Part 2 Of Caissa's How To Get A Job Guide - How to Effectively Work With Recruiters