What do recruiters actually do?


two recruiters working on laptops in the office space

Are you ready to hire a new employee in your business and want to know if recruiters can be helpful to you?

The first question you might want to be answered is…

What do recruiters do exactly?

Good question!

I know some of you will answer “as little as possible”. Whilst that is a tempting stereotype, we do have to acknowledge that there are recruiters out there who give the industry a bad name.

Undoubtedly, it is also true that there are business owners/hiring managers out there with recruiter horror stories. However, the reality is that most recruiters are diligent and hardworking and want to provide good service.

The best recruiters will do as much of the following as you would like them to…

  1. Talk to you about the person you need. This should go beyond skills and experience to personality / cultural fit. For small business owners in particular, you may realise you need a different person than you thought you did.
  2. Talk to you about where the market is for the sort of person you want and what kind of salary you should be offering.
  3. They will write a job ad that attracts the right kind of people to your role and publish where they will get the most traction. They will also resource the various job boards to find good candidates who may not currently be actively looking for a new job and present them with your opportunity.
  4. Provide an opportunity for a further opt-in to try and weed out the tyre kickers. This might take the form of a questionnaire to try and get to understand more about the candidate and what makes them tick. 
  5. Have initial conversations/interviews with as many people as possible to create a long list to present to you.
  6. Work in partnership with you to create a shortlist for interviews and arrange them.
  7. Help you with the interview process by providing a suitable structure, including interview questions or even in-person support if required.
  8. Offer the preferred candidate the role and negotiate all the salary details, start date, references, employment contracts, and probation periods.
  9. Provide an onboarding experience that makes the hire more likely to be successful for all.
  10. Stay in touch to ensure things continue to work well, help with probation reviews, etc.
  11. If things go wrong or break down entirely in the worst case, then offer a replacement hire (free or at significantly reduced cost).

Next time you are hiring for a new role, think carefully about what a recruiter might be able to do for you and how many of the services detailed above you want them to provide.

Check out our related reading:

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