Complaining about recruiters is in vogue, whether you are hiring or looking for a job. Recruiters are an easy target for sure considering how easy it is to have a bad experience – most of us have had more bad experiences than good ones. Last week, I told you why I believe that hiring managers are to blame for recruiters getting away with mediocrity and encouraged you to fire your recruiter. If you continue signing their agreements, failing to do your homework when engaging a random firm and if you fail to terminate the contract as soon as you see a solid red flag, then the bottom-feeders of the recruitment world will continue to multiply! It’s their fault for being mediocre at best, but it’s your fault for paying them to continue to be mediocre. Mediocrity is a crime – please, don’t be an accomplice.

I cofounded Pronexia with the aim of changing the face of the industry. Yet, as long as companies continue engaging with the impostors of my field, little change can actually happen. Our clients expect a lot from us because we refuse to settle for mediocrity in everything that we do and I look forward to the day when all companiesstart demanding a lot more, thus forcing the rest of our “competitors” to clean up their act. We can all then focus on innovating, enforcing standards of excellence and ensuring impeccable experience for candidates and clients alike.

Complaining about bad recruiters is easy but what can you do to make sure your brand image doesn’t get tarnished by someone who cares purely about making a buck?

Interview them!

Yep, as simple as that. And when you do, don’t get carried away with a sales-y ‘pitch’ but rather look for hard facts to make sure that the person you allow to represent your company is qualified to do so.

Here are the questions to ask:

1. Where is your office located? The actual address is of little importance; the point is to ensure that you are not dealing with someone brokering CVs out of his/her’s mother’s basement working next to the washing machine with Dorito crumbs sprinkled on their chin. Your business is ultra-high-quality; wouldn’t you expect the same from your recruiter? Candidates introduced to you should go through a vigorous process that includes in-person interviews, so make sure to verify that it’s an obligatory part of the process. Feel free to ask to see the office too – anyone who takes pride in their work, would be happy to have you over to show you where the ‘magic’ happens. And if you come to my office, you will also get some vitamin C in the form of the best freshly-squeezed orange juice you’ve never had. Just saying!

2. What do you do to ensure a memorable and positive experience for your candidates? A prospective client asked us this question and I absolutely loved it! Finally – a client who actually cares about candidate experience and understands that first impressions are everything. If you are partnering up with a recruitment firm, isn’t it crucial to align their approach to job seekers with yours? Ask for concrete and tangible examples, not a long winded tirade that is as fluffy as it sounds and offers no specifics. If a recruiter has no way of explaining or justifying how well they treat (what could be) your future employees, they don’t deserve to work on behalf of your brand.

3. Why should I deal with you? Please don’t accept the answers of the “Why not?” variety (heard this one before and it baffled me). Again, you are likely to hear a lot of fluff, but probe for tangible examples – the unique points of differentiation, examples of innovation, anything tangible that can serve as proof that the person in front of you represents a company you want to be associated with yours.  Spoiler alert: if you accept bullshit answers from potential recruiters, the service you receive and the process as a whole will be of the same quality.

4. Name a few companies that you count among your “raving fans.” This came from a #GotCulture speaker I approached to partake in our conference. “Who are some of the companies you have worked with that are so blown away that, if I were to call them right now, would rave about you to me”? Take down the names and feel free to take it further and phone them up to validate. If these are companies that operate in your space, that share your values, then you are likely to be connected to them already.  We perform references on all potential employees – so why not perform references on potential business partners?

See how simple?

4 easy questions, yet I promise you that they will be effective in determining not just what firm will work hard for you, but which firm will bring you candidates that fit with your company, your culture, and whatever it is you’re trying to build in your industry. The goal is to have everyone on the same page on behalf of your brand.

Personally, I love prospective clients who grill me with questions for an hour+ in person to make sure that we align. Those are the ones who care about their employer brand and want to make sure they choose a recruitment partner who will handle it properly.

So do your homeworkthe equation is simpler than your high school math class:thoroughness + cultural alignment + investment – bullshit = high quality recruitment experience. A+ for your future employees, your business, and your brand.  Still want to encourage recruitment firms that deserve a big fat F? Didn’t think so. So go out there and get an A+.  Your business is not mediocre, so your partners shouldn’t be either.

Want a more detailed step-by-step guide to choosing a recruitment partner? Come to the event we are hosting on June 4th in Montreal:http://pronexia.com/en/gotculture/ & learn from one of our speakers discussing the topic in detail.

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone