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Tips for recruiters on how to conduct your job search

Recently, I’ve come across a number of experienced agency recruiters who have forgotten how to conduct their own job search.

Here are my tops tips:

1. Remember, it’s a small market. As you know, once you are working in the recruitment industry, it’s a small market and directors or managers in a recruitment firm have probably worked at two or three different recruitment firms throughout their career so will probably know your manager or other people currently working in your recruitment firm. They may ask for a soft reference or off the record reference about you. So don’t lie about your experience. No need to bad mouth your previous employer but be mindful that you don’t know which recruiters in the market we know. 

2. Billings and achievements. Yes, you will get asked about this in an interview or maybe even an informal chat so be ready to explain how much you billed year to date, what you did in the previous quarter and how many placements that worked out to be. Giving information on the level and type of role as well as the type of client you have worked with is really helpful. As for achievements, this would be details about how many new clients you have brought on board, if you achieved employee of the quarter or maybe was a buddy to a new joiner. 

3. Ask questions. In order for you to make sure that this might be an opportunity you want to explore, you need to ask questions. Here’s a few to get you started:
- What is the company turnover like?
- What plans for future growth does the company have?
- How much do your top performers make?
- What would you expect someone with my level of experience to bill in my first year?
- Would I have some existing clients to work with or would it be a cold desk?

4. Be polite and follow up after a meeting. After the meeting, if you have decided that the recruitment firm isn’t right for you, be polite and say thanks to the person for their time and mention you are not interested at this time but keen to keep in touch. Again, as you well know, turnover in recruitment is high and this person you met, might be a future manager or director in your current company or next firm. You want to leave them with a good impression about you.

Lastly, here are my do’s and dont’s!


  • Be well presented – just as you would be in going to meet a client. First impressions count!
  • Try to research about the recruitment firm before having a meeting if you have never heard of the firm before
  • Shake hands firmly and maintain eye contact, be alert and interested. Even if you are not interested in this opportunity, the interviewer might be able to introduce you to another recruitment firm that would better fit what you are looking for. 
  • Know your CV and be ready to explain any gaps, reasons for leaving jobs as well as if your billings haven’t been what you would like due to factors beyond your control (new management and change of sector)
  • Be honest about other interviews that you have had and what you really want. We would rather be as open and transparent with each other during the early stages of the interview process rather than waste each other’s time. 



  • Lie about your billings or recruitment firms that you have worked at before. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is consistent with your CV that you send for review.
  • Talk negatively about past employers and/or swear. No offensive language needed no matter how informally you think the meeting is. 



  • Apr 20, 2017
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Morgan McKinley

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