5 Tips for working with a Recruitment Consultant

A guide to building the two-way relationship

When you think of recruitment firms, what’s the first thing that springs to mind?

I’m putting myself at risk of being offended here – I know. Because, unfortunately, we’re often tarred with the same brush.

Years of badly managed recruitment firms trying to stuff round pegs into square holes has seen to that.

It’s due to experiencing this myself during my time as a marketer that I decided to set up my own recruitment firm. In doing so I’ve built a business based on the values that I believe make a strong and fruitful partnership.

But finding the right recruitment consultant – and then building a relationship with them – is very much a two-way task. Below I’ve listed the values you should look for when choosing a headhunter to work with, how to best work with them, and some of the benefits you can expect to see in return.

1. Grow your network in an instant

A good headhunter should be well connected in their industry niche. So, if you find someone you like but they don’t currently have a job online that matches your search, still speak to them. Once you’re on their radar you’ll be one of the first people they call when a job that matches your search and profile comes up. Often recruiters won’t even advertise a role because they know they can fill it from within their waiting network of candidates.

2. Invest your time – it’ll be worth it

Spend the time to have frank and informed discussions with your consultant. A good recruitment consultant will be someone who really asks questions that uncover much more about you as a person. They will look beyond your qualifications to understand what really makes you tick in the workplace, what culture you thrive best in, and what type of team and leader you respond well to. They should be looking at your long-term goals and give you advice on how this next stage of your journey will help get you there. It’s a worthwhile investment of your time, because it means the jobs they match you to will be right first time.

3. Valuable advice

Your consultant will be able to advise you on improving your CV, portfolio, interview and presentation skills, and even how to go about gaining any necessary qualifications. They should help you prepare for your interviews too. I work with a lot of senior candidates who might not have been in an interview situation for some time, and they are often the first to admit they that need support around how to build their CV, sell themselves and present themselves in an interview situation. And this advice is all for free, so make the most of it!

4. An open relationship

It’s important to be completely honest with your recruitment consultant. About the good and the bad. They can’t place you in the right role if you aren’t honest about your skills, and if you’re open about any weak areas from the start then they can work with you to help you strengthen them. Be honest about what else you are looking at and where you are in the process too. You don’t need to tell them the names of agencies or other recruitment firms – even though they may try to find out!

There is nothing worse than accepting an offer and then turning it down because you are hedging your bets… Believe me, it’s a small world and you never know when you’ll cross paths with that prospective employer again…and they may not give you a second chance.

5. Stay in touch

Even if you’re happy in your job, or you’ve recently been placed in your ideal role by your consultant, still take the time to keep in touch with them. Who knows when that next step up the ladder might become available, and your headhunter might observe that you’re ready to take that step even before you do…

To discuss your career aspirations or any job opportunities you can always give me a call. You can reach me on 01525 290 870 or drop me an email ( and I’ll call you back or tweet me @jo_wassell

Marc Salmon Home