How to Engage a Recruiter

Employers: How to Ensure You Get the Best Results from Your Recruitment Relationship

As most employers in the IT industry know, good talent is at the core of business success and longevity. In today’s candidate-short market, however, securing the right people can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Whilst engaging with a recruiter is an easy way to gain access to the best IT talent available, not all recruiter relationships are equal. To really get to the best talent on the market with minimum fuss and maximum speed, there are several important considerations that should inform how you choose and engage a recruiter, as well as how you maintain the ongoing relationship.

Although a good IT recruiter will always try to ensure you get the most out of the relationship, here are a few key actions you can take that will help.

Prior to Engaging with a Recruiter

The average technology hiring manager gets significant numbers of calls from IT recruiters looking to work with their teams, making it essential to know how to screen these calls in order to find the most suitable recruitment partner for your requirements. Take the time to ascertain their reputation in the market and whether they can demonstrate successful past performance in their specialisation by asking questions such as:

  • What’s your track record?
  • What areas of the market to do you specialise in?
  • How do you work/what’s your methodology?
  • How long have you been recruiting for?

If they seem credible, it may be worthwhile to set up a meeting and find out more about their culture, processes and their full range of offerings.  

It’s important to remember that a good recruiter will not solely focus on the role. As recruiter will consider a number of important factors at the outset to ascertain whether commercially it makes sense to spend time on a role, remembering in most cases recruiters only get paid when they get a result. Matters such as the hiring managers level of urgency, the marketability of the business and the availability of talent in the market are all determinant points. By understanding your organisation, your recruiter will be able to hone-in on the aspects of your requirement that they know will attract the best applicants.

When engaging with a recruiter, bear in mind that more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Generally, businesses should aim to have partnerships with three to five quality recruiters, rather than 20 they don’t know well, which would take up too much time and also not incentivise good recruiters to prioritise your requirements over more exclusive opportunities. In addition, clients should consider all methods of engagement, including working on a contingent, retained, exclusive or project basis. There may be an option that you hadn’t thought about, which could offer the right outcome, with less time involvement or even at a lower cost!

Tips for Working with a Recruiter Successfully

Getting the best possible outcome from your recruitment consultant begins with understanding the value provided and how you can partner with a recruiter in the process. Here are a few tips on working with a recruiter to keep in mind:

Be transparent

There is no doubt that honesty, integrity and openness are essential ingredients when it comes to your relationship with your recruiter. Be clear about the requirements and responsibilities of the vacant role, including salary expectations, and provide the consultant with information about the company, the team and projects as well as how they should market the organisation. This will allow them to fully utilise their expertise to identify the best talent for the role. In addition, if there are any issues or changes during the process, let them know straight away so contingencies can be put into place and no one is wasting their time.

Treat it as a two-way partnership

When an employer and an IT recruiter collaborate, it must be a win/win relationship, so it’s important to take an active role at each stage of the process. For example, giving the recruiter enough time to develop a solid understanding of the business will put you in good stead for success, as opposed to merely sending out a job description via email for a position. Investing your time and effort alongside the recruitment consultant will allow you to secure better talent, faster.

Move quickly

In a candidatedriven market, the speed of the hiring process will determine whether you’re able to secure the best talent or end up losing them to a competitor. Ensure you move steadily through each stage of the process, offer feedback quickly and conduct interviews in a timely fashion. This will keep candidates engaged and ensure you have the largest possible pool of talent to choose from.


Some of these points may seem obvious, however, throughout my 20-year recruitment career, I’ve observed many employers making their lives unnecessarily hard – and worse – missing out on the full benefits of working with a recruiter because they struggle to look through the commercial lens of a recruitment agency. The good news is that by understanding how to work with recruiters effectively, you will increase your chances of securing the technology talent your teams need to flourish. 

If you’re looking to fill the IT talent gaps in your business with the best Tech talent on the market, don’t hesitate to get in touch.