Last week I posted a tweet titled "Two killer questions great recruiters ask every time" from Greg Savage at http://www.recruitingblogs.com. It talked about two important questions every recruiter should ask their clients.
Today I want to turn things around and look at things from the job seeker perspective. If you have been looking for a job, you have no doubt dealt with recruiters. Some are better than others. But what separates the good from the bad? There are many things, too numerous to get into here, but one thing a good recruiter has is information. Specifically the information from these two questions:How long have you been trying to fill this particular role and what steps have you taken so far to fill the position?”
If I found the perfect candidate this afternoon, could we get an offer by tomorrow morning?”
Ideally, the recruiter isn't taking projects where this information is not well defined, but some will take anything they can get - even the good ones. So you need to ask them:
How long has the position been open? How many people have they already made offers to? How many other recruiters have this posting? And the most important of all: how quickly are they looking to make a hiring decision?
While we recognize that jobs are still hard to come by, our recommendation is to know this information before committing to an interview. If you do decide to take an interview and your recruiter does not have this info, make sure you ask some form of these questions of the interviewer. And always find out from the recruiter what the format of the interview is. The last thing you want is to walk into a group interview while expecting to only talk with one person.
Good luck in your job search!