This is the second installment by guest blogger Christopher Manning, a partner recruiter at Garrison & Sisson.
In my last post, I wrote about the reasons you might take a recruiter's cold call. The issue now is how to vet that person who might be playing a key role in directing your career.
With a few questions, you can determine the legitimacy of the call, the position purported to be available, and the qualifications of the recruiter.
Questions you should ask the recruiter:
1. How did you hear about the job you are calling me for?2. Has your recruiting firm been engaged on an exclusive or retained basis for this search?
3. Can you explain how this search relates to what's going on in the marketplace for this type of practice?
4. What precipitated this need? Is it a replacement search? If so, what happened?
5. How long has your firm been recruiting for this client?
6. Do you have a particular practice focus? Do you specialize in partner searches or associate searches?
Warning signs of an unskilled recruiter:
An unskilled recruiter not only wastes your time but could potentially undermine your reputation with firms that you might want to join. Remember, your recruiter is a reflection of you. Here are some red flags:
1. The recruiter tells you he/she was specifically asked to call you but after some investigation, you realize that is not true.
2. It is apparent the recruiter has never personally spoken with anyone associated with the employer.
3. The recruiter is unwilling or unable to assist you with generating/editing your materials, such as your resume, business plan, and other background information.
4. The recruiter focuses on speaking “at you” rather than listening to you.
5. The recruiter does not acknowledge your concerns but instead hastily attempts to overcome each of your objections.
6. The recruiter does not understand the nuances of your practice area.
7. Your firm biography is detailed, but the recruiter knows little to nothing about your background.
8. The recruiter mass emails generic information to “fish for candidates” and fails to provide substantive details about a position.
9. The recruiter is not able to provide you with essential information such as billing rates, billable hour expectations, ranges of compensation, etc.
10. Your gut tells you the recruiter is not playing straight with you and does not have your best interests in mind.
Get The Careerist in your morning email. Sign up today—see box on upper right corner.
Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? Email The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.