Did You Ask the Recruiter?

Question-mark1-450x251Did you ask the Recruiter? Been contacted by a recruiter lately? If you’re on LinkedIn chances are your inbox and voicemail is swimming with messages from recruiters. If you’ve taken the time to actually speak to one of us you may have noticed we ask a lot of questions. Here’s another one, are you asking the recruiter any questions?

There’s a few key questions you should be asking every recruiter when discussing a potential opportunity. A good recruiter will answer most of these without you having to ask. In case you don’t gather this info during the conversation I suggest you do some of the asking.


1. Have you worked with this client before? How long have you worked together?

This will give you a sense of how well they know their client. I’d recommend asking this one first as it will add some color to the questions to follow. If a recruiter has worked with a client a long time chances are they have a strong sense of what the client needs in terms of both skill set and cultural fit.


2. Why is the job available?

The answer you’re looking for is either a) recent promotion or b) new position. This means the company promotes from within or they are growing and can add new hires. Either way it’s a good sign. If the position is available because someone left the company or was let go, you need to do some more digging. This isn’t a red flag but gather as much insight as you can.


3. What’s the reporting structure?

This one is a little sneaky. If it’s a highly structured, corporate, environment you know you will likely be focused on one aspect of the process. If there are less layers employees probably wear a few hats. There’s no right or wrong answer just know the type of environment that’s right for you. Also, who are the cross functional departments?


4. Tell me about the company culture.

Don’t let this one go too easily with a generic answer. Get creative to get to the truth. Which companies do their employees come from most frequently? Similar companies tend to pull from one another. Is there a flexible start time? What’s the dress code? Does their company culture mirror that of their consumer?


5. What’s the compensation range?

You might not get a straight answer but it’s critical you know whether or not they’ve got the budget to bring you aboard. I typically ask candidate’s their current base salary and bonus structure. Then, if it’s on the low to middle end of the range I tell them that they would stand to see an increase if they made the move. You don’t to be in the range but at the very top end with no change of an increase. It’s okay to ask if you are on the high end of the range. Then, at least you know.


6. How long has the job been available?

This will tell you if there are potential concerns with either the company or the position. As a rule if a job has been open more than six months it might be a red flag. My next question would be why? There could be a reasonable explanation but you be the judge.


Remember, there are some questions your recruiter may not be able to answer. Distribution channels and five year marketing strategies might be more appropriate for hiring managers. But don’t be afraid to ask. You might be surprised at how much some of us actually know.


Are there other questions you typically ask?


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