ASK the Recruiter: Everything you’ve always wanted to know…but didn’t ask

ASK the Recruiter: Everything you’ve always wanted to know…but didn’t ask

ASK the Recruiter: Common Recruiter Mysteries Revealed

This is the beginning of a series of blog posts based on questions asked to us by candidates. Some are common questions that we hear on a regular basis, but some are unique to specific circumstances.

If you have a question that you’ve always wanted answered, please email and we’ll do our best to answer it in a future blog post.


Q: Were you really “referred” to me by someone?

A: Sometimes no, and sometimes yes. Let me explain. There are many ruses that Recruiters have been taught through the years and that is just one of them. The purpose, as many Recruiters have been trained to believe, is that you’re making the person you’re calling feel important and special that someone thought of them. It’s seen as an ice breaker and if someone was truly referred to you for anything, you’d want to give them respect. Thus, that’s why some Recruiters stick to it. The downside, is that it’s lying. No good relationships start off with a lie and seasoned/reputable Recruiters know that.

However, there are times when we are indeed referred to you. Think about almost every Recruiter call you’ve ever had. What’s the common denominator? They are ask for referrals. If it really is a good opportunity, people do refer friends or colleagues in the industry. Sometimes the person making the referral is completely comfortable with using their name but sometimes they want their name withheld.

The million dollar question is how to tell the difference! Well, almost all of the time, the Recruiter can tell you some details about the referral. When we ask for a referral, our reaction is to always ask why. We could tell you for instance that the person referred you to us because you “paved the way at the FDA for that NDA approval 2 years ago”.

Q: Do you represent me or do you represent the company?

A: First thing to know is, the clients pays most of our fees. Ah yes, I said most. As in the question above, our only payment from our candidates is referrals (to which we will ask “why”).

With that said, it is a different relationship, especially when you compare it to an industry such as real estate. There is no buyer side or seller side. There’s one side. That’s us. It reminds me of what a veteran Recruiter that worked for me years ago that you used say, “I work for the company in the beginning of the process, but in the end, I end up working for candidate because if they’re not happy, then nobody wins”. That pretty much sums it up. In the end, our job is to make both sides happy. More proof is that if Recruiters were only focused on the company, and a candidate isn’t happy with an offer, they always have the right to say no.

Q: How do I choose a reputable recruiter to work with?

A: That’s an age old question. Nobody wants to work with a Recruiter with questionable ethics and practices, but how do you identify them from the rest? It would be great if they identified themselves as less than credible when making an introduction or wore a sign declaring “Beware, I’m Dangerous”. It would make things so much easier. Until that happens, try these:

  1. Talk to them. Talk to Recruiters before you need a Recruiter. Ask questions.
  2. Look them up online. Are they just a voice on a phone or does they work for a company? Look for an online presence that is updated.
  3. Determine if this is their job or profession. Are they affiliated with any Recruiting or industry associations? A Google search of the company will usually show their affiliations to industry associations. People in this industry for a fast dollar, and that don’t care about your best interests, usually don’t invest in industry associations.
  4. Go with your gut. I know, real scientific advice, but it can be right more times than not.


Have a question? Email and our Recruiters will answer your questions in an upcoming Blog Post.