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Four tests to use when choosing the right recruitment partner

recruitment partner

October 7, 2016

There is no shortage of advice online about how to choose a recruitment agency or headhunter, and much of it is good, solid counsel, if a little run-of-the-mill in many cases.  I’m not about to start dissing the competition, but I am suggesting that there’s another way of looking at the age-old problem of choosing the right recruitment partner. Whether you’re a company with roles to fill or a job seeker looking for your next position, there are four tests which you can use to ensure that you’ve found a recruiter you can really do business with.

Listening vs talking

Recruiters are salespeople at heart and boy, do they like to talk. If you’ve been a victim of long and pointless phone calls from a recruitment consultant, or experienced a conversation that was more monologue that dialogue, you’ll know what I mean. The best recruiters aren’t talkers though, they are listeners.

It may be a David Brent-ism to point out that we have one mouth and two ears, but I genuinely believe that your recruitment partner should listen twice as much as he or she talks. Only by listening to you – whether you’re a client or a candidate – can I really understand what you need from me. I focus on asking the very best questions to elicit information which gives me an accurate picture of how I can help.

Behind every role and every job seeker there is a story which reveals certain truths, but sometimes that story is buried and needs to be teased out. If your prospective recruitment partner talks more than you in your first conversation, be wary.


We all like to think that we act professionally in a work situation but sadly it’s not always the case. Recruitment is a tough and highly competitive market and sometimes this leads to unscrupulous behaviour or a certain slap-dash approach.

One of the reasons I set up my own business was to ensure that I have full control over how Kumo Recruitment operates, preserving the highest standards of professionalism and guaranteeing that all of my contacts receive a personal service tailored to their needs. I like to think that’s why so many have chosen to work with me for several years and frequently recommend me to others. 

Trust and honesty

The role of the recruiter is a highly privileged one and I feel honoured that my clients and candidates entrust their roles and careers to me. Finding the right match for both parties is such an important job, which has the capacity to generate tremendous benefits or significant misery.

There are so many aspects in play, from the commercial to the emotional, and for the process to be successful we have to trust each other.  We also need to be honest, even when it’s painful (especially when it’s painful). If you don’t feel you can trust your recruitment partner, you’re working with the wrong person.


Choosing the right recruitment partner isn’t like choosing a spouse or a best friend, but I do think it’s important that you like each other and make a good partnership.  Likeability could be seen as a by-product of trust and professionalism, but I think it’s also about being on the same wavelength. Human behaviour dictates that if we like someone we are much more likely to try and do a good job for them, because we want to please them. If we’re working in partnership there’s an open acknowledgement that we have shared goals.

If you’re able to break out of the buyer/supplier, master/slave dynamic when choosing your recruitment partner, you’ll instantly improve your chances of success. It’s always frustrating and occasionally expensive when you fail to find the right recruiter to work with, but in my experience there is always something you can learn from every mistake. Make sure you analyse what went wrong so you can avoid repeating the problem.

Please do get in touch if you think I can help you, whether you’re a potential client or candidate.

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