Top 10 Questions To Ask Recruiters

What do you need to know about the model of recruiting in order for you to find the right recruiter for you? Here's what you should know.

Over the next couple of weeks, I want to address the 10 most popular questions that I am asked about working with a recruiter.  By understanding these questions and answers, the goal is that you become much more comfortable working with any recruiter no matter what industry you are in.  This will also give you questions that you can ask a recruiter that may reach out to you, and then you are more empowered in planning to decide to work with that particular recruiter.  Lastly, these are my answers; other recruiters may have different answers based on their model of recruiting.

1.     Do I pay for your service?     

Under my model of recruiting, I do not charge the candidate anything for working with me.  My client, meaning the person or firm that pays me, is the employer.  Most recruiters are like this as well.  Even if a candidate (someone looking for a job) wants to hire me to represent them, I cannot consider that if I am introducing them to my regular clients.

2.     If not, how are you able to fairly represent me in this model of recruiting?  

This is a very fair question as I would also think that if someone is getting paid by one party then they cannot fairly represent the candidate.  After being in this industry, both public finance and recruiting for well over thirty years, I can do exactly that – fairly and equitably represent both parties.  The way I am able to do this is by only introducing a candidate to one client at a time.  Because of this model of recruiting, both parties know they have an exclusive relationship with the candidate and the client jointly.  As a trusted advisor I know what both parties want to happen, and that is the goal; not just to introduce the parties but to manage the process to a successful conclusion. 

3.     Do you have access to the hidden job market in your model of recruiting? 

Over the years more and more books have been written on the hidden job market.  I believe what this means is that there are positions that are not advertised, and the goal of these books is to teach you how to access the hidden job market.  Let me be clear about this – all recruiters know of jobs that are not posted.  However, that does not mean that they will be appropriate for you, the candidate.  Under my opportunistic model of recruiting, all I do is create new opportunities that do not necessarily exist prior to me introducing a candidate to that firm.  In essence, I don’t know about the hidden job market, but I conversely create the hidden job market.

4.     Can I work with more than one recruiter?

There is no requirement that you have to work with only one recruiter. I personally will not work with any individual that is working with more than one recruiter.  The reason I do this is because of my opportunistic model of recruiting.  I need to know that if we are going down the path with one of my clients, I need to be honestly able to represent to them that my candidate is only dealing with me and is not necessarily talking to any other firm through me or even on their own.  If a candidate is working with more than one recruiter, he or she can never become a trusted advisor in my humble opinion.  The most important attribute that must be attained is to be able to represent a candidate completely and competently.

We will continue this series with the rest of the top 10 questions next week. 


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.