Recruitment agencies: What is your added value?

  • Current location/how long does a trip to the work location take? This was more relevant in pre-covid times but is still relevant just because labour laws apply where the person lives and some firms can’t just randomly hire people from another country or don’t want to hire someone from a far away timezone.
  • Which work locations are ok?/willingness to move and reason for it. Clarify the motivation to move, ask this several times. That point often makes or breaks a deal. People say they want to move, then later state at the last minute that they don’t want to move after all; find out the truth here by asking the same question from different angles.
  • How much experience in years in each stack? (.net, java, frontend, react angular, other). The person likely has this somewhat mentioned on their CV, but double-check. Example: “Two years in Java, Three years frontend, React”. This sums up the main points for your client better than most CVs.
  • Most recent experience. Ask about the specialisation in the last 2 years, for instance “70% Java, 30% Javascript/React”; that would be a fullstack developer with backend focus.
  • Stack the person wants to work with or job they want to have. Gauge for strong wishes to work for something entirely else than what they used in the past. Sometimes people have strong preferences and the client should take this into account. If you manage to include this, both candidate and client will thank you for it.
  • Possible startdate. Especially in Europe some people have three months notice; that means, if a candidate decides to leave their job on March 30, they’d legally be allowed to start a new job only on July 1. Some firms want to hire quicker than that, so that is relevant.
  • Salarywish (yearly all in). An obvious one, the possible salary range given by the client and stated by the candidate should somewhat overlap. Here you have to check if the candidate gives you fantasy numbers or if they actually want to earn what they say. Will the person accept a lower salary given perks like frequent remote work or when they find out another cool detail about the firm? It is your job as a recruiter to find out.
  • Other interviews. I use this information as a proxy to find out if someone is seriously looking or more of a passive candidate. I share this with the client if I think it helps to push the candidate’s case.
  • Motivation/Reason to change jobs/move to *work location*. This is similar to the question before, I ask this several times just to be sure, because it is such a big risk. Especially in Europe people do move for jobs a lot. Clients usually hate relocating people, especially from other countries. Yet, there are good reasons to move and bad reasons to move. Good reasons are “my life partner lives there/found a job and I join them”, bad reasons are “I apply in 40 different locations and this one looks like you can make a lot of money”. Or: What is it that the old job lacks that they seek in the new job? Maybe your clients offer exactly what the person is missing now!
  • Links to online profiles to look at (links to github, linkedin). Your job as a recruiter is to gather all the relevant information about the candidate in one place. Social links often aren’t even clickable on CVs. Repeat them here and make them easily accessible. (Some genius candidates even just put their Github nickname, without a link, thinking that is a convenient way to find them but people forget if the right link is or or what it is again; given the fact that most hiring managers won’t take longer than 20 seconds to read a candidate profile, your job as a recruiter is to make the notes so clear that the hiring manager can just click, click, click and have 3 tabs open with relevant information about a person.)
  • Level of languages relevant to the job / willingness to learn / already taking courses? Can you follow a business conversation? In Switzerland, knowing German opens you to double the job opportunities. Even English-speaking firms often care about the person integrating well overall. Your job is to find out if the person knows the language on a level where others don’t need to switch to English. Here I even sometimes add recordings to prove my point that the candidate feels comfortable with relevant languages. ( has a build-in function for recording candidates.)
  • Comments on jobhopping. If a person held positions less than 2 years, two to three times in a row, this raises questions. Most people have good answers like relocation or bankruptcies. A less worrying point is if someone stayed somewhere longer than 10 years; then, firms also want to know why they want to change jobs after such a long time.
  • Any kind of uni degree? This is more important to some firms and less important to others. ATS — client notes can be merged with the PDV CV and exported ATS — client notes can be merged with the PDV CV and exported



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