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  • Writer's picturePenny Langstaff

Guide to working with a Recruiter

Tips on working with a Recruiter to find a job by Penny Langstaff at Apply and Succeed NZ

In my previous blog, I outlined 7 reasons why you should use a recruiter as part of your job search strategy. In this blog, I've provided some tips on how to get the best out of your interaction with them, but keep in mind that recruiters are not all created equal, so your experiences may vary!

  1. If you’re unsure whether a job’s for you, give the recruiter a call. Job adverts will only ever contain limited information and some of the specified requirements may be flexible for the right candidate. A recruiter should know which ones are essentials and which are the “nice to have” skills and experience, so don’t dismiss a job for the sake of a phone call to seek clarification.

  2. Submit a good application when you do apply! That means ensuring your CV or Resume and Cover Letter have been updated for the job you’re applying for and are easy to read!

  3. Follow instructions for applying. Most recruitment agencies use an applicant tracking system which automates their processes. When you apply online, your application is automatically “attached” to the job in their system so that it can be quickly and easily viewed by the recruiter. Some people think that emailing the recruiter direct will give them an advantage, but in reality, your email could easily get “lost” in their inbox and you end up missing out completely!

  4. Keep a record of which jobs you’ve applied for and pass that information on to the recruiter. Brigitta Warren, Director at RecruitNet in Hamilton said “if we know right from the start what applications a candidate has made, it means we’re aware of their activity and can factor that in when putting them forward for a role. We don’t divulge specific information to our clients, but it’s good to let them know if a candidate is active in the market and therefore that they may need to move quickly”

  5. Be responsive to requests for additional information or an interview. If you can’t promptly provide the details you’re asked for or make a time to meet because of work commitments - let them know! Recruiters will always try to work around potential delays but what they struggle with, is a lack of any contact. This just makes them nervous and they start to think you’re not interested in the role.

  6. Supply the recruiter will salary information i.e what you currently earn and what’s the minimum you would move for and be honest with your figures. If you do that, everyone knows where they stand from the start. A recruiter always wants to get you the best outcome, but they don’t want to waste everyone’s time if your minimum salary requirement is too far away from the potential salary on offer.

  7. Provide honest feedback following a client interview. Recruiters really appreciate a phone call to let them know how you got on and as Chris Heswall, Director at Virtue Consulting in Auckland said, “we need feedback that’s open and honest around whether they want the job plus transparency around any doubts/issues or blockers they may have”.

  8. Tell the recruiter about other jobs you’re interviewing for and be honest about where your preferences lie. Recruiters provide feedback to their client based on what they hear from you, so they’d prefer to know sooner rather than later if there may be an issue. It also gives them an opportunity to see if they can speed up their process or get changes made depending on your situation.

  9. Keep your communications open and build a relationship with the recruiter. Ideally the recruiter keeps you updated throughout the recruitment process and you understand that sometimes their changing priorities and deadlines mean they can't always respond when they said they would. If you can get to where you both feel there is a mutual level of trust, transparency and respect, you'll probably find that you continue working with the recruiter as they follow your career and place you into future roles.

So, in summary, is working with a recruiter beneficial?

Definitely - although as mentioned, you may encounter some who you don't get good service from! The good ones provide a great level of service to both their candidates and clients, so if you can find at least one that has that reputation, they’re definitely worth getting to know!


The following recruitment agencies are known to me because I either worked there previously (Virtue Consulting), or I worked alongside the Directors and Consultants (RecruitNet and Yvette Harrison Recruitment). I know they are all ethical, professional, provide great service and are good at what they do! - Specialist recruiters based in Hamilton but covering the wider Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and all NZ for roles related to manufacturing. - Specialist recruiters based in Auckland but covering the whole of NZ for roles relating to Banking & Finance

Yvette Harrison Recruitment - Specialist recruiter in Auckland but covering the whole of NZ for roles in Supply Chain, Food Technology, Engineering and Technical Sales

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