What Recruiters Need To Know? / Why Do Recruiters Need To Know? (Part 1-The Candidate)

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonAS THE TITLE SUGGESTS,  this is part one of a two part series of articles that deals with recruiters from both sides of the hiring spectrum. In part one of the series I will focus on the job candidate by going over the information the recruiter needs you to provide and why this information is needed in order to successfully find t you a new position.

Staring with compensation it is important the recruiter knows how much you are being paid now in addition to your entire compensation package that would include bonuses and benefits. It is also vital the recruiter know when the expected date of you next raise along with an approximate idea of how much the raise will be. If there is any additional compensation such as commissions the recruiter will need to know that as well.

Why does the recruiter need this information? To start with if your complete compensation is not revealed the recruiter unknowingly will be presenting you an offer with a seemingly higher base but a downgrade in overall compensation. If you are making “X” amount of dollars per year and the position is paying “X” amount of dollars per year the raise or bonus you are expecting puts you into a different income bracket. The recruiter will want to make sure they can slot you into the salary ranger the client has provided. Your benefits package is also crucial especially if you have family coverage. Loss of that may significantly reduce the attractiveness or practicality of this new potential positon.

Next series of necessary information deals with your experience. From you resume the recruiter can see the total amount of years’ experience you have however the depth of your experience must be explained. If you have experience in different industries doing different work in each the recruiter will need to know why you have made these changes. Also in terms of experience if the opportunity represents a horizontal move as opposed to a higher position (assuming you are qualified) why would you be interested in this opportunity?

Why does the recruiter need this information? The recruiter collects this information to make sure you are being presented for the right position for you. Changes or rumors of change within the organization you are working for now may convince you the quickest path to a new job is to continue doing what you have been doing with the hope you can be placed in a company that promotes from within. If the role you are in is one that you would like to stay in the recruiter needs to know this in the event with whom the recruiter is working with should inquire about your career goals while also wanting to know why you are willing to make a horizontal move.

Your prior work history in terms of why you left your prior jobs is extremely important for the recruiter to know especially if you have had a series of short term jobs that you stayed at one year or less. Gaps in employment lasting one year or more needs to be explained. You may have gone back to school during that time. Perhaps you were taking care of a sick relative. The answers you provide in addition to your tonal inflections must be convincing. Misrepresentation of facts can result in removal from consideration. Background checks are conducted usually as a pre cursor to officially being hired. Mistakes or errors on the part of the background check company do happen so make sure you can clear up any discrepancies that show up. It is not unheard of for you to get hired and during the probation period a background check is conducted. False or misleading information is grounds for termination.

Why does the recruiter need this information? Very simply the more the recruiter knows about your entire background including any minor convictions (DWI or DUI are NOT considered minor infractions of the law) the better prepared the recruiter will be to try to “sell” you on his client by putting them at ease that these were one time incidents with no history of this behavior repeating itself.

Have you interviewed with anybody and if so who? What was the positon you applied for? How did you hear about this opening? Was an offer extended or is an offer expected? Do you plan to accept the offer? How likely is it you could be swayed to reject an offer that you have already accepted if “something better” was presented to you?

Why does the recruiter need this information? The recruiter has to know who you have interviewed with so that he does not present you to that company. If you lie to the recruiter about this the recruiter will no longer work with you as you have revealed yourself as having a serious character flaw. The position you applied for is important for the recruiter to know so that he sees what direction you are going in. In other words if you are looking for a position other than what the recruiter is working on for you in essence you are wasting their time that will also result in the recruiter to discontinue all work on your behalf. The offer question is very valid as once again it is unacceptable to play around. Should you be working with multiple recruiters that should be brought out into the open. Being open and honest will work wonders in your favor.

As above would you turn around and reject an offer you have already accepted? If your current company were to make you a counter offer that is higher than the offer from the other company would you commit career suicide by accepting it? Remember accepting a counter offer puts you on the clock until the time comes when you are dismissed.

Why does the recruiter need this information? Yet again these are issues of character and integrity. Your word must be your bond. Unless some startling disturbing information is discovered about the company you were going to work for if you accepted then you are morally obligated to do the right thing by reporting to your new job on the date worked out between the recruiter, yourself and your new boss. Recruiters speak to other recruiters all the time. In the exchange of stories or possible collaborative efforts between two recruiters your name should come up in a negative light you will have burned two or more bridges to new openings or career advancement.

You have been provided with the essentials of the information a recruiter needs from in addition to why the recruiter needs it. It is almost impossible to give you every question or scenario a recruiter will present or other information such as upcoming vacations, needed days off, references (personal & professional) you also will be asked to provide. If you need clarification of any information contained herein I highly suggest you go over it with a recruiter that you decided to work with. Best of luck with you job search.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Joel,
    A thousand apologies for being so tardy in commenting on your articles. I have been totally slammed and I know that is no excuse. Please allow me a brief bit of time to catch up and formulate some replies.
    Hope that you are doing well until then.

    • Ahndrea, No apology is necessary! I do NOT have any misguided notions that when a new article of mine comes out people have to immediately stop what they are doing so that they can read the article(s) and comment. I would love to read your comments but you needn’t put any pressure on yourself to get them to me by a certain time. I do however want to thank you for writing to me. Thank you for being a loyal reader for as long as you have which I greatly appreciate. Thank you again for your note. All my best.

  2. “Staring with compensation it is important the recruiter knows how much you are being paid now in addition to your entire compensation package that would include bonuses and benefits”

    No, the recruiter does not need to know this at all. This is used by recruiters to reject people.
    Tell the candidate what the salary range plus benefits for the position. If it is OK with them, move forward.

    If the candidate is woefully underpaid the recruiter will jump for joy because he’ll get a bonus for getting you under the low end of the range of the position, in addition to the usual commission.