With over twenty years of experience in recruitment, HR, and workforce solutions, I’ve worked with or for 20+ search firms.

Here are a few tips on choosing the right partner for your company’s success.

1) Experience Beyond a Screen

It’s vital to discover if those partnering with you and conducting a search on your behalf have experience beyond reviewing applicants all day. Some of the best partners have worked in your field, have a long history of meeting with clients like yours &/or have learned what might work best.

Ask what their experience is in recruitment and within the industry or field.

2) Understanding the Complete Role

Finding the right person for your roles requires looking at the full picture. Great matches go beyond matching hard skills. Does the firm review your job description and to work? Do they take the time to learn about you, your company, the culture, the goals, what hard and soft skills are required, and what qualifies someone to be truly successful in the role and within your team?

Ask what their process is in learning about the role.

3) Passive Sourcing

While placing a job posting will remain an essential piece of the recruitment process, a talented firm will not just post and wait. Most likely, you can do that. It’s important to ask what their recruitment process is. Successful recruiters dig deep through their network, databases, internet searches, groups, aren’t afraid to pick up the phone, and more.

Ask about their sourcing process.

4) Candidate Presentation

Instead of sending over resumes as-is, a firm might present a candidate within a profile. Decide what works best for you and your team. Do you want to see resumes and select? Or, do you prefer they narrow it down and present a candidate profile, including a brief summary, transition explanations, and compensation requirements?

Discuss how you’d like candidates presented.

5) Skilled Interviewers

What are you expecting from your third-party recruiter? Often a company assumes a recruiter is a skilled interview, when they may only cover general questions about responsibilities and interests in the presented position.

If it’s important to you, ask what type of interviews they give.

6) Competitively Priced

Before speaking with a firm, set an internal budget for its salary and funding for using a firm. A firm will spend a lot of time and upfront costs searching expenses. They still need to remain competitively priced and willing to work within a reasonable budget.

Ask about all costs upfront. If you are on a budget, ask if they will work with you.