5 Tips for Working With a Recruiter

By JDP Search Group

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As a veteran recruiter and President of JDP Search Group I’ve worked with thousands of candidates. Some have my made my role as a recruiter easy and some have proved a little more challenging. Over the years I’ve tried to analyse what makes that recruiter/candidate relationship work and I’ve narrowed it down to five key areas which I’m going to share with you today. Whilst this list isn’t exhaustive, I hope it can help you to get the best out of the recruiters you work with.

Be realistic about what a recruiter can do

Recruiters first and foremost work on behalf of their clients, the employers. They have a specific list of jobs that their clients are hoping to fill. Whilst most often these positions will be filled by people within their existing network, they are always looking to expand their network of potential candidates.

Remember this, if you have the skills that they are looking for either now or in the near future they will be receptive to connecting, just don’t expect them to find you a job tomorrow.

Pick the right recruiter for you

Whilst there are many generalist recruiters out there, if you have a specific and clear skill set it’s almost always better to go with a recruiter that specialises in your area. At JDP Search Group we specialise in the manufacturing industry across operations, engineering, sales professionals, sales engineers, supply chain and technical roles.

When choosing a recruiter, spend time researching which recruiters specialise in your area. That way you can be sure that they have the contacts in the right places and that they’ll be able to match you with roles that meet your needs. There’s nothing worse than being bombarded with opportunities that don’t match what you want and when push comes to shove you need someone that understands your industry.

Be honest about what you want and what you can do

Being completely honest will save time for both parties in the long run. This means having a clear and open discussion with your recruiter and having a tailored resume aimed towards jobs that you have experience for.

Be honest about your experience and skills and whatever you do don’t be tempted to stretch the truth. This will only result in you being sent to interviews that you don’t have the skills for and will reflect badly on both you and the recruiter, which won’t do your relationship any good either.  

On occasion recruiters will try and peak your interest for opportunities that are out of your usual scope. Whilst this can lead to a potential new role, if you’re sure it’s not for you don’t waste everyone’s time by interviewing.

Be contactable and stay in touch

Once a recruiter has a firm idea of where they can place you, things can start to move pretty quickly. This means that you need to be ready to take calls throughout the day. The amount of times a candidate has narrowly missed out because they’ve gone AWOL is saddening. If you are going to be out of reach for a few days, be sure to let us know, that way we can manage the situation and contact you via other means.

The other side of that coin is to keep in regular contact with us to ensure that you’re on our radar and that we’re doing everything we can to get you hired. If we know you’re keen, organised and ready for interviews we’ll be ready to get you there.

Use our knowledge both before and after an interview

As recruiters we have an intimate knowledge of what our clients want. When you’re presented with a potential position do your research on the company to help you make an informed decision about whether it is right for you. By doing this you’ll also establish whether there are any knowledge gaps that a recruiter can help you with. If you have a firm idea of what you need to know for an interview, this makes our job easier as we don’t have to tell you anything you already know.

Once you’ve had an interview, be open to the feedback that we can give you. We’re here to help but you’ve got to be ready and willing to listen. Once you have that information use it to prepare for your next interview. Practice makes perfect and with the right help you’ll be in a position in no time.


Contributed by John Palcisko, President of JDP Search Group, who are specialist Manufacturing & Engineering recruiters in the US. Reach out to see how they can help you to hire outstanding candidates or find your next manufacturing role, by phone 216-661-5996 or on twitter @JDPsearch


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