Questions to ask your contract recruiter

Questions to ask your contract recruiter

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Got 99 problems?… don’t let your contract recruiter be one


The role of a hiring manager is tough, with 99 seemingly endless problems filling your day, including finding the best contractors to fulfil your next project.

Partnering with a specialist contract recruiter is one way to solve your often-immediate hiring headache, until they become one themselves.

Do you ever feel there is something missing between what you are putting in with your contract recruiter partnership and what you’re getting from it?

Historically, relationships between employers and contract recruiters have been tainted by a range of pressures and varying degrees of mistrust from both sides. So how can hiring managers and contract recruiters rebuild the trust and create a productive partnership to solve business problems going forward?

By asking the right questions!

Like most things, your hiring problem may just be solved by having an effective and honest conversation. Here are 5 questions to help you start that conversation and just why you should be asking them.


Questions to ask your contract recruiter


How much coverage do my vacancies receive?

First off, it’s important to find out the coverage your vacancy will receive from your contract recruiter. You’ll be able to ask further questions following this;

  • Does your contract recruiter stop what he’s doing to service your role?
  • Do they have a team supporting them?
  • When they source candidates, do they jump on the first job board available or do they
  • search around?

The answers to these questions should give you a much clearer idea of the priority your role takes. Some recruiters have been known to place preference on businesses that they hold a longer relationship with and have easy roles to fill. This can mean new client roles miss out on the coverage they deserve.


How long will it take for you to recruit for my role?

  • If filling your new role is time sensitive due to an upcoming project, it is important to qualify this quick turnaround with your contract recruiter.
  • Ask for an estimate of how long it will take to source candidates and get them across to you, and make sure expectations are set and managed on both sides
  • Setting up a service level agreement with the recruiter is one way of easily qualifying this. This can include the timescale that you need to fill the role as well as the full responsibilities of the hiring manager and the contract recruiter throughout the process.


What is your sourcing process?

When you decide to invest your resources in a recruitment agency you expect to receive high-quality candidates that you may not have been able to find previously.

So before partnering with a contract recruiter you will want to find out how and where they are sourcing talent that is going to be sent your way;

  • Does the recruiter invest in other resources such as researchers and marketers?
  • If so, you know that they will be constantly pipelining the right talent for your role using effective methods such as social campaigns, creative adverts, attending networking and events.
  • What platforms do they use to source? If your contract recruiter tells you that they use LinkedIn to source candidates that fit the role then they are hardly doing more than you would have spent your own time doing (for free). However, if they use it to create a database of high calibre, passive candidates that you never knew existed, you already know you are getting your money’s worth.

The same goes for asking the recruiter about their screening and interviewing process as in the long run you want to know you’re going to receive a first-class shortlist of candidates.

Background work in an effective sourcing process is ongoing but the roles get covered quickly and efficiently; it’s like watching a Snooker player hit a 147 break!


How well do you know my market – how involved are you in the community?

How many times have you heard

“Hi, I’m a specialist (insert skill) recruiter”?

The term ‘specialist’ can easily start to lose its validity with overuse, however, one way to find out if the recruiter truly knows their industry and the community is to ask them;

  • What tech events do they attend?
  • Do they host or attend tech meetups?
  • How are they actively involved in the Technology community?

Working with a contract recruiter that spends time ‘in the field’ networking and learning about the tech they recruit for is easy to spot – they’re credible and have a black book of contacts to hand.

A lot of tech communities are very protective of themselves and what they do and it takes a long time for a recruiter to earn their respect. When a recruiter achieves this respect and is fully involved in a tech community, you know there is a genuine interest and they have put in the legwork to get there.


Can you tell me about your client base?

  • While vacancies tend to be driven by the type of technologies being used, a contract recruiter working with similar businesses to you will always have the inside track on the pros and cons of the environment that comes with it.
  • To gain an understanding of the contract recruiter’s knowledge of the market and your type of business, it can be helpful to find out other clients that they work with. Ask the recruiter to provide client testimonials and case studies so you can see the experience from another companies point of view.
  • These questions will serve as a foundation for everything that follows in your partnership to ensure you are receiving a full 360 service, and provide you peace of mind that there is one less problem on your never-ending list.


If you feel you’re not getting what you need from your current recruiter, get in touch with me today. I would love to help you with your contract technology role and offer the best candidates to help you achieve success with your current or upcoming projects.

Contact via: – 0208 944 4180