What’s the difference between a recruiter and a baseball coach? No, this isn’t a trick question. Recruiters and baseball coaches share more in common than you might think – they know how to recognize talent when they see it, build relationships and trust quickly, and use their resources to guide the team to victory.
Sometimes, finding the right recruiter can feel as impossible as winning the World Series. But investing the time into searching for a recruiter or recruiting firm is worth it. A good recruiter can help you transform your candidate experience and attract top talent that elevates your company culture.
So, how do you find the recruiter or firm who will knock it out of the park? It all comes down to one very important thing: asking the right interview questions.
To help you in your search, we made a list of the 15 questions to ask a recruiter or recruiting firm in an interview:
15 interview questions to ask when hiring a recruiter
1. Why do you recruit?
This question lets recruiters share their passion for what they do and provides a glimpse into the values they bring to your team and culture. A recruiter who’s aligned with your company’s values can amplify your strengths and attract like-minded candidates.
Listen for a passion for helping people and companies in the recruiter’s answer to this question. For example, a recruiter who shows they’re a team player and strives to be a valued member of the recruiting team is likely to look for candidates who do the same.
Great recruiters must have enough dedication to their craft to overcome obstacles like compensation differences or underrepresented candidates. This passion is often contagious and is far more likely to attract candidates with the same mindset. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that a recruiter can present passionate and excited candidates if they – or their firm – don’t exemplify those same characteristics.
2. How has your recruiting process evolved?
This question shows how committed a recruiter or firm is to honing their craft and expanding their skills as the industry evolves. Someone willing to embrace new ideas and recruiting trends is more likely to adapt to the times and win top candidates for your open roles.
Listen for ways they’ve changed their process based on new information or innovations like video interviews, async updates, skills tests, and employee referral programs. Maybe the recruiter mentions using an applicant tracking system (ATS) like Greenhouse instead of relying on outdated paper records. Or they talk about video and asynchronous interviews that allow them to reach a wider applicant pool in comparison to standard in-person interviews.
3. What technology do you incorporate into your recruiting process?
Technology is a crucial part of process shifts and can create efficiencies and reduce time to hire. These are essential factors for winning top candidates and can help amplify a recruiter’s strengths and cover potential weak points. When hiring a recruiter, ask what specific tech they use.
Lars Schmidt, founder of the tech-enabled HR resource Amplify, agrees. He shares, “great recruiters keep an eye on trends, ensuring they can intelligently advocate for that game-changing technology that can make a difference in their company’s hiring efforts.”
In the recruiter’s response, listen for mentions of technology that increase hiring quality and consistency, like an interview intelligence platform. A recruiter who hasn’t embraced – or isn’t open to – technology changes like interview intelligence might struggle to retain top talent, especially if their competitors take advantage of these new tools and evolve with the industry.
4. How are your relationships with your last three hiring managers?
Clear and thoughtful responses indicate the potential recruiter has an upbeat working style and takes their professional relationships seriously. Specifics are important – a recruiter who can share their direct impact on an organization is more likely to be remembered and recommended by previous business partners.
A proactive, specific answer might sound like this:
I have great relationships with all three hiring managers. I worked closely with each to set a job description and determine the ideal candidate profile. By aligning those goals and expectations upfront, I could source great candidates who were a perfect fit for the roles. Together, the hiring managers and I were able to fill each position within three months. One of the hiring managers even expressed that working with me was the best experience they’ve had partnering with a recruiter.
If the recruiter has a poor history or can’t provide a positive answer, dig deeper to try and understand what happened to negatively affect that relationship. You’ll get more specific answers by asking direct follow-up questions.
Here are two ideas to get you started:
- What do you think you could have done differently, if anything, to foster a more positive hiring experience?
- If the hiring manager contributed to factors that led to the poor experience, how did you identify those throughout the process and try to mitigate them?
These questions can help increase your confidence in the interviewee since even the best recruiter is likely to experience a few challenges during their tenure.
11 other questions to ask a recruiter
After covering the four most important questions to ask during your recruiter interviews, what comes next? Here are some suggestions to help you complete your list of interview questions:
- How do you like to work with a hiring manager or team?
- Walk me through your ideal hiring process. What steps do you take? What does the hiring team do? How do you interact throughout?
- Tell me about a time when a hiring process went wrong. What happened? How did you remedy the situation?
- How do you define success in your recruiting process?
- What’s your go-to closing technique?
- What’s the most challenging candidate conversation you’ve had to navigate? How did you
- What is your honest opinion about this interview process?
- What has it taught you about me or our company?
- What is your expertise recruiting in my specific industry?
- What would you say you’re known for among the candidates you interact with?
- What steps have you incorporated into your process to ensure a great candidate experience?
Make recruiting a home run with BrightHire
Now that you’ve nailed down your questions to find the perfect recruiting partner for your company, take your hiring process to the next level by adding BrightHire to your tech stack. BrightHire is an interview intelligence platform that elevates your recruiting efforts and raises the quality of every single interview, assessment, and hiring decision your talent team makes.
The best part: BrightHire helps reduce time-to-hire by 15%, so you can get top talent working faster than your competition.