One key way you can tell a quality Recruiter from a Cowboy

As a recruiter, my job is more than keyword and database searching, sending resumes hoping one sticks. Any quality recruiter, as Greg Savage so aptly describes, is someone who is a ‘talent magnet’, ‘a skills hunter’, we do some serious digging to really understand the motivations of candidates – the ‘why’. If a recruiter asks you no more than “why are you looking to leave” or doesn’t even ask that, then my advice – steer clear.

It’s refreshing that I’m finding more and more that my clients are appreciating the importance that a good recruitment partner plays in the process. They understand that the candidate experience during the hiring process is vital. A good recruitment partner not only understands the selling points, culture and job specification from the hiring company, but also takes the time to get to know you properly as a candidate; your motivations, your goals, your ideals and your flexibility. We are not paid to just present and place you into a position. We have a responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that aside from technically meeting the criteria for the position, you are motivated, committed and have the sought after ‘soft’ skills and are the right personality fit for the organisation to ensure that the career is a good match longer term. How do I do that? 

I make it my core mission to identify the real ‘why’. I want to dig deep to get to the real reason why you are looking. Why this company? Why this country? Why now? Followed by a few Who’s and a few What’s: “Who will factor into the decision for you, should you decide to accept another position?” “What’s the most important factor that will motivate you to make the move?” It can sound like 21 questions but my thoroughness is for your benefit and for the benefit of the hiring manager/company. I have to have a full picture to be effective at my job and this is why (excuse the pun!) I will not just send job descriptions over email/LinkedIn without having had an initial conversation beforehand, even though I am sometimes asked…


Common reasons people tell me they are considering a move (surface-deep):

More money

Culture is not what they expected

Role is not what they expected

Job insecurity/ company restructuring


More frequent reasons and often paired with (underlying): 

The glass ceiling has been hit

Unbearable boss

Not feeling appreciated

Lack of empowerment 

Lack of enrichment

It’s true that often we do consider a career move simply because a better-paid position opens up but if you have a passion for the role you do, working for a boss you’re inspired by, within a company you love, it is hard to leave that behind for the sake a slight pay increase. Money doesn’t trump passion every time so I often hear surface-deep reasons given along with the underlying reasons and those are what I try to get at. To understand your real drivers. And that’s the real reason I keep asking why.

Chelsea Flynn, Recruitment Manager UK. Check out our UK website here: