How to Choose and Partner with a Recruiter

How to Choose and Partner with a Recruiter

Many people start out their careers with a particular company, often through a graduate program or traineeship, and spend a number of years there before deciding they want a change. Then, some will go to job boards and apply for positions they see advertised. Others will be uncomfortable sending their CV into a rival company or firm for fear of who within the organisation will view their details (a recruiter can help with this). Some would want to know additional information about a role they see advertised before taking the step of applying directly (a recruiter can help with this too).  Many do not know that their ideal role may be available, because the role is often not advertised as the employer has engaged a recruiter or headhunter to fill the vacancy. So what happens when you approach a recruiter?

What happens when you approach a recruiter?

Firstly, you do not pay your recruiter for the services they offer. If you are successfully placed in a new position the hiring firm/company pays the recruitment fee.

Secondly, you should approach a specialist recruiter and not a generalist. If you are a lawyer or an accountant for example, it is better to approach a recruiter who works exclusively in these areas as they will have (should have anyway!) the most market knowledge and contacts.

When you approach Lincoln Recruitment (and most recruitment consultancies) you will ordinarily have a brief conversation with one of their consultants. If we believe that we are in a position to help you with your search, an interview will be arranged where your experience, and what you are looking for, will be discussed in greater detail. This meeting is typically conducted face-to-face for candidates based in Ireland, and by telephone/VC with International candidates. In the current climate, these meetings tend to be via Skype, Zoom etc. The conclusion of this meeting will result in an action plan being agreed between you and the consultant. The action plan can range from the number of firms being approached on your behalf, to an agreement that you will be contacted at some date in the future. You are in no way obliged to engage our services nor we to represent you, unless we both explicitly agree.

How to choose the right recruiter & what to expect

You need to be comfortable with whichever recruiter you choose to engage. They are going to be representing you and will, in effect, be making your ‘first impression’ with their client. Do they have the requisite skills to discuss your background? Do they have the right contacts to get you the position you are seeking? 

Reputable recruiters will only discuss your details with clients that you have given them permission to approach. It is important for you to stress to your recruiter that they are not to share your details with anyone without your express prior permission.  Again, this should be a ‘given’ (with any experienced recruiter) but there are agencies that will start sending your CV out (‘speccing’ your CV) to loads of companies – you should instruct them not to do so.

The use of a recruiter as a third-party reduces the chances of either part becoming entrenched in a position, and allows everyone time to think things over before making a final decision

Once interviews have been arranged with our clients, Lincoln Recruitment will give the option of a mock interview that will largely be based on what you can expect from the hiring company. For Partner positions, this will often involve a business plan meeting and mock presentation.

Once the interview with our client is completed we will contact them to get their feedback on your performance and also to give them your feedback from the interview. The majority of positions require more than one interview, and the time between interviews can vary from a couple of days to over a month. For partner roles, the typical length of time from the first meeting to completion is 3-6 months.

If an offer is forthcoming from the hiring firm/company, Lincoln Recruitment can handle the negotiation on your behalf. This is usually beneficial to the process as it can remove the situation where either party feels the other one is making unreasonable demands and the deal collapses due to compensation. The use of Lincoln Recruitment as a third-party reduces the chances of either part becoming entrenched in a position, and allows everyone time to think things over before making a final decision.

On acceptance of the offer, and the signing of employment contracts with an agreed start-date, Lincoln Recruitment will assist you in the drafting of your notice letter to your current employer.  Handing in your notice can be a very stressful time for some people, especially for those who feel a loyalty to their current employer – we are here to help you through this time and answer any questions you may have on issues such as restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses (where appropriate).

Your recruiter will stay in touch with you periodically during your notice. Typical notice periods range from 1 month to 6 months (typically based on seniority). They will then check in on you after you start to see how you are settling in and possibly to answer any questions that would like clarified rather than speaking directly to your new employer yourself.

As illustrated above, you will be spending a good amount of time meeting and talking with your recruiter so it helps if you like them too!



About the author

John Macklin is a Director in Lincoln Recruitment Specialists and Head of their Legal Recruitment Division. John is a qualified lawyer and has been recruiting in the legal market for over 15 years. 

Lincoln Recruitment is a specialist recruitment consultancy offering recruitment services to SME’s, Multi-Nationals, law firms and accountancy practices. Their specialist divisions include Legal; Risk; Compliance; Investment Funds; Insurance; Accountancy; Executive Search; Technology; Retail, Engineering & Supply Chain; Healthcare. Please feel free to contact John at 01-6610444 or at to discuss your, or your organisation’s recruitment needs.

Lee Doheny avatar
Head of HR Recruitment
+353 85 135 3820