How to Find a Good Recruiter

How To Find a Good Recruiter

Last week, a Twitter friend asked me if I could offer any advice on how to find a good recruiter.

I’ve been pondering her question since she asked. It’s a good question, because a good recruiter working for a quality company can lift your career a notch or two.

Good Recruiters Work for Companies Where You Want to Work

The best way to find a good recruiter is to target the companies you want to work for and reach out to establish relationships with their internal recruiters.

You can find most internal recruiters by using this tool.

Once you find them, you can send them this note using a LinkedIn message or InMail. You might change the first paragraph as follows:

I understand you’re the Accounting Talent Acquisition Specialist at Red Bull.

I’m a degreed accountant who played a key role in reducing my company’s month-end close from 12 to four working days. Yes, we used a little Red Bull to help us get there!

I love your company’s products and want to be on your radar the next time you’re conducting a search for someone like me.

Be sure to:

  1. Tell the recruiter what you do.
  2. Give a quick example of a compelling accomplishment.
  3. Mention something positive about their company.
  4. Ask them to keep you in mind for future openings.

What If Those Companies Don’t Have Recruiters?

What if the company is too small to have internal Talent Acquisition people?

In that case, use LinkedIn to figure out who your hiring manager would be and reach out to connect with them on LinkedIn.

We’re talking small organizations, so search for people who work for the company. Look through your results to find the person most likely to be your hiring manager.

What If They Aren’t Active on LinkedIn?

Then send them the same note via email or make a phone call.

Why Internal Connections Matter

If you make an internal connection before the company posts your dream job, and you’re a fit, there’s a good chance they will contact you early in their search.

That gets you into the first round of consideration, which is the best place to be. If they find their dream candidate in the first round, then they’re done. You might eliminate some or all of your competition by getting in early!

How Do I Find a Good External Recruiter?

If you want external recruiters to introduce you, then a quality recruiter is one who recruits for companies where you want to work. In the case above, our hypothetical accountant can:

  • Ask former accounting colleagues and classmates, former outside auditors, and other people she trusts, who recruits accountants for the companies where she wants to work.
  • Ask external accounting recruiters she talks with who recruits accountants for the companies where she wants to work. Trust me, they know. A quality recruiter will share the information.
  • Ask people she knows for names of good recruiters who recruit accountants (in general). As you can see, I have defined “good” in a particular way for this post. She should be sure to describe what she means by good.

It’s good to remember that one recruiter can’t handle very many clients. That’s why there are so many recruiters. You can see lists of the dominant firms here.

Smart people build relationships with many quality recruiters throughout their careers, but they also make luck with direct outreach to potential employers.

Bonus Round

Learn how to double your visibility to recruiters on LinkedIn here.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at

Image: Fotolia/natali_mis
Updated May 2017

© 2015 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

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