What to expect when working with a Recruiter

Recruiting Companies started making strides into the marketplace in the 70’s.  They were probably one of the first outsourcing practices large companies moved to.  Also known as headhunters, they were known as just a step above a used car salesman.  This all changed when large companies like IBM, Ontario Hydro and the Banks realized they were being inundated with resumes for every job they posted.

Remember every resume back then was paper, yes I said “paper”.  Delivered in the mail,  gasp gasp.  The mail room, to the HR secretary to the actual HR Managers were being drowned in paper.  Not only did they have to manually screen (no ATS systems) each resume, they also had to reply – yes, gasp gasp, again by paper and stamp.  HR Departments were being clogged.  Great candidates were being missed.  Hence the rise of the “employment/recruitment agencies”.

These agencies also had to change the way they did business.  Companies didn’t want them sending over a 100 resumes, they wanted 3 to 5 for each position.  The agencies now had to screen all these resumes and find the best candidate.  Just like buying a house, the companies attitude was “find me the right candidate or I’ll go to another supplier”.  Keep in mind the agency was only paid if the client hired a candidate.  Recruiters had to become experts in their field (technology, finance, administration to name just a few).  They also had become experts in the interview process.

Over decades, the recruitment process has changed. Which leads us to the question “What to expect when working with a Recruiter?.

Industry/Company Knowledge:

Recruiters tend to specialize so if you pick the right one they should be a wealth of knowledge about their field.  If you have hooked up with the wrong one the first thing they should do is direct you to an expert recruiter in the field you are looking for.  Take advantage of the Recruiter’s expertise in the company.  Ask him detailed questions about the company and industry.  Start with a few simple questions:

  • Company culture – will you fit in, is it a stuffy company, is it too relaxed, does it promote from inside, is training available?
  • is the company expanding?
  • is the company doing lots of hiring?

Expertise in their field:

  • Live Jobs – Recruiters sign contracts with companies for specific live jobs.  These positions could be exclusive to one or more recruiting agencies.   They aren’t available on the company webpage.  This gives the Recruiter you are working with direct access to the hiring manager.  Part of this relationship includes knowing what the hiring manager is looking for, and what kind of candidates s/he has liked in the past.
  • Resume Help – yes I said Help.  Because of their expertise, they know what the company is looking for.  Most companies don’t want to see 10 page resumes.  Your recruiter will help you to discard the superfluous information and leave in the information the company is interested in for that particular position.  Be prepared for them to reformat your resume.  Move education from the last page to the first.  Highlight the key technologies.  Resumes with “I did, I was”, “John changed, John has” will be rewritten to use prominent action words.  Expect this from them, they are experts in having their candidates (you) get to the next step.
  • Interviewing:
    • Screening Interview:  after receiving your resume, be prepared for a screening interview.  This interview is basically to  make sure you are available, do you have the education and technologies, finds out if you would be willing to do the commute or relocate if necessary.  This interview can be done by a Junior Recruiter.
    • Telephone/Video/Face2Face Interview:  Prepare for this just like you were being interviewed by the company, with a little less stress.  The recruiter’s job is not only to find out if you are capable and experienced enough to do the job but also to help you to interview well.  They will be looking for your accomplishments and helping you to present them in a relaxed manner.  Your “elevator speech” will be fine tuned.  Practice your questions and possible interview answers with the recruiter.
  • Salary/Benefits – the Recruiter will discuss the salary/benefits with you.  You don’t have to worry about it being discussed in the actual company interview.   The Recruiter is your salesman, after finding out what you are expecting s/he will present this to the Company and help find the perfect match.  This will include not only salary negotiation but also vacation, benefits, bonuses, start dates, etc.
  • Job Offer – this will be presented to you and explained.  And then you will take it home and read it over again.  If you have any questions – yes call your Recruiter.
  • Feedback – why didn’t you get the job?  The recruiter will have feedback from the Company and s/he should explain to you why you didn’t get the job.  What were you missing?  Was it experience? education?, too nervous?  too cocky?  What can you do to improve?  Was your salary expectation too high?  Remember s/he wants you to get a job so it’s to his/her advantage to help you improve and analyze what happened.
  • References – this also falls under the bailiwick of the recruiter.  Depending on the company the Recruiter will call your references.  That doesn’t mean s/he will lie for you so make sure your references are up to date.
  • Resigning – this can be very stressful especially if you have been with the company for a while.  The Recruiter will help you through this step.  S/He will offer advice on how the company may make a counter offer and whether you should take it or not.  Although their client is the company they also want you to be satisfied in your decision.  Recruiters love repeat customers.


Do you only get in touch with a Recruiter if there is a specific job you are interested in?  Definitely NOT.  Recruiters can help you with career changes, re-education advice, getting back into the work force, etc.  They are a job hunting resource, use them and form an honest and fulfilling relationship with them.


happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!


Front End Developer – Infographic


Front End Developer




Digital Project Manager – Infographic


Digital Strategist



Digital Project Management:

The nature of front office projects compare to traditional IT projects is one that generally involves a more co-operative project.

Not only do you need developers and testers but you might need artists, user experience and web analysts or more.

As a result THE key skill of a digital PM is the ability to be a strong scrum master who knows how to be a gatekeeper not just a facilitator.







Data Scientist – Infographic

Digital Strategist

Digital Strategist


Digital Strategist:  There is still a lot of pushback from companies regarding embarking on digital campaigns and most of this derives from a lack of understandable direction.  The front office loves quantifiable measures (If I call 100 people I will get 10 meetings and 2 sales) and the digital universe isn’t setup to be conducive to quantifying results.  That is where the digital strategist comes in.  They are the purveyor of all things actionable and can translate what a business needs into a measurable digital strategy.





Featured Job: Digital Solution Analyst

When you’re a Digital Solution Analyst who is looking for the right challenge in the modern world, it can be difficult to know where you fit. Look no further! We can tell you exactly what your next move should be.

Our client is turning the gears of the global economy. They run the everyday transactions that make life easier for Canadians and the rest of the world. For more than 130 years, they have helped companies connect, interact and transact with customers from all corners of the globe. You could be a part of this revolutionary company that is transforming businesses, and easily keeping pace with the Digital Revolution.

They are looking for someone who can quickly understand next generation digital commerce. They need someone who has the determination and the dedication to revolutionize loyalty management systems, who can develop customized applications using the MS Win platforms, and is as proactive and innovative as the company they will be working for.

The ideal candidate has retail business analyst skills, with knowledge of recent retail digital strategies.  They also have experience with BRD and SRD solution determination, good verbal and written client communication skills, and have business experience working with customer information.

This is a contract position, but any candidates selected will be kept busy for a long while.   Untitled-1

Featured Job: Senior Game Developer

The digital revolution is bringing ground-shaking changes to the way we work and play.  For many companies and individuals, it is difficult to keep pace in the wake of these innovations. Our client has no such problem.

They are known for their revolutionary shifts in driving forward the world of Canadian entertainment. They are making amazing strides and are helping define this changing landscape.

They have an opportunity for a senior game developer with a passion for the digital revolution. This candidate must be able to look to the challenges that the future may bring, and see them as moments to excel.

This innovator must be someone who can quickly understand the scope of game entertainment, and scale it to millions of users. They must also have the determination and the dedication to develop truly social experiences through mobile technology, to enhance concepts and designs for games, and to bring the next generation of entertainment to audiences.

The ideal candidate has experience with game scripting and design.  They must be able to quickly adapt to a fast and changing environment. Ideally, candidates are familiar with internalization and localization, and are comfortable taking the initiative for quality and productivity.

This is a permanent position, and any candidates selected will be kept busy for a long while.

Our client is an award winning company that is set to carry Canadian entertainment into the future. On top of that, they are in multiple venues across the country and provide content to millions of consumers worldwide. You could be a part of this exceptional company that is making a difference in how people the world over work and play.

If you’re an innovator or a builder who is looking to put their own stamp on things, this company is just what you’re looking for.








Interview ??: What have you learned from your mistakes?

The easiest answer to that question would be “I don’t make mistakes”.  Which might be true!  But definitely not what the interviewer is looking for.  Don’t be too vague with your answers.  It helps if you give an actual example:

  • I updated a billing module, it was all tested and ready to go and I realized that I had neglected to send it to production.  My first reaction was to hide and hope no one noticed.  But thankfully I realized that that would have been a way bigger mistake.  So I bit the bullet admitted my mistake and quickly worked to correct it.  I learned from this that you can’t hide from your mistakes.  They won’t go away, so just fix them.
  • I didn’t believe in myself.  When I had a problem I went looking for help as soon as I hit a bump.  My co-worker finally said, “Don’t give up so easily.  Persevere at it and you will figure it out.”  Now I don’t give up as soon and keep digging until I find the answer.
  • When I first started in my previous position, I was scared to ask for help, in case my co-workers thought I wasn’t qualified for the job.  Now I know that it is better to ask for help then make costly mistakes that have to be fixed by myself or my co-workers
  • In dealing with customers I quickly learned not to say “I can’t do that” right away.  Customers want you to at least try to help even if the outcome is the same.  So I found that telling a customer “Let me see what I can do” and then trying my best to help them, made the customer more satisfied.

Keep in mind that the interviewer isn’t too worried about how bad the mistake was, they want you to admit that:

  • Yes, you have made mistakes
  • You learned from your mistakes
  • You didn’t blame co-workers
  • That you are open to learning.
This question helps you to show your integrity, honesty, ego, very important characteristics that employers are looking for.
So keep in mind, that we learn as much from our mistakes as our successes. 
Good Luck Job Hunting happyfacehanddrawn


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

Job Tips

#JobTip:  Employers want to see enthusiasm, so show some knowledge about their company and how you will fit in!


JobTips 60