Working with a recruiter can really help gain a deeper insight into an applicant – including some information you might not be able to glean even at interview stage.

Time is key in recruitment – but so is accuracy, as picking the wrong candidate for a role can have disastrous effects. To make the best decisions, you need lots of information on applicants, and much of it isn’t listed on a CV. But you still have your day job to do – so how do you find the time to contact each applicant and find out if they’d be a good fit?

One of the best ways to stay efficient while minimising risk is to work with an recruitment agency – they’ll do the legwork on your behalf and find out all the information you need to make an informed decision. Not only will you have years of experience on your side, but many (including us!) offer rebates on permanent placements, giving your organisation an extra level of protection.

Wondering what a recruiter can tell you that you won’t see on a CV? Read on!

A candidate’s confidence

Thanks to pre-screening on the phone (and sometimes in person too) a recruiter will be able to tell you about a candidate’s confidence in themselves and their skills. Some applicants also get quite nervous in interviews, so having an idea of how confident they are can help you set expectations (and make allowances for nervousness that might affect their interview performance). It’s also great to have information about their confidence in their skills, especially for candidates delivering teaching, because it’s important that the learners feel they are an authority on the subject they’re delivering!

Whether they’re likely to accept your salary offer

Because a recruiter acts as an impartial 3rd party, they can easily have frank conversations with candidates about how much they expect to earn. They do this to set expectations for both clients and candidates – and to better match candidates to the roles right for them. This means they’ll have a good idea about whether a candidate will accept your salary offer – as well as knowing any extra benefits that would make them more likely to accept the role!

Interview and work availability

One of the most tedious and fiddly parts of recruitment is organising interviews and figuring out when a candidate can start work – but a recruiter knows this, and they will already have had an initial conversation with any candidate they send you. They’ll also likely organise the interview for you, so all you have to do is to tell them when you’re free: they’ll sort the rest!

If they’re interested in any other roles

While you might not feel comfortable asking a candidate if they’ve applied for other roles (and they might not feel comfortable giving you this information anyway), a recruiter will usually talk through this with them. This information could be key – you might need to act quickly and beat any other potential offers to ensure you snag the perfect candidate!

How communicative and keen they are

Many roles require good communication as a key element – and this is something it’s almost impossible to gauge from a CV alone. You’ll also want your applicants to be keen, because you likely want someone to stay engaged and motivated in the role for a while! A recruiter speaks to lots of applicants on a daily basis so they learn to spot who’s keen and will be a long-term asset to your organisation.

The candidate’s ethos – what’s going to keep them motivated

A job is more than just a salary – but every candidate has different motivations and expectations of their employer. A good recruiter will have a conversation with their candidate about what’s important to them in their role – whether that’s flexibility, autonomy, variety or challenges to overcome. They could be driven by progression, learner achievement or just plain old money – each of these is fine, but it’s great information to inform your decision! If these elements match up with your vacancy, you’ll know the candidate is more likely to be a good fit for your organisation!

Their past reliability

Many of our candidates have worked for us before – so we have an idea of how reliable they are at turning up for interviews, and whether they are punctual on assignments or not. We also have a rating system built into our timesheet authorisation process, so candidates who have worked with us previously have had their performance rated by their line managers too. You won’t find that out from a CV – but you could find it out from us!

Why they left their last job

While some people see this as a negative conversation, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of reasons people leave roles – and leaving an organisation to gain more responsibility or autonomy shows a candidate is ambitious and willing to work hard.

How far they’re willing to travel

One of the first questions a recruiter will ask is how far a candidate is willing to travel – and whether they like to drive or use public transport. That means every candidate a recruiter sends to you will be willing to travel to your organisation!

What they can bring to your role

Good recruiters will always discuss a role with a candidate before sending them to an employer – so they can get a really good idea of whether a candidate is a good fit. Of course – a recruiter will only send a candidate who they deem suitable for your role, but what’s on paper isn’t always the full story.

Erin, Account Manager at Protocol, said, “Most of the time, we send a candidate’s CV over, let the manager know our opinions on the initial screening – and they’ve got the job before they even know it!”

Their strengths and weaknesses at work

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in the workplace – but it’s good to know an applicant’s to see how they will fit into your team. While this is a discussion you can have at interview, sometimes a particular strength or weakness could be a deal breaker – so finding this out before you organise an interview could save you a lot of valuable time.

What success looks like to them

This is a key one – you want your candidates’ opinion of success in their role to align with your own! But it also goes a long way to show whether they’ll be fulfilled in their role – if the opportunities for their own success are not readily available, they’re unlikely to stay engaged and motivated for very long.

Their character traits and personality

A recruiter can get a good feel for a candidate’s personality traits by talking to them – but it can get more detailed and scientific than that. Here at Protocol, many of our consultants are trained PPA Thomas International Practitioners, and for senior roles we can carry out a full personality profile on both the candidate and your team (where necessary) – so you’ll have an even better idea of how their unique personality will fit within your organisation.

Working with a recruiter in the long-term can work in your favour too – they get to know what kind of personalities are a good fit in an organisation’s culture, and thus can find candidates who fit in more easily.

Adrienne, Recruitment Co-ordinator at Protocol, said “I always inform managers of our likeability of a candidate from an initial phone conversation, or meeting in person for pre-screening. I always find informing a manager if I got on well with the candidate or not goes quite far with selling them for a position – as a CV can’t tell you about their personality!”

How unique their combination of skills and experience is

Recruiters know the job market – even more so if they’re specialists – so they’ll be able to tell you exactly how unique a candidate’s skills are. Sometimes there are lots of similar candidates out there that could be a good fit for your role, and other times a candidate that fits every aspect of the job description is like gold dust! This advice can be invaluable, especially when you are recruiting for a new role you’ve never hired before.

Want a great recruiter on your side? Contact us to find out how we can help you improve efficiency and minimise risk in your recruitment process!

Need to hire quickly?

No time to talk right now? Upload a job now and we’ll do the rest!

Send a job now

or talk to us for advice on 0115 911 1100.

Find your next job in education, skills and training

Search by job role and location, for example, “technician”