How to Hire a Recruiter: A Brief Guide

How to Hire a Recruiter: A Brief Guide

At Job Crystal we know a thing or two about how to hire a recruiter. We hire internal recruiters (those that work in a company and hire only for that business) and we hire 360 recruiters in our own business. You could say we hire more recruiters than any other role consistently.

Having not originally come from a recruitment background I find you get all sorts of recruiters. Some have a passion for the industry, others because they do not know what else they should be doing. Often recruiters spend so much time helping others find jobs, they don’t look at their own careers.

With this, we share our brief guide on how to hire a recruiter, based on our 20 years of experience.

  1. Agency experience

When you work in recruiting you have an option to work in ‘HR’ ‘People’ department of a business. Or you can work in a recruitment agency, this is a business that recruits for a range of different companies. Recruitment agencies is a tough business to excel in. The old school agencies expected cold calling to clients; visits to clients to get job descriptions; finding candidates; interviewing candidates with some heavy targets to achieve or you were out. We tend to prefer recruiters that have worked in an agency (for a while). As we find them more hard-working with a bit more staying power and know they can recruit, or they would have been kicked out.

2. Job hops

Recruiters work in the industry and know what a ‘Job hopper’ looks like. Saying this, you would want a recruiter who has not ‘Job hopped’ but shown some loyalty to a few companies. A note that moving jobs due to retrenchment is not seen as ‘Job hopping’, ensure you know the reasons for movement.

3. Original CV

Like point 2, recruiters work in the industry and view around 100 CVs a day. They know what a good CV looks like, versus a bad CV. A great recruiters’ CV is pristine, it has colour, enough detail to get their experience across is well-formatted and you know at first glance that it is a great CV.

4. Recruitment tools

There are 100’s of recruitment tools out there, from Job Boards to Job Portals, to free advertising, social media to new AI tools, and Boolean searches. In your screening ensure you ask the recruiter what their preferred tools are. Old school ‘free’ tools like and  are great to use but some new tools should be in the mix with a balance of paid and free. Mentions of Boolean searches, AI, NLP should be heard in your screening.

5. Their why

Some recruiters fall into the industry and stay in the industry forever due to money they can make, some fall into the industry for the love of people and others join the industry as they want to change lives. Think about this for a moment, you spend 1/3 of your life at work – imagine you can change 1/3 of someone’s life?

Recruiters do this day in and day out and you can see very quickly the ones that do it for the right why! The recruiters that are passionate about people, really knowing what a client is looking for and finding that in a candidate, they are usually the ones that take extra time when they find the right candidate and treat the others well.

6. Emails

Recruiting is a highly intensive administrative role, where you need to be brilliant at having all things in order, especially your email. When recruiting a recruiter have a look at how quickly they reply to you, what their emails look like when they respond and the care they add to the details. Recruiting is about the details and all about communication. They should be fast, brilliant, and great communicators – especially in emails to you when applying or answering questions.

7. Speed

Everyone can find someone to hire, but it is finding the right person – fast! As per point 1, recruiters that have worked in an agency often have competition in placing a candidate as the job is shared in an agency. A good recruiter will find a candidate, screen, interview, type out their CV in a flash. A recruiter that has worked in a business, hired internally, we find hire slower as they have more time in a corporate business to find the right candidate.

8. Its all about the detail

Like point 6 and about details, recruiters are matchmakers. They need to take a set of requirements and find people that match those accurately. If they receive a job description that says, ‘must have a degree’, but then they send you a candidate without a degree? When you interview them see how accurate they are on the details.

9. Its all in your detail

Lastly it is about your detail when you hire a recruiter:

  1. Where you find them? Good recruiters will come from all platforms, the free ones and the paid ones like and , the really good ones will find you and send you an email directly to your mailbox. Let me explain, a recruiter ‘finds/searches/stalks’ people, if a recruiter is looking for a job, they will find your job and should be able to find your contact details.
  • What questions you ask in screening or interviewing? Recruiters know all the standard questions … throw some curve balls (ideas below):

What about life fascinates you?

What is the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?

If you were given six months where you didn’t have to worry about money, personal or professional obligations, how would you spend that time?

If you were a piece of productivity software, which one would you be?

Tell me five different ways you could use a stapler when it runs out of staples.

  • What assessments are you using? A good measure is to give a recruiter an assessment.
  • Can they write a job description? Ask them to create a job description based on very few details.
  • Can they interview? Request for them to interview you for 5 minutes.
  • Ask them to find you 3 good salespeople on LinkedIn in 5 minutes (it should take them 1 minute).
  • Ensure you ALWAYS do background checks; you can do these online and quickly at

We hope this brief guide on how to hire a recruiter helps you hire well.

Sasha Knott, MD of Job Crystal is a thought leader in the Entrepreneur space. She has recruited 1000’s candidates over the years in start-ups, corporates, agencies, and for in her own businesses. For more details, you can contact Sasha at