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Reon Porter
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So, you’re looking for a new opportunity and you’ve decided to reach out to or maybe you’ve been referred to a recruiter to help you in your search – what should you expect when working with a recruiter?

What are the benefits of using a recruiter?

A recruiter’s number one goal is to get you hired and until that happens they will do their best to educate you, prepare you, and coach you through all aspects of the interview and hiring process!

  1. Insider knowledge – Recruiters spend a great deal of time getting to know their clients, their needs, their corporate cultures and more! This can be a huge benefit for you as they can help identify clients that align with your job search as well as give key tips for interview prep with a client they know well.
  2. Access to more jobs – In many cases, recruiters may have roles that aren’t advertised and be able to put you forward for roles you didn’t even know existed!
  3. Save time – How many hours do you spend scouring the newspaper and sending applications? By using a recruiter, you can save some of your time searching for positions.
  4. Get feedback on your resume and sage interview tips! Recruiters will help you get your resume in tip-top shape to present to clients and will also help you prepare for interviews, because remember – they want you to get that job too!
  5. You stay in a database (with your permission, of course) – Even if your recruiter doesn’t have a position for you immediately, your information will go on their database or system so that when suitable roles arise in the future they can keep you in mind.

How do recruitment agencies work?

Imagine a company is a huge puzzle – you’ve spent forever putting all the pieces together and right when you think you’re finished, there’s one piece missing! That’s where recruiters come in, we look long and hard to find that missing puzzle piece that is the perfect match for our clients.

It’s important to understand recruiters tend to work on behalf of a client’s company, meaning that they gather the job description and specifications, along with the brief from Management and then search for the ‘perfect fit’ candidates. So, while helping people is the most satisfying part of our work, it’s literally our job to put forth candidates who meet our client’s needs. Recruiters don’t find jobs for people — they find people for jobs. There are a few occasions where this wouldn’t be the case, for executive search for example or for very niche roles but your recruiter would speak to about this.

That sounds pretty cutthroat, but this can work in your favour! Recruiters want you to be the successful candidate for the role they’re putting you forward for, so take advantage of your recruiter’s suggestions whether it be resume tips or interview insights!

Will a recruiter charge me for their services?

Using Nova as a candidate is completely free of charge. We will never charge you for our service of putting you forward to clients. Our revenue comes from charging clients (the employers) a “placement fee” when our candidates are made an offer – hence why we have to find that perfect match!

How long will it take to hear about a job?

Keeping in mind what was explained above, it really depends as we work on behalf of our clients and so, while we wish we could control the market, we react to the needs of our clients and their internal processes. We’re always here, so feel free to reach out to the team if you ever have any questions!

It is important to know from the get go that a recruiter is not going to do everything for you, this is going to take some effort from your end as well – it is your future after-all! For example, if we recommend a resume change, it’s because we think it’s going to get you more interviews or increase the odds that our client responds positively. Make sure you’re easily reached, open to suggestions and ready to put in work where needed!

What to expect in your meeting with a recruiter?

Remember how we said that recruiters work on behalf of their clients? As that is the case, you want to make sure that when you’re meeting/speaking with a recruiter for the first time that you are there to impress!

As recruiters work on behalf of their clients, you can think of this meeting for all intents and purposes as a screening interview – a chance for the recruiter to get to know you, see how you react and compose yourself in an interview setting and also start to see what clients/positions you might be suited for.

Thinking of this like an interview, that means you should dress appropriately, be on time (aka be 10-15 minutes early), have positive body language, and be confident in your skills and abilities as well as be ready and able to answer questions your recruiter might have.

Keep an open line of communication 

From the very first meeting onwards, ensure that you keep communication with your recruiter consistent, updating them on your key criteria for the perfect opportunity. This is essential to building a relationship, ensuring that your recruiter is working with you to the best of their ability and presenting you with roles that are best aligned with your search.

Things your recruiter needs to know

For a recruiter to be able to match you to the perfect opportunities, both now and in the future, they need to know a few key things to ensure their search is aligned with yours and that they are presenting you with roles that tick your boxes as well as their client’s.

  • What is your motivation for leaving/looking for a new opportunity?

You’re looking for a new job, you likely wouldn’t have reached out to a recruiter if you weren’t. Your reasons for wanting to leave your current job could be anything from the culture, the lack of growth opportunities or maybe you’re looking to move into a role with more flexibility. Whatever it is, your recruiter will find this information invaluable, and it will only benefit you in the long run to help us understand your motivations.

No matter what your reason for leaving, relay that information in a positive way! Sure, you could absolutely despise your current workplace for various reasons, but one of the biggest pitfalls candidates make in meeting with recruiters (as well as in interview) is talking negatively about your current/previous employer – trust me, it’s never a good idea! Instead of saying “All my boss ever does is micromanage me, I feel suffocated and that everything I do is being scrutinized.” instead, you could say “I prefer to be given more autonomy in my role and be trusted to get on with the task in hand.” See what we did there?

  • What is your ideal job?

We’ve all heard the saying “find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, so what would your ideal job description look like? Obviously, we need to still be practical here but some starting points thinking about this would be your key responsibilities and your strengths and weaknesses. Write down the key responsibilities of your ideal role, based upon what you enjoy about your current role as well as in previous jobs.  Next, be clear on what your unique selling points are, identifying the hard and soft skills which suit your ideal responsibilities, and the areas in which you may need to up-skill.

Your recruiter can advise you on how to bridge any skills gaps and may know of opportunities that can support you in doing this. Nova has a wide range of training workshops and online training options available for candidates to utilize, as well as our tailored careers advice sessions where we can help you to come up with a plan for this!

  • Your ideal company

When you think about what makes somewhere a “great place to work” what comes to mind? What you’re picturing in your head is likely to be different to what I’m envisioning and that’s completely expected! We’re all unique and what we’re looking for is no different, so it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for so that your recruiter knows what roles to present to you. These are a few things to consider: company size, company culture, industry as well as the nitty gritty practicalities such as benefits and compensation.

Maybe you already have some companies in mind which you like the sound of working for? If not, do some research based on the above criteria, and take this list to your recruiter in this meeting.

  • The “non-negotiables” and the “nice to haves”

Now comes the part where you really need to think about things and boil down what you need and what you want. That said, you need to be realistic here. Some roles won’t tick every box, but there could be certain factors that are extremely important to you. Highlight the parts you could compromise on, so that your recruiter knows not to pass you up for a promising opportunity, just because it wasn’t 100 percent perfect.

Are you non-negotiable on a flexible working policy because you have a small cake business that you’re trying to get off the ground, but might have a little wiggle room on salary? This is important for a recruiter to know!

  • Where have you applied?

One thing that is important to know and understand when working with a recruiter is that if you have applied directly to a company, a recruiter will not be able to represent you to that client even if it is for a completely different role.

If you’re working with a recruiter but see a position that you might be interested in that they haven’t approached you with just yet don’t just go and apply directly – speak to your recruiter first! The reason for this is that your recruiter often has strong relationships with HR teams and hiring managers and so they may be able to approach these companies for you and get you in front of the ‘powers that be’ as opposed to getting stopped by a gatekeeper application portal.

  • Are you working with other recruiters/agencies?

We understand that you’re looking for a new position and want to tackle your search as best as possible and so we understand that you might feel you should register with multiple agencies and work with multiple recruiters. While there is no inherent issue with this, it is important to understand that if a recruiter has represented you to a client then a different recruiter cannot double up that application – just like how if you’ve applied directly they can’t represent you.

To find out more about Nova’s recruitment services and how we can help you with your job search, reach out to our team at or fill out our consultation request form and come in for a meeting now that you know what to expect!


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