🚩 The recruiting agency asks uncomfortable questions. Is it a red flag?

NEWHR Recruiting
3 min readMay 7, 2024

The choice of a recruiting agency determines how quickly you will hire the specialists your business needs. This choice will also affect your reputation as an employer.

A great agency can help you develop a search strategy, bring in expert candidates, and create a positive reputation for your HR brand.

This is critical when searching for unique specialists and top managers. Here, every candidate is important, and the price of a mistake increases many times over. Each candidate requires an individual approach and a well-thought-out communication plan.

A recruiting agency should be able to answer candidates’ questions and communicate with them in the same language. Companies should carefully approach the choice of an agency with which they will cooperate in hiring key people for the business.

At NEWHR, we are well aware of the problem of choosing an agency, because:

🦄 We are such an agency ourselves and strive to provide the best service to our clients.

🦄 Most of our consultants have previously led HR and/or recruitment in product tech companies.

🦄 We regularly ask our clients: “Why have you decided to change agencies? Why did you contact us? What is the best result for you when working with an agency?”

In our experience, one of the important criteria for choosing an agency is how many questions it asks the client at the beginning of work and how deep they are. It would seem that you came to recruiting experts for solutions and answers, and not to answer questions! However, we are convinced that questions are important.

🚩 Red flag: the agency asks very few questions

It is ready to take up the search without delving into the details, the specifics of the role, the features of your particular business and team. Recruiters who’ve gathered little information at the start are more likely to find candidates who mismatch your vacancy and the needs of your business.

What’s worse, such agencies can mislead candidates or fail to present your company properly. Such an agency can damage your reputation among candidates in the market.

It will be difficult for you to reach out to the same specialists again. You will have to work with their objections and concerns about your company, which arose when the agency communicated with the candidates on your behalf. This will complicate the already challenging task.

We believe that the first stage of work on a vacancy is a detailed briefing

Its purpose is to find out all the important facts about the business, strategy, team, tasks of the vacancy, criteria for evaluating candidates and many other issues. At the output of the briefing, you will receive a detailed task for the search.

“When we take on a vacancy for any top manager of the core team, we also brief other C-level managers and founders of the company. This approach allows us to understand which candidate will better fit into the team”, — says NEWHR executive search consultant Olga Makarova.

Be prepared for the recruiter to ask uncomfortable questions. In our opinion, the deeper these questions are, the better. The questions depend on the role. For example:

“What is your business strategy? What is your competitive advantage? Is your business profitable? What problems do you want to solve with hiring? What are your deadlines for closing the vacancy and what do they depend on?” etc.

It may seem like asking all this is too much. Yet, the agency needs to delve into the details and tasks your business wants to solve with the help of hiring.

⭐ Working with an agency is more effective when both parties build a partnership

This means that the customer is ready to listen to the recommendations of the agency. And the agency, in turn, is ready to listen to the customer. To do its job best the agency could ask deep, but important questions; argue its point of view and share its expertise.

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NEWHR Recruiting

The Premier Recruiting Agency You Can Trust for Your Company's Hiring Needs. We Find Any Specialist for IT Companies Globally.