About to interview with a recruiter
July 26, 2013 11:17 PM   Subscribe

I have a great job as a designer but it has some long hiatus periods. I have an interview with a recruiting company on Monday. However, I also have a decent number of freelance clients, including some very large companies and I'm worried that joining with this recruiter might either not be necessary or worse.

I had to reschedule the recruitment interview due to a last minute design gig and they rescheduled it...and said that I would only get one rescheduling. That's fine but that, plus the fact that they want me to do a version of my résumé with only their contact info, makes me get a different vibe from them than I had when I started the process and now I wonder what other policies they might have, particularly if any benefit them more than me.

Any specific warning signs I should look out for? Anything I should know going in? The company is legit (as far as I know) and I used to know people who worked for them.
posted by Brainy to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I can't speak to the rescheduling warning, but I have a resume with only the agency's contact info with a creative services company, and that seems par for the course. Technically, you should be able to set some standards yourself -- I mentioned that I preferred to work only in Seattle, for instance, and didn't want to go to Bellevue where a lot of tech businesses are based, and also that I preferred part time gigs since I had freelance book clients, and they noted both of those things. They do still contact me if they have opportunities that don't meet those standards, but of course I can always say no.

Remember that if they're a good agency, YOU are making money for THEM, so they should be willing to be reasonable in how they work with you. It's odd to me that they'd be weird about the rescheduling thing -- shit happens, and that seems a little snippy to me, but I'm sure you'll have a better sense of whether or not they're overly persnickety once you meet with them.

They should be able to clearly articulate how much money they can charge for your services, what range you're willing to work in, your scheduling, what they take out of your paycheck, etc. If they're not, they might be less legit than they seem. I've never worked for an agency that didn't spell out everything clearly, including if they offer benefits and how that works if you don't have full time contract employment.

If you don't mesh with your recruiter, find another one you do. There should be enough people that you can find someone you like. If you can't, then that might be another strike against them. Bring your portfolio and if you have some leave behinds, that would be good, since they'll want to have something they can show prospective clients.
posted by emcat8 at 12:12 AM on July 27, 2013

Those are both pretty normal. If you're difficult to schedule with as a candidate, then you risk being a problem for the company they place you with, which reflects poorly on them. And, since the business relationship is between the hiring company and the recruiting firm, their contact info goes on all resumes.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:55 AM on July 27, 2013

Go in knowing that you have a great skill and active clients, and that they should really want you. My message to them would be - can you help me supplement my existing work? Don't take crappy pay. Also keep in mind, and mention to them if needed, that you have great clients, and may someday need their services to hire people.
posted by theora55 at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2013

Recruiters are a funny bunch. The bottom line is that they are there to make money off of you and you are pretty much a product to them. That doesn't mean that they can't be nice or helpful or want you to succeed, but it's just something to keep in mind.

The contact information thing is pretty standard. If they present you to a client, they don't want the client to be able to sneakily direct-hire you.
posted by radioamy at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2013

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