en

Services

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help clients across South East Asia meet their needs

Read more
Candidates

Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more
Services

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help clients across South East Asia meet their needs

Read more
About Robert Walters Singapore

Since our establishment in 1998, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Singapore.

Learn more

What to look for in a recruitment consultant

Any experienced jobseeker can tell you, there are plenty of recruitment consultancies out there. However, with each varying significantly in terms of experience, expertise and style, how do you find the one that’s right for you? Here, with the help of our experts, are five key questions to ask:

1) Are they a specialist in the area you’re working in? 

Job roles are increasingly specialised, and it’s frustrating for a candidate to talk to someone who claims to have in-depth understanding of your sector and discipline, but when you scratch the surface, it’s clear that they don’t really understand your area at all. How can someone represent you credibly to potential employers if they don’t really get what you do? 

“You want to look for functional expertise in your area,” says Joanne Chua, Regional Client Development Director for South East Asia and Greater China, Robert Walters. “If you are a digital marketing candidate, for example, you want to be sure that you are talking to a recruiter who has a demonstrable track record of recruiting in that area – or who can at least draw on a large team, backed by appropriate experience, that does.” 

“What you don’t want is someone who’s a jack of all trades and a master of none,” says Louise Campbell, Managing Director, Robert Walters Ireland. “For example, someone who was working with a lawyer yesterday, a marketer today and a receptionist tomorrow. Look for evidence of knowledge of your industry or sector – throw a few keywords at them and see how they cope.”

2) Do you have people on the ground?

For candidates considering an international move, it’s vital to have people on the ground who know about your target territory. This kind of local knowledge and experience will help you as a candidate decide if the location is a good fit for you.   

“If I’m looking to relocate from London to Singapore, I’m about to move somewhere that’s very different in all sorts of ways to what I’m used to. I need someone who’s physically based where I’m going, so they can advise me on all those vital details beyond work, such as tax, housing and culture,” says Joanne.

3) Do you work on commission?

“When consultants work on individual commission, the dynamic changes,” says Louise. “Without the pressure of commission, there’s no need for a consultant to over-sell a specific role or try to shoehorn you into something that’s not really the right fit for you. So, it’s really worth taking the time to find a recruitment consultancy that incentivises recruiters to work in the long-term interests of organisations and candidates.”  

Joanne agrees. “Ask yourself: Is this consultant in it for the long haul? Do they care about me? Some recruiters are very transactional – they just want to get you placed so they can pick up a commission and move on to the next one. But as a candidate, I want a recruiter who cares about me and my future, who’s in it for the long-term relationship.”  

4) Will you have the whole business working for you – or will you be working solely with one person? 

“You want a consultant who’s interested in finding the right job for the right person,” says Louise. Good recruiters will introduce a candidate to other experts within their business, she says, all of whom will be happy to contribute their skills, contacts and knowledge of different territories. 

“You want access to the widest possible pool of opportunity – the whole array of jobs and opportunities even up to the global scale,” she says. “This is another disadvantage of the individual commission-based agency, where you’ll only meet the one consultant, who’ll be desperate to place you among their contacts and won’t be able to take account of the wider network of possibilities that might be out there.” 

5) Will I have to work with one agency exclusively? 

Candidates should think twice about working with a recruitment consultancy that demands you work exclusively with them. 

“A good consultant should make you feel you’ve no need to go elsewhere, that the whole market is being covered for you – but they should never try to pressure you into any kind of exclusivity agreement,” says Louise. Learn how to maximise your relationship with a recruiter and reach your goals.

Ready to start your job search? View and apply for our latest job opportunities.

Share this article

Useful links

Explore new opportunities
Salary Survey
Career Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View All

Set up your LinkedIn for successful international job hunting

Moving abroad and looking for new career opportunities? LinkedIn can be your secret weapon. It's the ultimate professional networking platform that helps you showcase your skills, connect with industry professionals, and uncover job openings. Our International Career Management team is here to help

Read More

Our top tips for moving abroad

Top tips for moving abroad from Robert Walters international career management team Are you considering a move abroad and looking for a new job? Congratulations! Starting a new job in a new country is a highly rewarding and exciting adventure. However, it can also be a little daunting. Here are some

Read More

The importance of work-life balance when living abroad

Embarking on an international career journey is an exciting opportunity for personal and professional growth. However, amidst the challenges and demands of adapting to a new country, it’s crucial to prioritise work-life balance. In this month’s write up, let’s explore the significance of maintaining

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.