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What type of clients come to KNF&T for our staffing services?
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KNF&T helps a plethora of clients from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Check out the company website to look for client reviews and any other indicator of whom their clients might be. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on KNF&T before attending your interview.
"There are many rave reviews on your website from companies big and small. I see that you have reviews from (A) and (B) which are very impressive. I have recruited for clients in similar industries and even direct competitors in the past. This experience will ensure that I catch on very quickly to your clients' varying needs."
Second Answer Example
"I believe that clients of KNF&T consist of any sized business who need help finding rare skill sets or who need to volume hire for seasonal operations. Although I did not see any specific clients listed on your website, I suspect your biggest clients are within logistics and warehousing, administration, and sales. Is this accurate to say?"
This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what it is that you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.
"I come across many candidates who do not understand what a staffing agency is. I explain to them that a staffing agency works on behalf of other companies to help them find the best talent for their open jobs. I explain that most of my clients do not have the time to filter through thousands of job applications per year, or hire in a timely fashion, so they ask for outside help."
Second Answer Example
"A staffing agency is like an extension of a company's human resources department. When a company is too busy to keep up with their recruitment needs, a staffing agency will come in to help them source candidates, pre-screen for job skills, and conduct first interviews."
How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?
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This one may be a trick question! Legitimate staffing agencies never charge job seekers for placement services. That's right; every placement fee paid to a staffing agency is from the hiring company.
In many countries, such as Canada, it is illegal for a recruitment or staffing agency to charge candidates for job placements. These regulations do not include fees for resume writing or career coaching, for instance. The bottom line is, a job seeker never pays money to be considered for an open position with a staffing agency or their clients.
"All placement fees are paid for by the client, rather than the candidate. In my current agency, we charge the client between 18-25% of the candidates' first years' salary. This fee structure means that if the candidates agreed upon salary is $100K, then our fee would be $18-25K; never paid for by the candidate. I understand that different regions have various fee structures. However, I believe that a client should always pay the agency placement fee. No financial burden should fall on the job seeker."
Second Answer Example
"Placement fees are paid to a staffing agency when they successfully place a job seeker in a new role with their client. Fee percentages vary; however, an agency should always invoice the hiring company. A candidate may pay for assistance such as resume writing or career coaching; however, they do not pay the employment placement fee."
The interviewer wants to see that you understand the fee structure at KNF&T or at least staffing agencies in general. Depending on your region, this response could vary as there are different rules and regulations surrounding staffing and recruitment around the world.
For the most part, a staffing agency makes a profit in three ways:
Permanent placement fees are usually a set percentage based on the ideal candidate's salary. Let's say that a staffing agency is asked to headhunt a chemical engineer. The staffing agency finds the perfect candidate, and that chemical engineer comes with an asking salary of $100K per year. The hiring company would pay (in addition to the $100K salary) a fee of 18-25% that number, as a permanent placement fee. So, a one-time $18-25K fee.
Temp fees are a surcharge in addition to a temporary employee or contractors' hourly wage. Assuming the same chemical engineer is working on a 12-month contract for an oil and gas company. The OG company does not want to add this engineer to their permanent payroll or pay the engineer's employment insurance and other government required fees. The staffing agency will take on the role of 'employer' and charge the additional costs plus a commission to the OG company. Let's say the chemical engineer is asking for $40/hour. The staffing agency will charge the OG company $55/hour, giving $40 to the contractor and taking $15 as an administration fee and commission.
A retainer is a fee that is paid in advance to secure the services of a staffing agency. Primarily retainers are only requested by high-end executive search firms who conduct long, complicated searches for talents such as surgeons, lawyers, professors, and CFOs. In this instance, the hiring company would pay a large sum upfront to the agency, and then the remainder of their fee once the ideal candidate accepts a job offer.
Chances are, KNF&T will be paid by perm or temp placement fees only. Speak to the interviewer briefly about fee structures, showing that you come from a place of full understanding.
"I fully understand how recruitment and staffing agencies make a profit. My educated guess is that you earn a profit through permanent placement fees and temp fees. Could you share with me what your fee percentage is? My current agency charges 20-22% depending on the difficulty of the position and the location of our search."
Second Answer Example
"From my research, I understand that KNF&T makes a profit from placement fees. I am familiar with three fee styles; the permanent search fee, which is a flat rate. The other is a temp fee, added onto a contractors' hourly wage. The other is a retainer where the client pays a large percentage upfront, similar to hiring an attorney. Which fee structure is used most at KNF&T?"
What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?
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Temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are recruitment and staffing terms that you will hear every day while working for KNF&T.
Working temp means that a contractor is on a temporary contract with the staffing agency, to work for their client, for a specific amount of time. Temp employees are paid directly from the staffing agency, and the agency then bills the client.
Temp-to-perm is a contract that begins temporarily with an opportunity for the contractor to be hired on full time once their work performance is proven.
Perm or permanent placement is when candidates undergo a traditional screening and hiring process with the agency and their client. In the end, the hiring company makes a permanent job offer to the candidate.
Take a few moments to share your knowledge with the interviewer.
"I get this question from candidates a lot, and it's best to keep the answer straightforward. Temp work is contract work that can last anywhere from a couple of days to a year or more, depending on the company's hiring needs. The contractor knows the assignment can end at any time, without notice. Temporary-to-permanent occurs when that contractor is asked to stay on as a dedicated employee after the original contract period is up. Permanent placements are traditional offer-to-hire gigs where an agency's client will hire the candidate as a dedicated payrolled employee."
Second Answer Example
"The most significant difference between temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are the expectations set from the beginning. Temp employees are paid by the staffing agency to fulfill a specific client need for an agreed-upon length of time. Temp-to-perm contractors may have the opportunity to be hired on full time once the contract is complete, and their performance is proven. Perm refers to traditional employment where a company offers to hire the job seeker immediately."
Name for me some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.
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Although it may seem strange to some people, there are many reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temporary employee. Job seekers from the beginning of their career, into retirement age, can all enjoy the perks of temp work. Some of these benefits include:
- Flexibility. As a temp worker, you can agree to take or turn down work at your leisure. For retired folks who travel a lot, temp work is excellent for seasonal needs.
- Buying time. Temp workers can earn money as contractors until they find the right permanent opportunity.
- Comply with work restrictions. Temp opportunities are often a better fit for people waiting on permanent residency or citizenship who may have federal work restrictions.
- Fill resume gaps. Temp offers job seekers the opportunity to learn new skills in a variety of settings, expanding their resume.
- Fast-track to employers. Temps are often offered a permanent position after their assignment is complete if the hiring authorities are impressed with their performance.
Discuss with the interviewer why you believe some candidates would prefer to take on temporary assignments.
"I have met many people who highly prefer working temp, for a variety of reasons. The most common reason being wanting to build out their resume to include more skills, and avoid resume gaps while they search for the perfect permanent opportunity. I have also met many semi-retired folks who temp as food samplers on weekends to supplement their retirement income. Temp is an excellent solution for many people."
Second Answer Example
"I have worked as a temp in the past. My reasoning was to earn money during the summer between university. I found this solution very beneficial as it rounded out my resume and helped me to network as well. Other people may like to temp if they want the flexibility, or if they have work restrictions due to personal circumstance."
7. What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience? KNF&T is all about empowering their candidates, which includes giving sound career and job-search advice to the candidates with whom they work. Talk to the hiring authority about the help that you would give to a recent graduate, with no work experience, who needed to round out their resume. Your advice could be to volunteer more, add in some temporary work, take additional coursework, and more. Example #1: "I am a strong believer in the power of volunteer work. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 hiring managers prefer to hire candidates with recent volunteer experience. For that reason, I advise new grads that their volunteer work should be on their resume, and it can trump work experience if highlighted to an employer correctly." Example #2: "The best piece of advice that I could give a recent grad is to continually educate themselves in the form of online coursework, reading the right books, and taking advantage of personal development opportunities. I would also recommend they network and get out in their community. Many jobs come through networking, so it's important to get your name out there."8. How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client? Many staffing agencies will have a schedule of events when it comes to checking in with candidates after placing them with a client. These check-ins are vital as they are meant to ensure that your candidate is happy with their new placement and that they are meeting performance expectations.
Most staffing agencies offer a free replacement to their client, should a candidate not work out for the best within 90 days of their employment start. For this reason, it's best practice to have regular check-ins for the first 90 days, and into the persons' first year. Show the interviewer that you understand the importance of this practice and that you are a diligent staffing professional. Example #1: "I have a schedule for checking in on every single one of my permanent placements. I check in on their first day and at the end of their first week. After their first week, I have a weekly check-in for the first 30 days. From then, every other week until they reach their 90 day probation period. From 90 days to year one, I schedule a monthly email. All of my candidates appreciate my diligence in ensuring they are happy with their placement. This action allows me to react to any potential situations before they become a major issue." Example #2: "I believe it's best to check in on the morning of their first day, and twice more during the candidate's first week. For the first 90 days, I will email or call once per week. Then, I check in monthly. These conversations are usually short. I ask questions related to expectations versus reality, their overall comfort level, and happiness with their new work environment."9. When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for? Stats show that a recruiter will give a resume between seven and eleven seconds of their attention before moving on to another resume. Experts in the staffing industry know how to scan and screen a resume for the most critical information, so they can easily shortlist or disqualify.
Working at KNF&T, chances are most of the resumes you will receive will first be screened by your applicant tracking system. Still, many more resumes will come through to your email. Show the interviewer that you know what to look for in a resume when you initially screen. Example #1: "When I am scanning a resume for the first time, I will first look to see if they meet my clients' educational requirements. Then, I look at their dates of employment to see if they are a job hopper. Next, I look at their job title and industries they have worked for, ensuring their career progression makes sense. I also want to know if they have worked for my client in the past. If they pass these initial checks, I will call them for a prescreen telephone interview." Example #2: "Job hopping is the first thing that I look for in a resume. If the candidate has held more than five jobs in three years, I disqualify them. It's nearly impossible to ask a client for a hefty fee when there are no guarantees this candidate would stick by them. Next, I look for a match with industry, education, and ensure that job titles and movement make sense. Did someone go from sales rep to CEO in 6 months? I would need to know more since that would be an unusual career progression."10. How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing? Artificial intelligence (AI) made it's splash on the staffing scene many years ago, with the introduction of ATS or applicant tracking systems. Today, AI is becoming smarter and more robust, making it easier to source and screen the best candidates. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you have seen AI change talent sourcing strategy. Example #1: "The most dramatic change I have seen in the talent sourcing and staffing industry has been the marriage of AI and affordable SaaS. Job postings and other tasks, automated by solutions such as Zip Recruiter, do a lot of initial sourcing and screening for HR professionals. This ease of use and its affordability means companies who once relied on a staffing agency are utilizing this technology for themselves. To overcome this, staffing agencies must offer the best and fastest service, proving more than ever before that their fees are worth paying." Example #2: "Applicant Tracking Systems are getting smarter every year, and once I learned how to utilize an ATS to my benefit, my recruitment process sped up exponentially. Now, I can deliver talented candidates to my clients' inbox in just a day or two, fully screened, and ready for their first interview. I also believe that tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter, which rely heavily on AI for search results, have greatly benefitted the staffing industry."11. In which categories does KNF&T recruit? The hiring authority at KNF&T needs to be sure that you have done your homework on their organization before attending your interview. There are a plethora of areas where recruitment work is prevalent.
To find out the categories where KNF&T recruits begin by looking at the job postings they have advertised on their website. Also, you can read some of the copy on their website, or look for customer reviews. List 3-5 industries from your research. Example #1: "When I looked through the job openings on your website, the most popular categories were Industrial & Manufacturing, Retail & Sales, and Office, Clerical & Administrative. In total, I believe you had around 400 jobs available just in those three categories. I was thrilled to see the high volume of open jobs. This volume tells me that your business development professionals and recruiters are hard at work!" Example #2: "From my research, the most popular categories for KNF&T appear to be IT, Hospitality & Administrative. Is this accurate? I saw the greatest volume of positions available in these three categories on your website. Also, many of your client reviews come from clients in these industries."12. Of the areas where KNF&T recruits, which are you most knowledgeable? It's impossible to be an expert in every job category. However, if you have worked as a generalist in the recruitment industry, you do know that it's possible to have a few favorites where your performance shines!
Of all the job categories that KNF&T recruits for, which areas do you believe you are the most knowledgable? Discuss these and why you are most comfortable in these categories. Example #1: "For many years, I worked as a temp recruiter focusing solely on industrial and warehousing. For this reason, I would say that I am most knowledgable in these areas. I can readily help your clients in the transportation and logistics industries as well. I have a firm grasp on industry jargon as well as the certifications and regulations that come with such safety-based industries." Example #2: "I see that KNF&T recruits in a variety of areas. Of these categories, sales and retail are the topics that I know best. I have worked in retail and sales, and have a strong idea of the type of candidates that are best in commissioned sales jobs. With that said, I am eager to get to know other industries such as hospitality and administration."13. Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seekers' perspective? If you have ever experienced staffing from the perspective of a job seeker, you can understand the recruitment process from a variety of perspectives. This experience allows you to be empathetic with job seekers who may be nervous working with a recruiter and their clients.
Talk to the interviewer about your experience working with a staffing agency. If you do not have this experience, that is okay too! What is most important is that you show KNF&T you have the empathy and patience needed to work with candidates who do not understand the goals of staffing. Example #1: "A few years ago I was headhunted into the role that I have now. This situation was my very first time being on the other side of the table and, honestly, it was a little bit intimidating! Even though I knew the staffing industry in and out, I was still unsure of next steps and felt a lot of pressure to impress multiple parties. I wanted to interview well with the company and not let down the recruiter who was working so hard to place me. This experience gave me a new perspective, and now I treat candidates with even more care and concern. I am clear on next steps, expectations, and give them every tool possible to help them succeed." Example #2: "Although I have not worked with a staffing agency, as a job seeker, I completely understand how the situation could be confusing and intimidating. To combat those feelings, I work closely with my candidates and am always open for questions along the way. I help my candidates with articles, guides, and information to ensure their success through the entire recruitment process."14. If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do? Temporary employment can be a challenge to navigate, especially in industries such as warehousing and logistics. These challenges come because:
- Candidate volume and placements are high
- Wages are average but competitive
- Hours can be sporadic
- Client communication is often lacking due to shift work
If a candidate let you down regularly by being late, no-showing to their assignment, or failing assessments such as forklift driving skills; what would you do? Show the interviewer that you have patience, that you are empathetic but firm at the same time. Example #1: "At the end of the day, it's my client who needs to be happy with the temporary employees that I provide them. If I had a temp who was continually failing to meet expectations, I would have to let them go. Anytime we drop the ball; it can negatively impact on my clients' bottom line, which is never a welcome situation. On any offense, such as being late or not showing up, I will call the temp employee and find out what happened. I ask for open lines of communication, and if we continually miss the mark on expectations, then I need to move on and put my energy elsewhere." Example #2: "I believe in setting expectations from the start. I let temporary employees know what will occur should they fail to come to work or show up for their assignment on time. For the most part, I have excellent working relationships with our temp employees. When I need to let a temp employee go, I still educate the person on work performance expectations, and I encourage them to try their best in the future."15. Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them? Every staffing professional knows that there are targets and goals to meet within their agency. In temporary recruitment, these targets often relate to the speed at which you fill open job orders or the volume of work that you get from your clients.
In permanent staffing, goals can include the fees you have collected each quarter, or how many job orders you brought in through cold calling efforts.
Talk to the interviewer about the goals and targets in your current position. If you are not sure of the goals present in this role with KNF&T, it is certainly okay to ask. Example #1: "In my current position I have a heavy focus on new client acquisition and business development activities which includes performing at least 60 cold calls per week. I always meet my performance targets, which also include job order volume, first interviews conducted, and placement fees collected. This month already, I am 154% to my placement fee goals." Example #2: "I am measured on how quickly I fill my temporary job orders and the number of new job orders that my existing clients send me every month. My average is 20 job orders per month, with an expectation of just 15. I am a high performer, and I look forward to bringing this winning attitude to KNF&T."16. What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with KNF&T? There are many tasks and accomplishments that you can focus on when working in the staffing industry. This question is meant to uncover if you have a plan to make an impact on KNF&T shortly after being hired. Much of the staffing industry involves sales-based tasks, so it's a great idea to go into your interview with a strategic plan for your first 30 days, and onward. Talk to the interviewer about your goals once you join KNF&T. Example #1: "From our conversation, I understand that you need a staffing expert with experience in business development within various engineering sectors. Once I have my footing at KNF&T, I plan to approach the hiring authorities in my network who work within various arms of engineering. In the first 30 days, I aim to bring in 15 new job orders. In the next 60 to 90 days, I will boost that goal to 25 each month. I am confident in my ability to grow into this role quickly while exceeding your business development expectations." Example #2: "Once hired at KNF&T, I plan to dive into my training, bringing my studies home, and taking time in evenings and weekends to master the content given to me. It's important to me that I learn the staffing industry quickly so that I can begin making an impact when it comes to research, prospecting, and business development activities."17. When have you had to change a search due to new information from your client? Recruitment projects can change on a dime for a variety of reasons. In the staffing industry, you may find that your client calls off a search entirely after you have poured all of your energy into it for two weeks.
Other situations may change, such as their ideal background or candidate education. Perhaps the client forgot to mention that the role requires extensive travel or eventual relocation.
Talk to the interviewer about a time when you had to pivot your search due to new information. Discuss how you reacted and what you did to keep the momentum going. Most of all, KNF&T wants to see that you are adaptable. Example #1: "Just last month I had a client who needed to find ten territory sales reps in 60 days. The job order was one of the largest that I had ever taken. The territories had been outlined clearly, which was great. I could call candidates and be very clear with them on the travel expectations and percentage of overnight travel. Partway through my search, the client came back and said that decided to hire just five people and double up on the territories. I had to call my shortlisted candidates again and ask them if they were open to much more extensive travel than originally discussed. Luckily, most of them were open to the idea; however, I did lose three top candidates due to the change. One thing that I have learned in the recruitment industry is to be flexible and roll with the punches because situations like this come up all the time." Example #2: "I had a client, after interviewing my top three candidates, decide that they only wanted to see candidates with post-secondary degrees. I moved on to seek out and present only candidates with college degrees. The client was happy in the end and ended up choosing the very first candidate I submitted. I am glad that I complied rather than fight the situation because it all worked out well in the end."18. Tell me about a time you lost a job order or placement to a competitor. How did you react? Very often, you will work on job orders that are not exclusive. This non-exclusivity means that your client may give the same job order to five different staffing agencies, and may the best recruiter win! This situation is especially challenging when you live in a smaller city, or if the position requires a particular skill set.
KNF&T needs to see that you are up for the challenge and that you act gracefully and professionally on the days that you don't win. Discuss a situation from the past, highlighting how you reacted and how you made the best of the situation. Example #1: "I have one particular client who refuses ever to give exclusivity. Most of the time, their open jobs are shopped out to three other staffing agencies. The most recent order was to find a chemical engineer with 15+ years' experience who came from a direct competitor of my client. This search was incredibly specific, and a competing agency had already approached many of the candidates I called. I felt behind the 8-ball most of the search and unfortunately, did not make the final placement. I took the situation for what it was; you win some, and you lose some. I will continue to give priority to this client and offer the best service possible. Also, I will never stop asking for exclusivity - in hopes that they change their mind one day." Example #2: "I made an in-person client call to discuss a few sales openings with a prevalent advertising company in our region. I was eager to win their business and had a lot of great questions prepared for our meeting. Although I felt the meeting went well, the client called me the next day to tell me they gave the business to our competitor because their fees were lower. Our agency keeps integrity in our pricing, so I was unable to negotiate enough to win the business. I took the situation gracefully because I know that what our agency offers is much more full-service that the competitor they chose. I ended up hearing back from the client a short time later expressing that they wanted to give our agency a try after all. It never pays to burn a bridge, and I am so happy that I stuck to my process and remained professional throughout our initial interactions."19. What are some professional goals you have set for yourself this year? KNF&T knows that only the most eager recruiters win job orders and make placements since the staffing industry is competitive and challenging. Show the interviewer that you have professional goals and that you are keen to make a name for yourself in the staffing industry.
Professional goals can include earning a promotion, attending an industry-conference to expand your network, or taking additional courses to broaden your recruitment knowledge. Example #1: "This year I plan to attend the Staffing World conference in Las Vegas to infuse some new contacts into my network. I have been in the recruitment industry for eight years, and it's easy to become complacent with a steady pipeline of business. This year it's important to me that I gain new contacts while also learning more about the way technology is changing our industry." Example #2: "I am new to my career, so it's important to me that I carve out my professional path from the start. This year I have decided to seek out a mentor in the recruitment industry who can help me to reach my goals while keeping my knowledge current, and continually expanding my understanding of the staffing industry."20. Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5? In staffing, you may be asked to work outside of a typical Monday to Friday work week, depending on your clients and candidate needs. If you have a candidate who cannot interview during standard work hours, you may need to conduct a phone interview at 7 PM to accommodate their needs. If you do temp staffing, you may have warehouse clients who call you at 6 AM to report a worker who did not show up for their early-morning shift.
Many recruiters have their cell phones on 24/7 and check their email on weekends. Show KNF&T that you are willing to accommodate the varying needs of your clients and candidates. Example #1: "In the world of staffing, I do not expect to work a strict 40 hour per week schedule, but I also know that I'm looking for a work-life balance. As needed, I will be available to my clients and candidates. I have email on my phone and am sure to be on top of my candidates' start dates, promptly checking in with my clients even on weekends and evenings." Example #2: "In staffing, I anticipate working over 40 hours per week, especially around final deadlines. That said, that comes with some limits as I do value my work-life balance. Could you share with me the expectations for this role?"21. How do you build trust and rapport with your clients? For KNF&T, client relationships are everything. Excellent client service and strong relationships are what separate successful agencies from those who struggle. As a staffing professional, you know that anything is possible; from finding unicorn candidates to closing temp contracts in a matter of hours.
Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to build strong client relationships. Your relationship-building activities can include asking your clients questions about themselves, setting clear expectations and guidelines at the start of every search, and learning their industry language. Exceptional follow-up is another way to build trust with your clients quickly. Example #1: "As the lead permanent search recruiter, I am always the first person that a potential new client sees. To build a strong relationship from the start, I make sure that I look professional and capable. First impressions are indeed everything. I ask insightful questions that stand apart from other recruiters with whom they have met. Most importantly, I empower my clients to understand stellar recruitment practices. I become their partner in staffing versus just another recruiter looking for a fee." Example #2: "The fastest way to create a trusting relationship with my clients is to deliver candidates to them much faster than they anticipated. I like to present my first candidate within 24 hours of receiving the job order. This speed means that I win over other recruiters while showing my client that I care about their needs. I earn many other job orders from this approach, as well as countless referrals."22. What type of office set up helps you to be the most productive? Some recruitment firms offer individual offices, some a work-from-home environment and others, a bullpen style set up. As a recruiter, you may hear the word 'bullpen' often. This word is slang for a workspace area filled with desks and no separating walls. Everyone works together in an open space. Think 'Wolf of Wallstreet.'
Talk to the interviewer about the type of work environment you prefer, being sure not to single yourself out by speaking negatively of one particular work style over another. Overall, the interviewer will be looking for your ability to concentrate and work well despite your outside surroundings. Example #1: "I am self-led and driven, which makes me capable of working productively in nearly any work environment. When I started my first job in staffing, I worked in a bullpen environment. Now, I have a private office; however, our agency is busy, and there is always a lot of buzz around me. I look for a collaborative team more than I look for features like a private office." Example #2: "Being newer to my career in staffing, I see a lot of value working in an open environment where there is a lot of collaboration on projects. I am eager to learn from your talented recruiters. Could you share with me the office set up at KNF&T?"23. Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10. Being a recruiter or any professional in the staffing industry requires an immense level of patience. You make a lot of calls every day, wait for candidates to respond, and wait on contracts to be signed. Often, you will be in a significant rush to make a placement before a competing agency beats you to the punch. You will speak to hundreds of candidates every month, all with their personality quirks and potentially low levels of commitment and communication. The interviewer wants to know that, despite all of these challenges, you can remain confident, professional, and patient. Rate your level of patience from 1-10 and be prepared to give an example that backs your rating. Example #1: "I rank my patience level an 8 out of 10. There will always be candidates, clients, and situations that test your patience, and I do have room to improve. Recently I had a candidate back out of their accepted job offer on the morning of their start date. Rather than lose my patience, I quickly found a temp for my client, and then continued to search for a new permanent candidate. Of course, I will not work with that candidate again, but that is simply professional boundaries. I would never disrespect someone, or myself, for a situation like that." Example #2: "For the past year, I have worked as a temp recruiter, primarily searching for laborers in the warehousing and logistics sector. As you know, the rate of candidates who no-show or do not perform well is very high in these categories. Rather than lose my patience, I keep focused on the needs of my clients. For this reason, I rank my patience level as a 9 out of 10."24. Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature? Being creative doesn't necessarily mean that you can paint like Picasso or write songs like Lady Gaga. What creativity means is being able to view, and solve, common issues in a unique way. Creativity can include being willing to take a risk and change your perspective on a topic.
As a recruiter, being creative is an essential skill since you will often need to look at your clients' needs and pain points in a completely new way. Assure the interviewer that you are creative, giving a work-related example. Example #1: "I am most certainly a creative individual. One example of my creativity in action would be the prospecting sales script series that I created for our new business development associates. The scripts needed a facelift, so I took my copywriting skills, my sales savvy, and married them into a very effective sales series. Since this implementation, our close rate has increased by 15%." Example #2: "Unconventional thinking in business requires a great deal of creativity. When it comes to placing candidates with non-exclusive job orders, I need to think differently than other competing agencies with the same client job order. I reverse engineer the path of my ideal candidate and, by doing so, I am the first to reach top candidates before many of my competing recruiters."25. Would you take a job order from a client who was acting unethically? Responsible staffing agencies like KNF&T need to protect their reputation, which includes prescreening clients in various ways. A smart recruiter will look for a history of unexplained employee turnover, previous sexual harassment accusations, stories of discrimination, poor health and safety records, and consistently lousy employee reviews. When meeting with a client for the first time, and they brag about burning through multiple staffing agencies, this is a definite warning sign. Show the interviewer that you will never put the reputation of KNF&T on the line to land a job order. Example #1: "In the past, I have worked for agencies that will take work from anyone and everyone. I desire to join an agency like KNF&T with a reputation for legit clients and great job opportunities. From my research and the topics we have discussedtoday, it seems that our core values align nicely." Example #2: "I have been trained to be selective on the clients I take on, and I would like to continue with this practice. I have an intake questionnaire that I go through with clients, so everyone goes through the same prescreening process. Then, I conduct an in-person meeting whenever possible so that I can physically see the environment in which my successful candidate would be working."26. How do you determine job order priority? Prioritizing job orders when you have multiple open requests at one time can be a tricky task. You may want to consider factors like:
- The clients' preferred start date
- The difficulty level of a search
- Whether the search is exclusive
- The candidate market in the role's location/region
Show the interviewer that you will not have a problem sorting your job orders at KNF&T ensuring every client is taken care of promptly. Example #1: "I lean on my CRM a lot when it comes to prioritizing tasks. I rank jobs in order of importance in an A, B, C fashion, along with setting up goals, dates, and milestones. My system prompts me when a deadline is approaching. Some clients needs are more urgent than others; say a new search versus an unexpected replacement. Overall, I never allow a client to go more than 48 hours without some movement from me." Example #2: "Non-exclusive roles often receive priority. Also, temp gigs tend to require a fast turnaround, sometimes less than 24 hours between order to fill. Next, I prioritize by how responsive my client is, and their preferred start date."27. How do you continue to educate yourself, as an expert in staffing? Continued education is critical in the staffing industry as regulations, and technology change all of the time. KNF&T seeks to hire people who are committed to growth within their profession. Some staffing agencies may even pay for continued education opportunities, so feel free to ask the interviewer if this is an option at KNF&T. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to educate yourself within staffing. Example #1: "I read a lot and also subscribe to a variety of accounts and LinkedIn groups related to recruitment and staffing. I like to attend at least one conference every year. Last year, I attended a conference where the topics included legal issues in staffing and unconscious bias. Do you offer continued education opportunities to your team members here at KNF&T?" Example #2: "Continued education opportunities are important to me, as I grow my knowledge in the recruitment industry. To keep myself up to date, I subscribe to many blogs including that of KNF&T. I am also taking a couple of certification courses on ethical staffing and conscious recruitment. Could you share with me the education opportunities present at KNF&T?"28. Why should KNF&T hire you over our other candidates? This question can be incredibly tough for job seekers to answer. This query requires you to brag about yourself on the fly while choosing compelling items from your career highlight reel.
Think to the job posting or job description, and the core values of KNF&T. How do your soft and hard skills match what the company is looking for, in a team member?
This question should not be used to give a generic answer like you have 'strong attention to detail.' Focus on factors that are unique to you. Rely on your past achievements and accolades! Example #1: "I believe you should hire me because of my proven ability to resuscitate dormant clients. I am keen on business development activities and will find new accounts for KNF&T within the first couple of weeks of employment. I am well-versed in supporting junior recruiters, and will help them to uncover new and lucrative opportunities as well." Example #2: "Other candidates may have more staffing experience; however, my background in highly competitive sports, as well as door-to-door alarm sales, makes me an excellent candidate for this sales role with KNF&T. I know exactly how my efforts impact my team, and I am very goal-focused while being self-led."29. Is honesty the best policy? As a recruiter or staffing professional, you will come across some grey areas including pay structures, fee structures, rules governing contract employees, and non-compete or non-disclosure agreements. It's vital to the reputation of KNF&T that you abide by rules and regulations carefully, always working within the ethical lines of recruitment.
Your response can also include how honest you are with candidates when it comes to your clients' needs. You could also mention your transparency when closing off with candidates not chosen for the job. Example #1: "Yes, I believe that honesty is always the best policy. I deliver honest news with as much empathy as possible. I will never hold back from telling the truth when it means so much to another person to hear it. If a client does not want to move forward with a candidate, I will let them know right away and give them open feedback whenever possible. When it comes to paperwork and the legal ins and outs of supplying employment opportunities, I always abide within legal limits and regulations." Example #2: "I understand that there are known 'grey' areas in recruitment, primarily from agencies that do not present themselves in the best light. One of the reasons I applied to KNF&T is because of your long-standing sterling reputation in the industry. This excellent reputation comes from being honest and forthright with candidates and clients alike."30. How much money do you want to earn in this role? What does your ideal pay structure look like? Staffing and recruitment agencies all compensate a bit differently, generally leaning to what works best for their recruiters based on the type of recruitment they are performing.
Some of these pay structures include 100% commission, draws against commissions, full salary, a salary-commission blend, and monthly guarantees. Be upfront with the interviewer about your compensation expectations. The clearer you are, the higher the chance that you will get what you need. Example #1: "I currently earn a base salary of $65,000 plus commission for overall earnings in the $105-110K range annually. My current position offers a higher base salary; however, the overall commission structure is not as generous as what you offer at KNF&T. Overall, I would like to see a compensation package that includes health benefits, a minimum of 4 weeks' vacation time, and earning potential in the $125K+ range for my first year." Example #2: "I understand that first-year recruiters earn in the $40-50K range, often with a blend of an hourly wage plus commission on placements. I am happy with an offering in this range, as this gives me room to learn and grow. Could you share with me more specifics on the overall compensation plan at KNF&T?"
Author of KNF&T Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
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