Job Seekers Guide to Recruitment Terminology

6 mins read
Job Seekers Guide to Recruitment Terminology
Job Seeker interview jobs tips

Have you ever found yourself a little confused at the end of an agency interview, wondering “So, how did that go… and what exactly was the outcome?”

From all of us recruiters— sorry!  In today’s world, we are always trying to move at an increasingly fast pace, in all aspects of life. With a focus on increased productivity, and obtaining speedy results, it can be easy to forget that while we do this every day, our candidates don’t. It’s important to take a moment to stop, check in with ourselves, ensure we are explaining things well, to reflect or ask the right questions.

If you’re a job seeker right now, you’ll know that the employment market is busy and fast paced. It’s vital to understand exactly what is happening with your job applications, and whether or not your Recruitment Consultant can help you.  I’ve prepared a guide to the typical recruitment agency process, along with the jargon we like to throw around in the industry, that might hopefully make things clearer for you. Of course we’ll try to prompt you to get your questions answered!


The role of a recruitment agency

Firstly, it is important to understand the role of a Recruitment Consultant in relation to the business you have applied to work with. We are essentially a support system for our clients; businesses who need to hire new staff.  We work daily to build our talent pool of great candidates, so that we are able to provide these businesses with candidate options for their vacant jobs.

A client might work exclusively through one agency, or they might multi-list their vacancy with other agencies, or have an internal recruitment team themselves.

It is the Recruitment Consultant’s responsibility to put forward and represent candidates they deem suitable for the role, and supply all the relevant information to the client about these candidates. Of course, this will be different depending on the role, but may include the candidate’s resume, results from any skills testing etc, and an overview of the candidate, from the recruiter describing why that candidate is suitable for the role. This is typically formatted and presented in one document to the client as a profile.

Sometimes when you connect with an agency, they may not immediately have role for you, but will still be interested in meeting you, and gathering key information about your skills and experience. Later when a client gets in touch with a new vacant role to fill that matches your skill set –bingo! Your Consultant knows they have just the right candidate to match that client’s needs.

Once the profile is sent off to the client, it’s ultimately their decision on how or whether to proceed. The Consultant may provide support in arranging interviews, additional testing such as psychometric testing or physical testing (depending on the job requirements) and then the Consultant may manage the offering process by negotiating with both the candidate and client to come to a mutual agreement that works for both parties.

Recruitment Consultants work under the direction of the client and their requirements, needs, and wants. We still provide a great service to our candidates, aiming to provide feedback on the candidate’s skill set, help with interviewing skills and advice on salary expectations, and market trends.  However, ultimately the service we offer is to our clients and their recruitment process.

Explaining the terminology

Because there are a lot of moving parts in the process, as a job seeker you need to be clear as to where you stand; you need to understand where your details have been sent and which business you are applying to, and what’s happening every step of the way. There is a lot of communication required, with added time pressure involved too.

While we Recruiters try our best to be as clear as possible, we will occasionally revert to words that we use every day, but that aren’t necessarily clear to everyone else!  Here is an overview of some recruiter jargon:

  • Register – This is what we call our process of obtaining your details. Registering is getting you to fill out the relevant application forms, an initial interview (internally, with the agency) and getting the appropriate skills tests and pre-employment checks underway.
  • Pre-screen —This is a quick fire phone interview process, in which we determine if we would be able to assist you and if you are potentially a match for a role we are recruiting for. We ask you basic questions like why you are looking, your salary and package expectations, preferred travel distances preferences etc.
  • Float – In some circumstances, we may ‘float’ your details to a client who doesn’t have a specific vacancy at that time, but who does have an interest in reviewing candidates with specific skills or experience. It’s often clients we have a strong relationship, and very often ends in a positive outcome for both parties.
  • Meet and greet – This generally refers to a more informal candidate and client meeting, or interview that is more casual in nature, and is intended to be short and sweet. It’s often used for shorter-term assignments.
  • Sourcing – This is the part of the recruitment process where recruiters find candidates. This can refer to anything from searching our CRM system for a match, advertising the role, or proactively searching and connecting with people on LinkedIn or Seek Talent Search.
  • Candidate/talent pool – A group of candidates who have the suitable skills for the role that are going through the reverent process of selection.

it’s important to remember that talking to a consultant, or registering with a recruitment agency unfortunately does not guarantee you a job. We’ll always do our best to match a candidate to a suitable role, but it doesn’t always happen. It’s still worth making the agency connection; you’ll learn and gain a lot. It gives you the opportunity to be exposed to more roles, and be supported by a consultant with interview tips and extra information about the client and the interview process in general.

Sangeeta Prasad
Managing Consultant

A bit about me Like most people in recruitment, I naturally tripped and fell into the industry after accepting a temporary role as an administrator with one of Madison’s sister companies AWF. Since…

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