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Questions for Taking a Job Order 


Would you say “I do” to someone before knowing exactly who they were as a person?

Hopefully not, and hopefully you feel the same way when saying “yes” to taking on a job order for a client. While not as heavy of a commitment as marriage, agreeing to a job order is still putting your time and resources on the line, and sends a clear image of your brand on what you are able to deliver.

During the business development moments of your recruitment desk, it is easy to start to accept job orders, especially from repeat clients, with too much acceptance and not enough qualifying. What you have to remember though, is that likely this order is contingency based, and the client will go with the recruiter who delivers the top candidate, so it is important to get a head start from the beginning, by being sure you have gathered all the information needed to work the search.

Try to get in the practice of scheduling a meeting or conference call on the onset of any new assignment. Invite your recruiters or trading partners who will be working the search, and establish a clear and open relationship with the client and hiring manager.

Here are 20 top questions to include on this call. 

  • How long have you been looking to fill this position?

  • How many people have you interviewed for this position?

  • What are the consequences of this position remaining unfilled? (This is a killer question for determining level of urgency!)

  • How many companies are currently submitting resumes for this position?” What is your pipeline looking like right now?

  • What is driving the need for the hiring of this individual (ie: project, replacement, deadline etc.)

  • Can you elaborate on the business initiatives/problems that the successful candidate would be involved in solving?

  • What are the “deliverables” for this position over the course of the first year/ duration of the contract?

  • Please can you give me an overview of the technical skills you are looking for in suitable candidates?

    • What are the “Must Haves” as opposed to the “Nice to Haves”?

    • To what depth will they understand the “Must Haves”?

  • Are you seeking candidates with specific domain knowledge? (Healthcare/ Finance/ Technology, industry experience etc)

  • Are there any other special skills you are looking for (soft skills, communication/writing etc)

    • Maybe you can tell a little bit about one of your employees who is currently successful in this position?

  • What size is the team he would be joining?

  • Would he be reporting directly to you?

  • Can you tell me a little about the culture of the company – and any differentiators that may help us in attracting high quality candidates when we are headhunting? (In other words – how does the Client “sell the opportunity” when he identifies a candidate that he wants to hire?)

  • Are there any opportunities for a flexible work schedule or work from home days?

  • What is the ceiling on the compensation/rate for this position?

    • (Client says $90k/per hr) …”So Mr Client, if I found the perfect candidate for $100k/per hr – would you still be interested in seeing the resume?

  • Are you open to candidates who need an H1b transfer? Do you sponsor Green Cards?

  • Do you have a job spec? “Great – what’s your email address – I’ll drop you a line right away so you can send it over”

  • What kind of turnaround can I expect for feedback on Resumes?

    • (push for same day. Any more than 24 hrs is not good. Great candidates are scarce and will be snapped up).

  • How many interviews is standard (and with whom)?

  • Would you consider hiring over Skype (for out of state candidates- means you can broaden the Search


At the end of the call, be sure to confirm your plan with the client, as in how many candidates you will be submitting and in what time frame.

Make sure that you have all of the appropriate contact information including a mobile number to reach them with urgent needs to help you deliver on target, and end with thanking them for their time.


If you have other recruiters on this same search, setting a debriefing immediately after is also a good idea.

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