8 Qualities to Look for in a Great Recruitment Partner

Selecting a great recruitment partner is critical to the success of any recruitment you are investing in. Get it wrong and it could be very costly. Get it right and it could be a key partnership that fuels and enables your growth strategy.

header curve

With a huge pool of recruitment partners and different types of recruiters available, how do you know which one would work best for you and your requirements? It is important to remember that there are two type of recruitment, see here for more info on executive search.

Once you know what type of recruitment partner would suit your requirements it is important to learn how best to assess which partner will provide the service you require at the level you expect.  

Here are Collingwood Executive Search's 8 key behaviours you should look for when choosing a new recruitment partner;


You need to find a partner who is as excited about your business as you. Recruitment is hard and it needs someone who will act as your brand ambassador and tell your story as well as you would. Without being passionate about your business, your recruitment partner is going to struggle to convey who you are and why top talent should work for you.


A successful partnership will rely on honesty, transparency and a collaborative approach. Anything short of this is unlikely to enable success.

Aligned culture and values

Finding a partner who aligns to your culture and values is an effective way to find someone who will be easy to do business with. Just like the friends you enjoy spending time with, a partner who does business the same way as you will enable an effective and enjoyable partnership.

Industry knowledge 

Partnering someone who knows your industry and that you don't have to teach will undoubtedly add more value in a shorter period of time. They are be able to guide you from a position of knowledge.

Strong work ethic 

Recruitment is tough, so you need to find a partner who is willing to go the extra mile, who will dig in and show grit and resilience when the going gets tough. Far too many recruiters run away from problems in favour of making a quick buck.


Many senior level roles can take quite a period of time to bring to a successful conclusion especially when considering long notice periods. Will your recruitment partner have the stamina to see the project through to closure?

Innovative and creative

Recruitment quite often runs into big obstacles but your vacancy remains open, and so you will need to be innovative and creative in order to find a new route to success. Will your recruitment partner proactively bring new ideas to the table to discuss and debate?

Successful experience 

Can your recruitment partner demonstrate that they have relevant successful experience? Of course, a good partner can adapt but we are trying to minimise your chance of failure and so previous experience is a good way to achieve it.

About the author
Doug Mackay
4 min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

Read more >