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Recruiters know the importance of asking questions. It’s that necessary step in every interview when it’s the candidate’s turn to learn more about the job. Not asking questions is often seen as a mortal blow, an instant REJECT that sends candidates packing due to a perceived lack of interest, passion or curiosity.

You’ve probably seen the interview handbooks, advising candidates to come up with a few questions to ask, the logic being that the interview works both ways. After all, it is the company’s opportunity to get to know the candidate and the candidate’s chance to decide if they want to work for them.

When a recruiter becomes an SSG applicant, questions often follow. But this isn’t the time to ask, “So, why do you like working here?” They’ll need to go deeper and get to the heart of why we are going to be the right support business. Let’s start with a few basics.

Ask questions about the people

It’s rare in recruiting for a candidate to talk to just one person during the recruitment process. In fact, you should feel empowered to interview the whole team, from top to bottom and everyone in between. After all, you might not hit it off with everyone, so it pays to know what type of culture you’re dealing with upfront.

Here’s what I often suggest – flip the script and interrogate us. Gain as much intel as humanly possible. Meet us, talk to us, get to know us and learn about the “SSG experience” 😊

Try to find out who we invest in and why.

Ideally, they want the good, the bad and the ugly. All they’ve got to do is ask!

Ask questions about the process

People are only one part of the solution. There are also all the processes to consider. Arguably, this could be more important than the ‘people’ part. There’s no question too small when it comes to process.

Here, they should be asking questions about their journey and what to expect. How long will it take to launch my business? What is required from me during the launch process? Who do I speak to when I have a tax query? How much input do I have for my website build? You get the drift.

If anything, they’ll want to dig into the detail, leaving no stone unturned. If the process is important to them, they’ll need to know whether they’ll have the flexibility to make certain decisions for example. They’ll need the answers to all this sooner rather than later if they’re going to make it a success.

Ask questions about the support

You can’t operate a business without the right support (well, you could, but it would take twice as long and set you up for a whole world of trouble).

Once their recruitment business is up and running, it all starts to get very serious. So, how important is the on-going support?

They’ll need to know what they get and what we do to improve our offering and how we deliver all this support to our clients.

The key things they’ll need to be clear on is what actual recruitment support they’ll receive, all the back-office provision for example and of course business guidance & mentoring. However, depending on them, their preferences and the maturity of their business, it is likely that they will need more of one type of support than they do of another, at any given point.

Once they know the high level of what support our clients receive, they’ll need to ask us about our depth of experience and how this might relate to their business model. Ask about budgeting, marketing strategy, scalability, company name selection, the length of the contract, client satisfaction & feedback – you name it. Doing so will highlight what they’ll need to be successful.

After all that, they’ll have a pretty good understanding of the holistic offering, for better or for worse.