Close Search
Sponsored  |  Careers

Four Questions To Ask Before Engaging a Recruiter

29 May 2017 at 11:25 am
Asking the right questions of an executive recruiter will significantly increase a not-for-profit organisation’s chances of a good result, say recruitment experts Community Business Bureau (CBB).

Contributor | 29 May 2017 at 11:25 am


Four Questions To Ask Before Engaging a Recruiter
29 May 2017 at 11:25 am

Asking the right questions of an executive recruiter will significantly increase a not-for-profit organisation’s chances of a good result, say recruitment experts Community Business Bureau (CBB).

In the not-for-profit sector we spend a lot of time focused on attracting and retaining the right candidates, but less attention is given to selecting the right recruitment provider.

Think of it like building a house – you can put a lot of effort into choosing the house, the perfect block of land and the best fittings and fixtures, but if the builder isn’t up to scratch, your best-laid plans can go to waste.

Whether you’ve used recruiters for years or are just venturing into outsourcing, it’s worthwhile to ensure you’re making the best use of your organisation’s resources. To help you make the right decision, here we share our top four questions we suggest you ask when looking to engage an executive recruiter.

  1. How is the recruitment fee structured?

Paying for executive recruitment is sometimes viewed as a “necessary evil” – it’s universally expensive and there aren’t many attractive alternatives when you don’t have recruitment expertise in-house, or simply don’t have time to manage the recruitment process.

For years the recruitment industry has operated on an antiquated “percentage of salary” professional fee. The problems with this (aside from any ethical objections you may have) are that the more senior the position, the more it will cost you to fill, and it also makes outsourcing executive recruitment out of reach for organisations with smaller budgets. And remember – steep recruitment fees are not “insurance” against a bad result.

In recognition of these issues, more providers are coming into the market with a fixed fee model. Just check to ensure what the fee includes, as you don’t want to be stung at the end of the process with additional fees for psychometric assessments, advertising and other add-ons.

  1. Do they actually understand the not-for-profit sector?

Is the recruiter all things to all people, or do they specialise in recruiting for the not-for-profit sector?

As you well know, the sector has its unique challenges, not least of all attracting and recruiting experienced executive leaders. Make sure your recruiter isn’t purely focused on putting “bums on seats” and understands the critical success factors when recruiting for the not-for-profit sector and your organisation.

  1. How do they assess cultural fit?

There is general consensus in the sector that recruiting for cultural fit is a must-have. But it can be risky to assess cultural fit on “gut feel” alone. Psychometric assessments can help, but few have a strong focus on getting the right cultural fit.

At CBB we use an internationally researched and tested method from Germany called Employee Integrative System (EIS) from persolog® GmbH. EIS uses the employer’s expectations to create a benchmark of key success factors for performance and retention, then analyses applicants’ expectations against this benchmark. This allows us to then target specific questions for each candidate to ultimately find the best fit for your business and your culture.

“I have completed several psychometric tests in my career, but I’d never done anything like this before. The questions made me think carefully about what was important to me not only for my job preferences, but also about what environment I worked best in. The questions that were asked of me at the interview were very challenging and encouraged me to disclose more about what motivates me as an executive leader,” Suzanne Curyer, CEO Re-Engage Youth Services said.

For more information on EIS, check out this infographic:

  1. Which recruitment and interviewing practices do they use?

Recruiting for performance and cultural fit requires a range of contemporary recruitment, interviewing and onboarding practices. Ask your recruiter which techniques and models they use to draw out the responses you need from candidates. What other services do they offer that will give you confidence in making the right appointment?

Making the right choice

Recruiting or replacing executive leaders in the not-for-profit sector is challenging on a number of fronts. The list of stakeholders (and some spectators) is as long as their interests are varied.

Much like the interview process, asking the right questions of your executive recruiter will significantly increase your chances of a good result.

Community Business Bureau offers an executive recruitment solution focused on fit: fit for your culture, fit for your business and fit for the sector.

To find out more visit our website or contact Andrea Collett on or 1300 284 364.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Create a Reconciliation Action Plan/></a></div></div>    </div>





    <div class=

Get more stories like this



What’s your work personality?

Jonathan Alley

Thursday, 12th May 2022 at 1:36 pm

Taking a helicopter view of homelessness in young people

Jonathan Alley

Thursday, 12th May 2022 at 10:28 am

Why now is the time to think about upskilling your employees

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 5th May 2022 at 3:42 pm

Troweling acres of change to feed community

Jonathan Alley

Wednesday, 4th May 2022 at 6:53 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook