You get the best out of a recruiter by building a relationship with the RIGHT person...
If you're recruiting in volume, it makes sense to select (more of that later) a young energetic recruiter from a big company with a big database (I'm sure they'll tell you how big) and an infinite advertising reach .... that'll get you the best people ON the market.
But if you're recruiting in a specialist sector, or in a market where there's a shortage of candidates, you need the best people IN the market.
A specialist has a greater market knowledge, an established track record, the daily experience of actively searching and sourcing in your sector AND they are often happy to provide advice and examples of what works and what doesn't...
Finding the RIGHT recruiter is pretty simple
Ask your peers for recommendations; do a couple of simple Google searches; ask your current team ... invite 2 or 3 to come and visit you for a briefing and (assuming there's a couple you like) ask them to pitch pick the best one ...simple...assuming that
a) you're judging on ability and not price and
b) you give them a clear run at the market
Engage with your recruiter and they'll deliver what you need - honestly.
Go try it.