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Recruiters — Friend or Foe?

Recruiters — Friend or Foe?

Recruiters are great to have in your corner when looking for a new position. Employers don’t always advertise job openings instead, they hire a professional recruiter. The people who make up this resourceful position keep an extensive network of contacts, know where open positions are, and are trained to place applicants into the best fit position.

Professional Recruiters will typically specialize in one career field. They will know which companies are hiring for those specific positions. If you are looking for multiple positions in multiple fields, you will want to work with more than one recruiter. That isn’t to say you should go to a recruiter for every position you think you would be qualified for, you do need to be selective. Not every recruiter operates the same way and you may tarnish your reputation by utilizing the service too much or with careless application.

Recruiter--friend or foe? Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recruiter–friend or foe? Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

PROFESSIONAL RECRUITER PROS

FREE

Professional recruiters are paid by their clients, employers, not by you. They should not ask for any compensation from you.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Most professional recruiters, once they set you up with an interview, will help you prepare for that interview. They can give you the details about what to expect, information about the company, and what they are looking for from you. Interviews, no matter how many times you go through them, can still be a nerve-wracking process. Any interview preparation that can be done will help you feel more confident and composed during that process.

CONSTRUCTIVE CONNECTION

You want a recruiter who communicates well and works with you to build a mutually beneficial relationship. This means they respect your contact hours, keep you up-to-date, and reach out to you with new opportunities. Having that connection will further your prospects and open new doors for you. While your recruiter may not have that perfect job for you today, they will keep you in mind when it does come along. It is all about matching the best possible fit for each position and a favorable exchange with a recruiter will help them determine where you fit into a new position with your career field.

FAMILIARITY WITH THE CAREER

Hopefully, the recruiter you select will have previous knowledge about the career field you are pursuing. If not, they should attempt to research the individual position and provide you with details about that open job. Some recruiters will have a relationship with companies you are applying at as the companies choose which recruiting agency they want to fill their position. With that relationship, they should be able to give you information beyond the simple job posting. This information could include actual job title, responsibilities, and insight into the company’s culture.

PROPER POSITION SELECTION

You should be confident trusting your recruiter. Knowing they are working around positions that require your skills, have your desired pay scale, and keeps your priorities part of their priorities. Make sure you do your part by submitting all of that information to them – it will make it easier in the long run and alleviate any confusion

POSITIVE INTENTIONS

When it comes to your job hunt, you want the truth. Your recruiter should work with you to set realistic expectations and let you know what is going on. They should make it clear if your line of work isn’t their specialty — maybe even going as far as suggesting another recruiter that does specialize in your field. Recruiters know what their clients want to see on a resume and should let you know if yours is selling you short. If your resume isn’t up to snuff, they should be able to point you in the right direction to get it up to the client’s standards. While the truth might be hard to hear sometimes, recruiters need to have that tough love approach in order to keep everyone’s best interests to heart.

PROFESSIONAL RECRUITER CONS

FRUITLESS CONNECTION

Some recruiters will only contact you if they have a position you would fit into. They focus on results — filling positions for clients. That doesn’t necessarily mean finding you a position or building any kind of rapport with you. It could take these recruiters weeks to get back to you, even if it is bad news for your job search. You really want your recruiter to respect your career path and your personal priorities. You don’t want that call to be in the middle of your work day with the expectation that you will drop what you’re doing and talk to them. And you don’t want an unreliable recruiter. If you are getting this kind of treatment from any recruiter, they are not invested in you and view you as their commission. Filling positions is their job, but if you’re just another number to them, recruiters will push you toward jobs that aren’t fit for you. The recruiter’s client is the company employer, not you. Their priority is finding a body to fill the position and helping you to gain employment is always going to be second priority.

NO INSIGHT TO THE POSITION

If your recruiter doesn’t take the time to get the details of the position, you can’t count on them to keep your priorities in mind. When they don’t know anything beyond what the job’s posting dictates, they can’t help you prepare for the interview or the position. You want a recruiter who is willing to invest the time and effort, to the company and to you, in order to guarantee the best person for the job gets the job.

ILL-SUITED JOB PLACEMENT

Some recruiters don’t bother finding the right fit. They have a canned style of recruiting employees meaning they put your resume out for any position that resembles your field. These recruiters don’t take the time to look closely at the job’s pay, location, or company culture to determine how you would fit into it. If you use a recruiter performing this way, you will probably end up with interviews or even a job that is ill-suited to your abilities.

MISLEADING MOTIVES

The truth isn’t always pleasant and some recruiters use that as the rationale for only telling you what you want to hear. A good rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Recognizing a recruiter’s language — candy-coated promises and overly enthusiastic expectations — is key to determining how they will communicate with you.

More honest recruiters than dishonest are out there. It is in their best interest to do their job well for both their clients and job seekers. They will do everything that they can to find the best person for the job, even if it isn’t you. If you aren’t right for the job, you want a recruiter that will recognize that. You don’t really want any job that isn’t a good fit for you. For example, if you are working for a great company in a low level position and apply for a higher position, but your passion is not with that job, you aren’t the right person for the job. Go after your professional passion. The right fit will make both you and the employer happy. When using a recruiter, part of their importance is their network and expertise at placing individuals into their ideal opportunities. Make sure you’re looking for a job on your own, recruiters aren’t the only way to find employment. Relying solely on the recruiter may cause you to miss out on an opportunity they aren’t aware of. Keep in mind: you are the best candidate for a job, it will just take time to find it.

By Kaley Buck, Five Strengths Contributor

Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Working with Recruiters

Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Working with Recruiters

One of the biggest questions I frequently receive is how best to work with recruiters. As part of a well-rounded career search strategy, working with recruiters can be extremely valuable. If you choose to work with a recruiter, or a recruiter seeks you out, follow these top etiquette tips to ensure that you have a smooth, positive, mutually rewarding relationship with your recruiter.

1. Be Responsive to Recruiter Inquiries

Speed is one of the most critical factors when working with a recruiting firm, especially contingency recruiters. If a recruiter is trying to reach you to discuss an opportunity, he or she will want to talk to you right away and will likely move on to someone else if you are hard to reach. You might consider getting a second phone line that you use only during your job search and an email that you use only for your job search. If you have a standard gmail address of , you also can sign up for a Google Voice number, a free redirecting phone number that rings to an existing number of your choosing, such as your mobile phone.

2. Be Respectful of the Recruiter’s Time

Remember too that recruiters are often working on numerous search assignments simultaneously. Many recruiting firms require a minimum number of successful placements each month for the recruiter to keep his or her job. Consequently, be mindful of the recruiter’s time when you make contact.

3. Build a Relationship with a Recruiter.

As a general rule, you should always take a recruiter’s call, even if you are not looking for a new position. A recruiter in your industry can provide valuable industry information and help you shape your own career path. Moreover, don’t treat conversations with recruiters as transactions. You’d hate being treated that way, and so do recruiters.

4. Be Findable on LinkedIn

Recruiters and sourcers know how to find candidates, even the ones who are working in jobs they love. However, you can make their jobs easier by publishing a robust LinkedIn profile, joining relevant industry or function-related groups, building a strong LinkedIn network, and ensuring your profile is set to public viewing. LinkedIn also has a number of premium job seeker features that can help you be more visible. In 2015, LinkedIn rolled out a new feature that lets recruiters know you’re open to inquiries. To turn this feature on, go to Jobs in the black bar at the top of the screen, then choose Preferences in the menu below.

5. Be a Valuable Networking Contact for the Recruiter

You can be a good source of information for the recruiter as well. Be a good contact for an industry/sector recruiter — keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and candidates and share that information with the recruiter. If you are not a fit for an opportunity you are contacted about, but you can recommend someone else, share that information. A recruiter will remember that you provided a new contact for him or her when the opportunity was not exactly right for you and will think of you the next time.

6. Be Specific about Your Career Requirements

If you are looking for a position, be up front with the recruiter about the type of work, type of company, salary expectations, and so on that you need to have to explore opportunities further. The recruiter’s goal is to fill open positions, so the more information you can provide about your non-negotiables and on what you are willing to compromise, the less likely you will be to frustrate a recruiter who has worked very hard on your behalf in positioning you to the wrong company.

7. Know that You Are Not the Right Candidate for Every Recruiter

Don’t contact too many recruiters — especially at the same firm. Recruiters often have access to an internal candidate management system that allows them to see what contact you’ve had with other recruiters within the firm, and other positions you’ve applied for.

8. Be Up Front about Your Recruiter Relationships

Let your recruiter know when you are working with another recruiter. If two contingency recruiters submit you as a candidate to the same firm, you may not be considered by the client company at all, even if you are a perfect match. Companies don’t want to mediate an argument between recruiters about who “owns” the candidate (and, consequently, who would receive the commission if the successful placement is made).

9. Recall How Recruiters Earn Their Fees

If you are working with a recruiter, don’t apply for the same positions you are being submitted to as a candidate. You may end up inadvertently disqualifying yourself because the employer does not want to risk having a recruiter claim a commission if you are hired directly. If you see a position advertised and are contacted by a recruiter for the same opportunity, you can decide whether you want to apply directly or be submitted as a candidate by the recruiter. If you have a networking contact at the company, you may decide to apply directly or determine that a good recruiter can get you in front of a hiring manager more easily than you could get noticed yourself. (This is particularly true if the employer uses an applicant tracking system to screen resumes. Recruiters can often reach hiring managers directly.)

10. Be a Compelling Candidate

Last, but certainly not least, develop a compelling professional brand that appeals to hiring executives–and thus to recruiters. Demonstrate in your executive resume and your LinkedIn profile that you are rarely and uniquely suited for hard-to-fill roles to ensure that recruiters find you for the unusual skill set you bring to the employment marketplace. While you will not automatically fall off recruiters’ radar for being fabulously average, you are more likely to capture a busy recruiter’s attention if you can demonstrate the scarce skills and assets that a hiring executive is demanding.

Updated January 2017.

 

Image courtesy of suphkit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.