Working With Recruiters And Building Mutually Successful Relationships
As a former Recruiter, and now as a Resume Writer, I have been on both sides of the business, recruiting candidates as well as recommending clients to my network for help in finding opportunities.
It is critical to build relationships with Recruiters for current job searches and for your future career. Since many organizations hire staffing/consulting companies to fill their positions, it is in your best interest to make sure you are working with Recruiters who know you and will look for opportunities that fit your skills. It is important to understand how Recruiters operate, what their agendas are, and how you can work together for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Here are some tips and insight from both perspectives to ensure everyone benefits:
- First you should always make sure your resume is top notch before you send it to a Recruiter. You need to make a good first impression, and you must sell yourself professionally and effectively before you will be sent to their clients. Also, make sure your LinkedIn profile has a professional photo and is professionally written. Almost every Recruiter will review your profile before engaging with you.
- You should engage and build a relationship with three to four Recruiters and agencies that specialize in your sector/industry and have opportunities in your target location. If possible, you should meet in person to cement to your relationship.
- Recruiters can be your strongest allies and they can be instrumental in finding you your next opportunity, if you build your professional relationship with them properly. They get paid when they place you, so they will ALWAYS be your best advocate, if you prove you are a good candidate.
- Be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Make sure you are transparent on the opportunities you are interested in, salary you will accept, etc., so they don’t waste time on jobs that are not a fit.
- Be open and honest about your current salary. It will come out in employment verification. If you lie, you risk losing the opportunity.
- Be truthful about your skills and experience. If you don’t know how to do something, it will come out in an interview when they ask detailed questions about it. You are better off saying you don’t know a skill. Instead, express your willingness to learn it or reference an alternative skill that would be similar. Don’t embarrass yourself or your Recruiter.
Organizations hire staffing/consulting agencies to evaluate potential candidates for their open jobs, including skills, experience, technical abilities, and cultural fit. Their goal is to assess and find the best match, and they put forth a lot of time and effort to make sure they are pleasing both you and their client.
Here are some tips for engaging a Recruiter/Agency to help you find the right person for your company:
- When you engage with a Recruiter for a specific position, they need to know if you have other potential opportunities. This helps to also gently push their clients to make a faster decision if they are interested in you. It is very difficult to take you through the entire process, work hard to get you an offer, and then find out you have another option. Just keep the lines of communication open.
- Let them know what companies you have already submitted a resume to. If you are double submitted, you are often disqualified by the client.
- Be a good candidate by showing up to all interviews with them and with their client. Be on time and professionally dressed. Have several copies of your resume and prepare questions about the company, the role you will play, etc.
- Do not hesitate to ask Recruiters about their processes as well as their client’s, so you know what to expect. They want you to be on the same page as they are.
- Treat interviews with Recruiters the same as with a hiring manager. Send them a thank you note, call, or email post-interview. It builds solid relationships.
- You will want to stay in touch with Recruiters, based on a mutually agreed upon timeframe that shows you are interested, but not a nuisance. Recruiters are busy, working hard to match candidates with opportunities, and you probably won’t hear from them if they don’t have something for you. They must prioritize their time and it’s not intended to be rude. Be respectful of their time. It is important to keep yourself at top of their mind, but within reason.
- If you don’t hear back from a Recruiter after an interview, don’t hesitate to follow up. They should let you know if the position was filled or you were not chosen. However, they are human and can forget to let you know in the middle of a busy day.
- Give referrals! They are very much appreciated by Recruiters and they will return the favor to you. Some companies provide referral bonuses as well, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Remember—you and your Recruiter are a TEAM!