How and Why to Work with a Recruiter
No one enjoys the job-seeking process—writing cover letter after cover letter combined with making countless resume tweaks can become an exhausting. It never seems to end, everyone you ask has a different opinion, and before long you need a content management system just to manage resume version control! . Plus, all that effort feels futile when it garners nothing but crickets in response from employers. Fortunately, working with a professional familiar with the job market can be a key piece of your strategy. A recruiter simplifies the application process by presenting you with opportunities that match your skill-set. And the best recruiters will assist your search outside of only the roles they are actively representing. You don’t have to go through the job search alone.
Recruiters understand the job market well enough to know which careers do not require candidates to have a specific background. They recognize that skills are transferable between fields and, as a result, follow a less stringent process by moving away from strict requirements to fill positions. For example, half of software developers learned how to code themselves, meaning a candidate might not require a traditional education in order to be considered. People are increasingly becoming self-taught thanks to the abundance of accessible online resources.
How Contingent Recruiting Works
Contingent recruiting involves an agency collecting fees from an employer only once a successful candidate fills the role. The fee is paid by the company, and is calculated as a percentage based on the a candidate’s first-year salary. Typically, contingent recruiting pulls candidates from a larger pool of a recruiter’s existing database. There tends to be a lower risk for employers in this setup since there is no upfront fee or real financial commitment. Without the upfront fee, it’s in the recruiter’s best interest to forward as many candidates as possible to increase the chances of one of their candidates being selected for the role. For a job-seeker short on time, meeting with a contingent recruiter might be the best option since they are motivated to present your candidacy to as many hiring managers as possible.
Although this is how Contingent based search “typically” works, it is not the standard practice across all recruiters. While some firms succeed through this volume based approach, many others leverage exclusive relationships with their clients. They trust that their past success will result in loyal clients, and as a result, the ability to offer better quality (versus quantity) candidates. It is important that when you engage a recruiter, to learn more about their model and approach on candidate relationship development and client experience.
Build Long Term Relationships with Your Recruiter
Rather than switching from recruiter to recruiter, the recruiting experience is more valuable when a strong relationship develops between a recruiter and a candidate. While it can be helpful as a candidate to look around for a recruiter that suits you, you should stick with a single recruiter once you find one that you like…or at least one primary recruiter that appears to be invested in your success. A good recruiter will really take their time to get to know you, and better match you with appropriate employers after further understanding your experience. Excellent recruiters believe in the “long game” and will help you even if you are not a direct match against immediate roles that they are working.
Further, confidentiality and discretion are critical during the recruiting process. You don’t want multiple recruiters with your information submitting you for the same positions. This does not look good to an employer. It’s best to have a single recruiter working for you since you will have more control over how they portray you. Otherwise, a recruiter might not make you a priority if your attention is split between multiple recruiters. Your recruiter SHOULD be transparent with you about their process, their intentions, and the feedback they have. Suss this out quickly, and move on to the next person if you sense anything less than open honesty.
Factors to Consider When Looking for a Recruiter
The best recruiter to work with will have good energy and be passionate about what they do. They need to understand the business and the importance of building relationships and earning trust with their candidates. Testimonials from previous candidates, a strong personality and presence, and a command of the subject matter they are representing are all essential factors to determining how well they will represent you.
You want your recruiter to understand your work experience and career goals thoroughly so that they can find as many suitable positions for you as possible during the search process. It’s a recruiter’s job to be creative and problem-solve by utilizing strategies depending on the field to get you your target role.
A good recruiter is knowledgeable about the job market and its trends. They can evaluate your resume in only six seconds and will understand how to tailor your experience to match the types of positions you want. They can then paint a suitable picture for employers to assist a candidate’s chances of being selected.
To rule out recruiters who don’t satisfy the requirements outlined above, consider asking these questions:
- What makes you knowledgeable in the subject area of my professional experience?
- How will you craft my image to potential employers?
- What sets you apart from other recruiters?
- Can you provide testimonials from previous candidates that you represented?
- How long have you represented the client we are discussing and what roles have you filled with them?
It’s nice to have support while looking for a job. A recruiter will be able to break down the job-seeking process and line you up with positions that match your experience—jobs that you might have otherwise not found. Ron Laneve is a top talent adviser who’s here to support you on your job-seeking journey.
There’s nothing wrong with taking all of the help you can get.