What has your experience been working with a recruiter? Good? Bad? Ugly? To some people, recruiters are charlatans, snake oil salesmen or worse. To others, they are a valued networking partner who helps them manage their career and open the doors to hidden opportunities. For those who have had less than stellar experiences, let me share a new way of looking at working with recruiters.
In a depressed market where there are millions of jobseekers, networking is the proven and most effective way to get a job. The advantage of having a networking relationship with a recruiter is simply this: Recruiters have closer relationships with hiring managers. A recruiter’s job, whether they work for a search agency or for a company, is to find the best candidate available who fits the needs of their client. Your “job” as a job seeker is to make sure you are in position to be introduced to hiring managers through the recruiter when the right opportunity comes available.
Here are six proven ways to build and maintain a networking relationship with a recruiter.
- Be responsive and engaged: Recruiters are drawn to candidates who are responsive (returning calls and actively engaged) and willing to create win/win relationships. In some cases, a responsive candidate will get placed before the “best” candidate for the job.
- Be decisive: There is an old saying “Let your yes be yes and your no be no”. It is perfectly ok to say “no” to your recruiter if something is unacceptable. Recruiters work harder for candidates who are decisive and give good feedback.
- Be truthful: Character shines bright. A candidate who tells the truth and represents themselves truthfully move to the head of the pack.
- Be ready to network and give referrals: When you are not a fit for the recruiter’s position make sure that you continue to build your networking relationship with them and offer referrals when possible. Good recruiters have large networks who can help or hire you.
- Be patient: The “typical” interview process is full of stops, starts and dead periods. In this market, these periods can be longer because of the larger number of candidates applying for the same position. Make sure that you continue to network toward other opportunities.
- Be teachable: Most recruiters know their hiring managers well. If they share information that will help you be successful in the interview process, be willing to listen. It may help you land the job.
I hope that this article will be helpful to you throughout the course of your career. Good luck.