Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to work with a recruiter.....

I've had a bunch of requests lately for a blog on how to effectively work with a recruiter. If you really want to maximize the services of your recruiter try the following tips. Also, these tips are true for agency recruiters, corporate recruiters, high tech, bio-tech, nursing, doesn't the end of the day, all of the good recruiters operate the same way.

1) Be honest - I know right, do I really have to write this? YES. Don't tell the recruiter that you are making $200K if you are making $50K. Don't tell them you have never applied for a job at the company before even though you've now been interviewed for every job except Chief Bottle Washer. Your recruiter is your partner in your job search. Be open and honest with them, and trust me it will pay off. If you tell a recruiter EXACTLY what you are making now and explain what type of comp package you'll need to make a switch........they'll get it for you....and if they can't, it's not b/c they didn't try as hard as possible. The thing to remember about recruiters, we like to hire people and get deals done. So, be honest and upfront with your recruiter as it will help them help you!

2) Communication is a two way street - If you are wondering what's up with your application email or call your recruiter. Again, rocket science here but most people miss this one. Recruiters are busy, and in some cases they are ridiculously busy (ask me some time how may calls I do in a week). I figure, after meetings and other "non-candidate" related things, I probably spend 20 hours a week talking to people. It's really hard to talk to everyone as frequently as they'd like. So, don't be shy, I think I can speak for every recruiter on the planet when I say we appreciate the anxious candidate and know that if you are engaged with us you are probably excited about the opportunity. One last thing on this, send email and leave a voicemail. If we are on the phone all day (it happens) I may not get your message for several hours but I can usually email you back pretty quick.

3) Leave a message if you call - You'd be amazed how many people call me but never leave a message. I've been either on the phone or in meetings while the same candidate will call 5 or 6 times without leaving a message. Um, seriously it's REALLY annoying. If you left message and then follow up with an email you'll get a much faster response than just calling and calling and hoping we pick up.

4) Explain your timeline (in detail) - Not really looking around? Need a new job tomorrow? Going off to hike Europe for 8 weeks? The more your recruiter knows about your timeline the better job they can do for you. Recruiters are trained to push people through the process as fast as possible so we are always thinking "Go, go go!" If that doesn't work for you, tell your recruiter! Nothing more frustrating than sending a few emails and voice mails for a candidate only to get a call back 3 weeks later saying "sorry, I was on vacation", thanks.

5) Ask us questions, LOTS of questions - Our job is to get you a job, so ask as many questions as you can possibly think of about the opportunity. You should be able to ask us anything, if we don't know the answer, we'll find it. I'm always amazed at some of the questions I get and really appreciate when someone stumps me. Questions about the role? Ask. Questions about the company? Ask. Compensation? Career path? If it's something you are curious about, ask....if your recruiter doesn't know ask them to find out for you. Really, it's our job.

6) Do your homework and confirm it with us - I hope this makes sense, but spend some time doing Google searches about the company, the team, your recruiter (that's right) pretty much learn as much as you can....and then when you speak with your recruiter use this information to make sure you understand the opportunity. For example, I had a candidate ask me "You spent a long time at The MathWorks and now at Google. I've heard they are both great places, what are the differences from your perspective?" Great question and really made ME think. So, do that homework and make sure you are 100% prepared for the interview.

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, been REALLY busy lately not only at work but at, more soon. Until then, I hope you enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Jeff,

    Good points about being upfront with recruiters and about not calling over and over without leaving a message. May I add that that goes for other fields as well? LOL!

    The only thing I wish *you* were more upfront about is that recruiters work for the companies that pay them, not for the job seekers.

    I run into this misconception a lot with my clients who believe they can pretty much "hire" a recruiter to find them a job. Now I know why they would think so.

    You wrote "Our job is to get you a job.." but isn't your job really to fill your clients' openings? That’s where your loyalty is – like it should be.

    Are you really going to try to find a job for a candidate whose background doesn’t match any of your search requirements? Of course not. Those are the people that will probably never hear back from you.

    I believe that an educated “consumer” is a smart consumer. If more people realized how things work when it comes to job searches, then everyone could spend their time more productively.

    It’s up to people like yourself to be clear about how working with a recruiter really works.

    Ilona Vanderwoude
    Master Resume Writer
    Career Branches