We receive frequent inquires regarding what services a recruiting agency provides. While there is no shortage of recruiting services out there, the question is, what are you looking for in a professional recruiter? Having a GOOD, professional recruiter or career consultant is as important as having a good dentist, mechanic, mortgage broker or plumber. Whether you are actively searching for a new career opportunity or perfectly happy with you current job for the time being, everyone can benefit from having a relationship with a professional recruiter…and here’s how you can too!
1. Set limits: Unless you’re considering a career search in multiple cities or nationally, you’ll find far more value in working with just a few strong recruiters. Build a relationship with no more than 2 or 3 recruiters or agencies that are reputable and understand your marketplace. Having 15 recruiters shooting your resume all over town will result in a total loss of control of your job search and can be very damaging to your reputation.
2. Communicate: A good recruiter will be committed to keeping in touch with you on a regular basis, whether you are actively looking for a new opportunity or not. Remember that is a two way street! Be sure your recruiter has the latest version of your resume. Even if you’re not actively looking, it’s still important to touch base several times a year. Be sure to keep them informed of any changes in your life and/or career desires. Showing that you take your career advancement seriously, will guarantee that you will be one of the first to hear about any hot opportunities that come up.
3. Invest some time: You should spend a fair amount of time upfront discussing your background, experience and career goals with your recruiter. Be sure they know what’s important to you. Is it money, location, career advancement, learning new skills or all of the above? If they are only interested in your past experience and fail to ask you or listen to you about your career game plan… find another recruiter.
4. Be honest: If you’re really just “kicking tires”, wondering if you’re being underpaid, think that an offer from another company will force your current employer to give you a raise, think twice… a professional recruiter understands the value of building a relationship for the future. They’ll be happy to answer your questions but don’t mislead them. Your reputation is your life line and rebuilding it could take years.
5. Ask questions: It’s fair to ask a recruiter about their expertise and how long they’ve been in the business. There are obvious benefits to working with a seasoned recruiter, however don’t jump ship too soon on your new recruiter. Keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere and in many cases a new recruiter will work very hard for their clients and usually don’t give up easily.
6. Be flexible: Understand that if you want to pick up some skills that are not part of your expertise, you might have to adjust your compensation goals to have the opportunity to add those skills to your portfolio.
7. Have realistic expectations: There are no guarantees in life. Consider your career consultant as another resource for you but not a guarantee that they’ll be calling you with your dream job next week or even next month for that matter. So don’t sit on the couch catching up on old re-runs because you just met with a great recruiter. Knowing your marketplace, reading local business journals, attending SIGS (special interest groups) and networking are still vital components of your job search.
Having a rewarding and successful relationship with a professional recruiter is all about having open communication and the proper expectations. So the next time you work with a recruiter, be sure to have a plan, keep communication open and honest, ask lots of questions and be sure everyone understands what the expectations are. Good luck!