The best way to work with a third party recruiter.
This article is a follow up to last week's "Why to work with a recruiter". Now let's talk about HOW. First, let me define “ 3rd party agency recruiter”. I know many of you know what a recruiter does but for some of you who actually do not know what we do: third party contingency recruiters work with companies by contract, to search for the best candidates for job openings for which they've been assigned.
The thing that's different about working with an agency recruiter versus a corporate recruiter is that the third party agency recruiter will be working with many different companies at once vs. a corporate recruiter works for one company. Either way there are do's and don'ts when working with a recruiter, especially a third-party agency recruiter. A particularly good agency recruiter can take you a long way in your career search if you know the ins and outs of how to work with them properly. A corporate recruiter can only help you get a job at the company where they work but are still valuable in your job search with that one specific company. This article will focus on how to work with a third-party agency recruiter. This is a follow up to my article last week on why you should use a recruiter. Let me explain to you how to find a recruiter that fits your professional background. One word: LinkedIn. Start doing a basic search for either recruiters or executive search firms; and you can narrow this search down in the state where you're located and put in the keywords to search for your professional skills as well. The search will bring up various people with their title being “recruiter”. You want to make sure they're working for an agency and specialize in your professional area of expertise. After you have found maybe a handful of 10 to 20 of these recruiters: connect with each of them with a message on LinkedIn and ask if they can review your resume for potential openings that they may have. If they are busy it may take them a bit to get back to you but some may have positions already open that they can talk to you about. If the agency recruiter you message with replies that they have nothing open in your field, ask if any one of the recruiters in their network would be able to help you. Keep messaging different recruiters until you find a good fit with one that will respond and help you. The key is again to find an agency recruiter that specializes in the industry and skill set that you are searching for. One major tip: please make sure that your LinkedIn is up to date, you have a good profile picture, and that you're resume experience reflects the exact same experience on your LinkedIn page so there are no inconsistencies.
Here are some guidelines for working with an agency recruiter:
1. Do a solid assessment of yourself to know what your skill set is and your overall goals for your career. For instance, answer the following questions about what you're looking for: What type of company are you searching for? What kind of culture do you want them to have? What are some companies that you would you love to work for? The clearer that these answers are to you, it will be easier for the recruiter to identify the right match.
2. Make sure that your resume is current as I mentioned above. There is nothing more aggravating for an agency recruiter to get a resume from a potential candidate that is not updated however for some reason this happens half of the time, and causes for potential time delays in the hiring process and the time it takes for a job search with the agency recruiter. Having it ready and updated will make everything easier on everyone.
3. Be polite and respectful of the recruiter’s time. These days many recruiters use programs such as Calendly to schedule slotted times to interview potential candidates. Recruiters like myself understand that good candidates are busy as well, so we must strive to respect each other and that includes keeping a scheduled time for an interview. Respect of each other's time will go a long way in securing the trust in the relationship. If you stand them up on one or two scheduled calls you're more likely to not hear from them again. The main reason for that is is that you've demonstrated your time management skills to that recruiter by not keeping the scheduled call so for them, you're not a good candidate to send over to their client company. Their reputation is built on sending over quality candidates. Even if you think you’re the best candidate for them in this world, if you do not demonstrate this, they cannot help you. If something urgent keeps you from being on the scheduled call, you will want to communicate that with the recruiter and reschedule. We understand things can come up and respect your time too! Treat conversations with recruiters as if they are interviews with hiring managers as it is an indication of how you will represent yourself with the hiring manager and you want that to be impressively positive and professional.
4. Trust is the most important cornerstone for a solid relationship with a third party agency recruiter. Trust them to do their jobs. They have a relationships with the companies hiring managers (their clients) and understand their needs. They do know what they're talking about in regards to the job or the company ,and they can guide you through the whole process and send you in the right direction. When a recruiter gives you advice on how to help you through the interview process, let them help you. In other words, “help them help you”. You will be sharing a lot of information with the recruiter so don't hold back and understand that for the most part your conversation with them is confidential, except for the information they need to send with your resume that is pertinent to the position for which you want to interview. Most good recruiters will explain to you what information they're sending about you to their client. If you have any gaps, have been laid-off, or you have some issues that could come up during a background check: tell them immediately! Believe it or not, the best recruiters can help you navigate those issues ahead of time. It is always best to be honest from the beginning , because if information comes out later that is not good , it can hurt you badly during the interview process. Letting the recruiter handle any this, as "we have seen it all" so to say, and we can consult you on how to handle the issue at hand. 5. Tell your recruiter which jobs you have applied to online, and give them the names of the companies if you can. This will not "hurt your chances" to tell them as they could be working with the same company , and it would not look great for them to submit your resume to an organization where you've already applied. It also will not make you look good either. Be honest with them about other recruiters that you're working with and how many jobs you are in the interview process with. The more information you give to your recruiter, the more it helps them with potential employers. Especially the jobs your truly interested in as they can move you faster through their process if they find you are the right candidate for the job and visa versa. 6. I am personally an agency recruiter and their is one piece of information that is very important that I want to communicate through this article. If you don't remember anything else from this article, please remember this: When you get a message from an agency recruiter like myself , and you want to know more information about the opportunity they are representing, do not expect the recruiter to give you the company name immediately. This is the basic rule in recruiting and there's nothing weird about it, it's not a scam, and it is not unusual for them not to give out the name of the company who is their client. Especially over email. You need to trust the recruiter that they will need to talk to you on the phone first to see if the job would be a good fit for you, and then more than likely they will give you the information about the company. Do not turn away for from an opportunity just because the recruiter will not give you the name of the company right at first. I cannot emphasize this enough! Some of the best jobs are confidential searches and we are usually held to a contract that we cannot give out names of our clients or we don't want to give the name out because we don't want you to go and apply online and then we can no longer represent you. It is truly frustrating when we've done a lot of hard work in gathering all the information about you and then we cannot submit it to our client because you have gone around us and applied to the company online without telling us. Some candidates will do this, and not realize that we get paid by our clients. Why would our client pay us for a candidate already in their database? And it can take a few weeks to months to hear back from an application you have submitted online while a good agency recruiter can get you directly in front of the hiring manager MUCH faster!
7. A few other things that are important while working with the recruiter are the following: be good at communication during every step of the interview process with your recruiter who has sent you to that job interview. Call them after every interview or interaction with their client company. They will guide you through what to do every step of the way and be prepared to take constructive criticism. Also giving recruiters referrals can score you big points and sometimes referral fees. In summary, stay in touch with a recruiter who's placed you in a job. I cannot tell you how many times I've appreciated the calls from candidates I have placed in the past just to catch up and find out what they're doing and sometimes to find them another job in the future. There are some candidates I've actually placed up to 2-3 times. That of course, is only when they give me permission to represent them again in case they are still working for one of my clients. I will not recruit one of my own candidates out of one of my client companies to put them into another job which = very unethical in the recruiting world. The only time I make an exception is when my candidate calls me and says they want to leave their job and they must give me a VERY compelling reason that I cannot argue with. For instance ,maybe their company is about to downsize them or they are relocating to another state because of their spouse’s job.
Otherwise touching base from time to time is good if you're in between jobs as your recruiter already knows that you interview well, and if you worked well with them before they will want to work with you again. For instance, I had a good relationship with a local recruiter for years and she placed me in four different positions over a course of 15 years. In conclusion recruiters can be a great asset for your career if you know how to work with them. Happy hunting and contact me with any questions !
Lea Allison Rovers Sales Headhunter and Owner of Rovers Recruitment