I encourage all of my recruiter colleagues to jump in with their comments along with those with experience working with recruiters.
As the job market remains competitive, the rumblings continue from frustrated job seekers, many of whom have earned the right to rumble, but just remember who your audience is. Try to stick to family and friends rather than professional acquaintances or even new professional networking connections when it comes to the frustrations of your job search.
Successful recruiters are so because they enjoy working with and helping people as part of who they naturally are, so if you feel like your recruiter didn’t care or was out for themselves or just using you, I am going to ask that you revisit the situation (especially if this is how you feel about every recruiter you have met). I am not saying that there aren’t awful recruiters out there who are manipulative and will lie, cheat and steal to seal a deal, but like in all things in life do your research and ask for referrals. A good recruiter will form a connection with you, even if it is a small one, they will be direct and honest and have expectations of you the candidate.
Most common complaints we hear and how to help avoid them:
- They called me in for an interview and had me do all of these tests but then I never heard from them again.
- I waited for 35 minutes & my interview was only 15
- I was hoping that they would give me more advice OR they spent an hour with me and then I never really got more advice from them
The solution: be prepared, ask questions about the company or agency, know what kind of jobs they typically place for and the types of positions AND PLEASE TAKE NOTES. If the company does a lot of temp2hire or contract work and you are against it, you may want to rethink your interview. On the other hand, should you really turn down a good job, in your field, with a target company just because it is a contract? If you limit your options or have unrealistic salary expectations, then there might not be a good match for you with that particular recruiter. Have you asked, “Is there anything that you see that would keep you from presenting opportunities to me or presenting me to your clients?”
Dress to impress: do you need to wear a suit? not always, but jeans… not really. A 3rd party recruiter is paid based on finding that perfect candidate for their clients (the companies that engage them) and a corporate recruiter is paid a salary to do the same. What I am getting at here is that a recruiter is only as good as their performance, last placement and reputation/integrity for those they work with in business, first impressions are lasting ones and we all must put our best foot forward. Help them see the best in you and leave no room for hesitation or doubt in your ability to be a great asset to their clients.
Know what your true skills and experience are and apply for positions that match this best, not what you would love to do in the future if given a chance. This type of chance/opportunity doesn’t come from applying to a posting online or from explaining to the recruiter that you are a quick learner. I am sorry if this stings, but the chance you are seeking, someone with experience has already taken. I promise to write very soon about career change tips but for now, just trust me on this one.
If you are looking for career advice, interview training, resume critique, networking tips or other “tricks of the trade” I ask that you keep your question to, “How can I improve” rather than rattle off every issue or concern you have or someone has told you that you might have. Then I suggest you engage in a career counselor of sorts. Ask your recruiter if they have 2 that they can recommend, you will want to do your own research but suggestions and referrals are very important.
The reason: Employers/Managers/Companies have become increasingly particular in their requirements and expectations from their recruiters because they feel that the market is full of great candidates that meet each and every one of their bullets on the job description and have that perfect “fit” to boot. A recruiter must use their gut, experience and research to make the best decision for the company (ies) they work with in order to continue their role as a business partner rather than a commodity. Trust and strong relationships with all parties are key to success.
Remember that each moving piece of the recruitment and selection process is a person that should be vested in the other and their relationship. People are people, as the saying goes and this is what causes the most excitement and stress for any recruiter.