Should you work with a recruiter?
Ten-hour workdays. Back-to-back-to-back meetings. Looming deadlines. Sound familiar? When your current job keeps your hands full, it can be challenging to reach for that next rung on your career ladder. You don’t have time to check your email, much less check job boards.This is where a professional recruiter becomes an invaluable partner. A recruiter can navigate channels on your behalf, allowing you to continue doing your job because they’re doing theirs. In fact, teaming up with the right recruiter arms a candidate with a number of distinct advantages. Let’s look at some of the ways an ethical, engaged, capable recruiter can help you further your career.
It’s a Career, Not a Job
Notice that the last paragraph ended with the phrase “further your career”. That’s because, while some recruiters merely attempt to find you a job, the best ones help you plan your career. That’s a huge differentiator.There’s nothing more deflating than being so hungry for that next gig that you accept it, only to find that it isn’t a true fit. Now you’re stuck between the security of a paycheck and a daily sense of duty to something that doesn’t bend toward your life goals. The right recruiter will work with you to ensure that your next job is part of your career path, not just a place to tread water while you wait for the tides to shift.
Beyond the Boards
A recruiter will also have access to jobs you may not know exist if your main resource is the go-to cache of job boards. Companies often prefer going through recruiters to onboard talent because they know it will save them time, resources, money, and buckets of Extra Strength Tylenol. They know a recruiter can help them resource the best talent quickly, without the challenge of mining through hundreds of online applicants themselves.
A Private Affair
If you’re searching for a new job, the last person you want to find out is your current employer. Job boards, however, leave candidates wide open to discovery, and companies are known to fish around the internet to see who is planning to leave their payroll for other opportunities. With a recruiter, you’ll have the confidentiality of a professional who understands that you prefer discretion.
A Focused Approach
Not only will a capable recruiter lead you to jobs that are not in the public domain, they’ll also help you target specific companies that are a fit with your skills and goals. They also will be more likely to have an understanding of the cultures inherent in these businesses, so you can be aligned with an organization that will feel like home. Because, as we said, your goal should be enriching your career path, not just landing a job.
A True Investment
Run, don’t walk, from any recruiter who tries to charge you for service. Great recruiters make their money from companies enlisted to find talent. Thus, it’s important to find a recruiter who you feel has your best interests at heart and will truly go to bat for you. That kind of relationship can provide invaluable peace of mind as you wait for the right opportunity to become available.
So, what should a candidate look for in a recruiter?
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you seek out your recruiting partner:
- Find a firm that has an experienced team. Years in business are a good litmus for measuring if a company has been doing the right things consistently over time. Also, a firm that boasts a cohesive team means more mindshare and collective human experience than an independent recruiter functioning in a silo.
- Find a firm with a solid reputation. Ask around. Have they placed others you know? What does their client list look like? What companies do they serve? How are they regarded in the industry? Do they know their success rate?
- Find a firm that will tell you what you need - not just want - to hear. That means finding someone willing to honestly compare you to the market and set expectations with you; someone you trust to give you candid feedback and tips designed to make you a more viable candidate.
- Find a firm focused on the future. Again, you want someone to help you build your career, not just get your next job. A good recruiter will want to support a long-term vision for the candidates they represent. That means even after they’ve placed you, they’ll remain your partner, ensuring you are happy where you are, and making you aware of other opportunities down the road if you ask them to do so.
It’s also worth mentioning: you should also actually LIKE your recruiter. This is someone that you will ideally partner with for years. Ask yourself: is this person someone you would grab coffee with?
Finding Your Fit
If you want to sit down with an interviewer for your dream job, your journey begins by doing your homework. Find recruiters who fit the criteria above and schedule a time to chat with them – better face-to-face but a phone call will work. Ask them the tough questions, do your due diligence and find out who the best fit for you is.Not looking for a job right now? Perfect! This is the time to get started with a recruiter. Just as you want to have your own doctor before you get sick, you’ll want a relationship in place with a recruiter before you are contemplating a job transition.
If you have any questions about the recruiting process, please fill out the contact form below and we will be happy to follow up regarding your inquiry.In our next installment, we’ll share insights on how companies can benefit from engaging a recruiter. (Hint: It’s not just about filling a position, it’s about partnering for long-term success).