1. Track RecordSocial media lowered the barrier to entry for would-be recruiters, so you must do your homework before choosing one. Anyone can pad their LinkedIn profile and promise you a meeting with a hiring manager, but you want to be sure they’re not just using your résumé as a means to establish a relationship with the company. Research the recruiter and recruiting agency’s background, look for testimonials and reviews, and source feedback through your social media networks. Top recruiters maintain long-standing relationships with hiring managers at high-profile companies, and they can shepherd you through the interview process. Find out which organizations the recruiter has placed people with previously to get a sense of their influence.
The best recruiters can get candidates interviews purely based on their recommendation because of their strong credibility and track record with their clients.The best recruiters can get candidates interviews purely based on their recommendation because of their strong credibility and track record with their clients. This type of influence results from years of delivering highly qualified candidates who are not only technically capable but also strong cultural fits within the organization. Recruiters who build this type of reputation over years of working with their hiring managers are the ones who can truly add value for you as a candidate. This is especially key when you’re not a perfect fit on paper but are still qualified for the job. Having a trusted partner vouch for you can get you in the door when you otherwise wouldn’t stand a chance. A good recruiter knows the managers, subordinates, and the team with whom you’ll be working and can navigate you through the interview process. They prepare you for each interview, sharing insight on the company and the interviewer’s hot buttons, and ultimately help you be the “best version of yourself” while interviewing at their client. Recruiters who have limited visibility, history with the company, and a lack of relationship might be able to get you an interview based on your résumé, but after that you are on your own.
Don’t hold back when assessing a recruiter’s background because the decision could mean the difference between landing your desired job and being ignored.A good recruiter will also negotiate your contract terms, essentially brokering the position for you. Don’t hold back when assessing a recruiter’s background because the decision could mean the difference between landing your desired job and being ignored. You can use the following questions to facilitate the vetting process:
– How long have you worked with this client?
– How long have you known the hiring manager?
– Have you placed anyone else at this company?
– If so, how long did they stay with the organization?
– Why is this position open and how long has it been available?
– Why did the previous person leave the position?
– What’s the department structure?
– What are the opportunities for growth in this job?
– What does the hiring manager look for in a candidate?
– What are the growth prospects for the company?How the recruiter engages on the job specs and the organization’s details shows the strength of their relationship with the company. You want to be represented by the most competent, connected person available, and these questions will help you discern who that is.
2. SpecializationRecruiting is a specialty game. Recruiters who try to be everything to everyone simply don’t have the deep industry knowledge and contacts you need to land the job.
Recruiters who try to be everything to everyone simply don’t have the deep industry knowledge and contacts you need to land the job.At BVOH we do not engage with candidates whose functional expertise is not in accounting and finance because it is outside of our niche and our ability to really help them in their search. You want someone who understands your experience and capabilities and how they fit into the position you’re applying for. When considering traditional, contingency based recruiting firms, steer clear of generalists, and work only with recruiters who have demonstrated expertise in your field. This does not hold true if you are a C Suite level executive as most of the large retained search firms recruit cross functionally. However, even at this level you will most likely be engaging with the consultant inside the firm who specializes in your area.
3. In-Person MeetingWhen a recruiter tells you that an introductory phone call will suffice instead of an in-Person conversation, walk the other way – fast. A face-to-face meeting presents a crucial opportunity to assess a candidate’s personality and demeanor and and determine where he will be a cultural fit. It also gives you a chance to feel out the recruiter and see if you trust her. Insist that the recruiter meet with you in order to work together. Reluctance to do so is a major red flag.
Insist that the recruiter meet with you in order to work together. Reluctance to do so is a major red flag.Furthermore, recruiters worth their salt will work with hiring managers who EXPECT them to have met their candidates face-to-face. The recruiter’s assessment of the candidate’s personality and style is in large part what they value in the partnership. If the recruiter’s clients do not expect them to meet their candidates in person, the recruiter probably does not have a level of influence with their clients that will move the needle for you in this opportunity. This thoroughness in the process is what sets recruiters apart and is a key attribute you should look for when deciding who your best resource will be. Remember: your recruiter is your advocate and your decision to work with her reflects on you. Vet recruiters carefully before allowing one to represent you to potential employers and don’t be afraid to have high standards. The work you put into searching for the right recruiter will pay off when you land that dream job and move up another rung on the career ladder.
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