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  • Lori A. Jazvac

Working Effectively with Recruiters

Uncertain about how to conduct an effective job search?

From newspapers, online job boards, company websites and agencies to networking and uncovering the hidden job market, the possibilities are limitless. But which method or combination works best for you? Use your sound judgement and intuition, stay motivated, and track your progress.

With fall just around the corner, recruiters will be in greater demand by both employers and candidates to fill the toughest jobs. According to Randstad, a reputed recruitment and HR firm, 40% of Canadians use social media to search for jobs. Of those, 60% utilize Facebook, 51% use LinkedIn, 30% use Google+, 20% use Twitter, and 8% use Instagram.

Recruiters leverage social media now more than ever to find qualified candidates. According to the North American Social Recruiting Activity Report, 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn, 27% use Twitter, and 22% use Facebook. Only 12% use all three social networks.

With different types of recruiters, including those specializing in recruiting for human resources, engineering, retail and executive, it is important to understand how to work with recruiters to maximize your career success. Likewise, it is essential to understand what recruiters look for in a candidate for a certain role.

Recruiters tend to choose candidates who are polished and professional, clear-focused, self-motivated and confident, honest, efficient, and can deliver proven results.

The Difference between Contingency Recruiters and Retained Recruiters

Firstly, contingency recruiters receive payment only when their candidate is hired. Since they are competing with other recruiters to provide candidates for each assignment, they work efficiently to offer the client company as many candidates as possible. This means you may be one of many candidates for a given job.

Retained recruiters, however, are hired by a client company for an assignment and are paid regardless of the results of the search. They are more often used to fill higher level positions with salaries of $70,000 and plus.

What Jobseekers Need to Know About Recruiters

Recruiters are categorized by industry, position, and geography. Consider leveraging the best blend of all of these categories to select those contacts who can best benefit your search.

Separating Myth from Truth about Recruiters

  • Recruiters do not find jobs for people – recruiters find people for jobs.

  • Many jobseekers think that if they are unemployed that they will be sought out by recruiters. But the truth is that the most valuable candidates to a recruiter are those not always actively looking for work. If you are gainfully employed, you will likely be a better prospect for recruiters.

So even if you are meaningfully employed and not actively job searching, accept the recruiter’s call and be open to hearing about present or future opportunities. Change happens quickly; opportunities evolve by taking advantage of right timing.

Recruiters are paid by the companies who hire them to fill jobs. You don’t pay the recruiter. Search firms work for the client, so don’t expect them to be overly responsive when you contact them. Recruiters may contact you if they have a position that aligns with your profile, or to ask you to recommend other people who might be interested in a job.

Good recruiters treat everyone with respect and care about the people they work with. Great recruiters produce results by securing the trust and attention of the hiring decision-makers who are the hardest to reach. However, it is up to you to find the right fit and establish a solid rapport with the recruiter and their client(s) in order to maximize your career success.

How to Handle the Job Search When Working with Recruiters

* Be polite and respectful. Ask how often the recruiter would like you to check in with them. If a guideline is not offered, follow up with them once a month.

* If a recruiter presents you with a job opportunity, deal directly with the recruiter. Don’t bypass the recruiter and contact the company yourself, even if you know someone at the company.

* Remember, recruiters are paid to recruit the best candidates. They match the skill sets and experience of candidates to the open position. If your skill sets and experience fall short of their requirements, you may not receive the call.

* Feel free to send an unsolicited resume and cover letter to a recruiter. Realize that it may not necessarily result in an immediate return contact from the recruiter. Always follow up!

* Recruiters rely on referrals. If you know someone who has been contacted by or placed by a recruiter serving your industry, inform them that you would appreciate help in facilitating an introduction.

* Help recruiters help you. Recruiters need to understand your qualifications and unique value to align your expertise with positions they are trying to fill.

* Recruiters use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn) to identify candidates. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is well-developed; connect with them on these sites.

* Listen to your recruiter. If the recruiter gives you tips on what to do or how to position yourself with a certain client, please consider these valuable tips.

* Identify recruiters who specialize in your job field, geography, and career level. Recruiters aim to work with marketable candidates. Aim to speak to recruiters who specialize in your profession to receive the best results.

* Be honest with your recruiter. Be open about your career goals, salary expectations, interview feedback and progress, and level of interest in a given job. This information will allow the recruiter to find you a job that is a good fit rather than a role that poses little interest to you and may be not be a suitable fit.

* A good recruiter can be your “eyes and ears on the job market” when you are too busy to pay attention to new and shifting labour market developments.

* Don’t limit yourself to working with just one recruiter.

* When contacted by a recruiter, ask what company are they recruiting for. (If you’ve already applied directly to that same company, they would usually not be able to represent you there.)

* If a recruiter asks you to prepare a special version of your resume or a leadership profile, do so. Be cooperative and go the extra mile to ensure that your resume is error-free and speaks results.

The key is to work collaboratively with the recruiter. Timeliness is of the essence as an opportunity may arise quicker than anticipated. If you form a trusted alliance with the recruiter and apply appropriate brand marketing tools, you will likely secure a rewarding career opportunity that meets your needs.

Will you be ready to take the call by a recruiter?

For more tips on working with recruiters and creating a stellar resume package, visit Contact Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374.

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