I think sometimes recruiters take for granted that people know what they do and how they do it. As a recent grad specifically– new to the world of work or should I say, new to seeking permanent full time work–why would you know the deal?
The lightly-hood of you finding your first job via a recruiter is very small. Why? Because companies don’t typically engage the services of a recruiter/headhunter/search consultant (there are many titles) for entry level positions. This is the rule, but there are always exceptions to the rule so its good to know ahead of time.
Recruiters don’t help you, they help the employer
That sounds a bit harsh but its probably the most important thing to clear up. Recruiters work for their clients, the employers. They are engaged to source and present the best candidate(s) for a particular opening. This could be a new position, replacement or confidential search. The recruiter works for the client because that is who pays them. A fee is due when a candidate is placed with an organization, the candidate never pays the recruiter and if you are being asked for money by a recruiter promising to find you a job, my advice, run a mile or research heavily because that is not the standard accepted practice.
But I thought a recruiter could help me too, am I wrong?
Hired on a search by search basis, recruiters provide a service. Many have strong and established networks and very tight bonds with their clients, this means as part of their ongoing service to their clients, when an awesome candidate is available they can approach the company and let them know about the person. With a growing organization always looking to add talented employees with the right skill set, this arrangement works very well for both the client and recruiter.
I would advise anyone to establish a relationship with a reputable, industry specific recruiter for the reason I just outlined. People move through their careers differently and for different reasons. Some stay with the company for life, others get downsized or fired, and some are ‘headhunted’ away. All are ‘par for the course’ and in my opinion keep things interesting!
5 Tips that will help you work with a recruiter in the future
- Stay in touch – make sure they have a recent copy of your resume
- Outline your career goals – this way when opportunities arise they know which ones to call you about.
- Be honest and open – always share important information, whether you think its good for the employer to know or not the recruiter can advocate for you, but only if they have all the facts.
- Refer other great people – if you are willing to support their searches from time to time, they won’t forget you. Don’t forget ‘What goes around comes around’.
- Remember the recruiter won’t find you a job, its not what they do for a living. Calling every week is not going to raise your profile (in fact in might do the opposite) trust that if there is an appropriate position with one of their clients–one that fits the clients’ needs and fits your background, experience and career aspirations–they will present you. Timing is everything.
This is a high level overview of the role a recruiter plays and how you can work successfully with them. I would love to get some discussion started because I think there are lots of thoughts, opinions, truths and myths about recruiters and I’d be happy to answer any questions or have any recruiting partners chime in. Whats on your mind?