Searching for a new job can be an overwhelming and stressful process, especially if you are doing it on your own. You may consider working with recruiting agencies, staffing agencies, or headhunters to help you find the perfect position to fit your skillset.
But what exactly should you expect from this relationship? & how do you make sure you get the best possible outcome out of your job search and each other?
In this RECSMARTS blog, we will outline tips that will help ensure your experience is as beneficial and rewarding as possible when working with a staffing agency recruiter.
Establish Your Ultimate Career Goal
Before you begin job hunting or visiting job boards, it’s important to have an idea of what type of position you are looking for. This will help ensure that any potential matches include the skillset and responsibilities with which you’re comfortable. When discussing this goal with a recruiter, be sure not to pigeonhole yourself by asking them to find “anything.” Job seekers should keep an open mind, but also be sure to provide a specific list of desired job titles, job openings, and types of work so everyone clearly knows where their interests lie.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Being honest about your background when working with recruiters is critical!
This means being honest about your resume, work history (jobs), experience level, salary expectations, and desired locations (commute). It’s important to be upfront with them so they can give you the best possible positions that match your preferences.
If you use drugs or have a criminal background, just be honest! Nothing is more alarming than being caught lying or omitting important details that destroy trust between you and the staffing agency. Recruiters aren’t the cops – they don’t report or “tattle” on you by knowing this private or undesirable information you share. Rather, they want the truth to avoid positions & employers who require screening to help find you the best company culture, role, and work environment, regardless of your history.
Recruiters Don’t Work for You
Remember recruiters work for hiring managers and the companies hiring, not the candidates! It’s up to you to stay in communication and to nurture the relationship as much as them. You might feel pressure to take a job at all costs because the recruiter has spent so much time and energy shepherding you through the process, but it’s important to remember that your interests are aligned with theirs ONLY when you have an offer in hand.
The best recruiters will always be upfront about how they’ll make money from working with you. Their compensation is paid by the hiring company, and is usually a percentage of your total salary and any signing bonuses. There is no cost to you. They should also be transparent about the hiring process as it differs for each of their clients.
Discuss Salary, Benefits, & Compensation Package
Don’t be shy in your job search – talking about money with a recruiter is an essential thing! Expect recruiters to ask about your salary requirements and other benefits you would need to make a move. In fact, the recruiter will be less likely to negotiate for you if they don’t know what your salary expectations are because they are missing key information on what you are looking for in your next job.
Ask for more details on benefits packages, including vacation time, sick days, life insurance policies – anything related to how much time off work you’ll have during year one, etc. Some companies even include 401K matching, quarterly bonuses, childcare reimbursement, travel reimbursement, and educational scholarships. Always ask about the job seekers’ benefits before you agree to an interview.
Find Recruiters Who Specialize in Your Industry
A recruiting generalist isn’t always the best option, especially if you have a unique skillset. Many recruiters specialize in a particular industry or type of work. Seek recruiters with experience and expertise in your field & industry. They can offer advice about specific companies, introduce you to a hiring manager they have previously worked with, and help you understand what their expectations are during every stage of the interview process.
Let The Recruiter Edit & Modify Your Resume
If the recruiter wants to make changes to your resume, please let them! They are professionals in this field and have years of experience negotiating for job seekers. They will know what needs to be done better than you do!
If there is something that they want to add or remove from your resume, just let it go. Remember- they’re not judging you; they’re editing because they believe it will help you land an interview faster.
Stay Committed: Don’t Skip or Miss Interviews
Whatever you do, don’t miss an interview! Recruiters often must keep track of all the candidates they’ve been in contact with and, as you can imagine, this is much easier if only a few people are dropping out or missing their interviews.
If something comes up, feel free to let your recruiter know, but don’t give them any kind of story or excuse – just be honest about what’s going on so that they can work together to find another time for you. Poor communication reflects badly on your professionalism and reliability and could damage your professional relationship with the recruiter. They would much rather reschedule a pending interview then hear you “no showed” and left their client hanging.
The recruiter wants to help you get a job. It is in their best interest for you to do well after all! They want the employer they are working for to be happy, and more importantly – not disappointed. They also don’t want to place you in a company where you aren’t happy, so just be honest if you don’t think a job description is the right fit.
And when interviewing, don’t forget your manners. Be on time or early and make sure to ask questions about the company and job opening during your meeting so you can tell whether this is the perfect job for you. Recruiters usually have more contact with employers than candidates. Show them that you’re serious about finding a great opportunity right away.
Next Week on RecSmarts
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