Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Select a Recruiter

As a job seeker your strategy is more important than ever in this market. Part of your process should include the use of a recruiter(s). So how do you select a recruiter to partner with? There lies the keyword, partner. A recruiter should be a partner in your search. And you in turn need to partner with the recruiter as well. Here are tips in making it the most beneficial partnership.

1. Research to locate a recruiter that specializes within your industry. A recruiter that is a generalist will likely not be able to effectively represent you to the market in the same way that an industry specific recruiter can. Not only will they be limited in understanding who to speak to and how to best represent you, but they will likely lack the industry networks to get you seen by the right people.

2. Once you identify a recruiter, ask around. Check with people you know in your industry to see if they have any background or knowledge of this recruiter. Of course never place your decision on one person’s opinion. Just like anything, you are always better to gain multiple experiences. If the message is consistently bad perhaps it makes sense to start your search over. If it is generally good, then it’s time to reach out to the recruiter.

3. Contact the recruiter. If you leave a message or send an email and don’t hear back, don’t be quick to drop them as a possibility. Give them another try. If they are not responsive on the second try then this is likely not someone you will want to work with. If it takes them a couple days to respond that’s okay. These days recruiters are inundated with job seeker calls & emails.

4. Once you have an exchange with a recruiter this is an opportunity to gain a comfort level. There should be a feeling of good chemistry. You should feel as though the recruiter is knowledgeable and that they understand what value you can bring to a client company.

5. Be skeptical of a recruiter that requires an exclusive arrangement with you. Now if you are looking at a small market that is the exception as you don’t want recruiters tripping over themselves in a small market. However if you are looking at a large market such as Chicago, or are open to relocation to various locations, be leery of the recruiter requiring an exclusive arrangement with you. It’s okay to use more than one recruiter. The fact is, no one recruiter has relationships with each & every company. However I believe that using too many recruiters is not a good idea either. You stand the chance of losing the commitment from a good recruiter if they feel as though you are using too many.

6. If you do use more than one recruiter, require them to contact you before ever sending your information anywhere. And make certain they will disclose the client company name as well.

7. Stay in touch with the recruiter you partner with. Unfortunately the days of recruiters being able to routinely touch base with candidates is a thing of the past. A recruiter's time is best spent marketing your background. So touch base every couple weeks to check in.

These are the main points to remember when you enter into a partnership with a recruiter.

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