Friday, June 13, 2008

The Inside Track on Recruiters

The Inside Track on Recruiters – Top 10 Tips
Posted by Phil Rosenberg on June 8, 2008 at 10:35pm in Linking Job Seekers

It's so simple, and so few candidates do this. And the higher up the management chain the candidate is, the more effective they can be using this strategy. Interestingly, the higher up the management chain the candidate is, the LESS LIKELY they are to actually do this! It's such an easy way to stand out, such an easy way to get priority and additional help from recruiters.
But you've got to adopt a different paradigm - Flip your old way of thinking 180 degrees.
Stop even thinking that a recruiter works for you…they don't. They work for the client, and are paid only if they find an exact match in a competitive recruiter market. Retained recruiters are also paid to find exact matches. Even if you suggest that you'll throw business to the recruiter when you land your management job, a recruiter is in the immediacy business, and operates just-in-time. So next year or next month provide little incentive.
Recruiters work with hundreds or thousands of candidates at the same time. Why aren't you getting a call back to "check in"? Not the recruiter's job, and there's just no time. You're asking them for help, remember?
So how can you change this? Adopt the mentality that YOU WORK FOR THE RECRUITERS!
OK, you don't want to be a headhunter…so how are you going to work for recruiters? Here's 10 tips:
1. Work for the Recruiter - Tell the recruiters you work with that you will work for them…and mean it. Back it up by giving them information about available jobs and candidates.
2. Be an exact match – Give FAST turnaround and customize your resume within hours to be an exact match for the job. The fastest matches get interviews.
3. Provide Value - Every time you speak to a recruiter, have something to give them that they find valuable, even if they call you - A job lead, a candidate referral, a web resource, a networking event.
4. Personalize – Not every recruiter goes to networking events, so provide value that's important to THAT recruiter. Recruiters specialize, and most Technology recruiters can't help your friend in Accounting. Ask the recruiter what information is valuable – what should you keep your eyes open for?
5. Be responsive – Call the recruiter back quickly. Recruiters win interviews by responding quickly. If you respond quickly, the recruiter has a better chance of getting you an interview.
6. Co-Opt - Make the recruiter feel like a friend. People naturally work harder for people they like.
7. Respect the recruiter's time – email is an efficient communication for the recruiter.
8. Be a Fountain of Info – About your past employer, about current interviews, about jobs you've seen. Tell all – information is your best currency.
9. Help in matching – If you see a job that a recruiter lists, IF YOU ARE A MATCH – send an email with your resume attached (revised to match the job & keywords), and let them know why you are a match.
10. Provide introductions – Set up in person meetings with Hiring Managers and candidates. If you can't do in person, use emails and/or LinkedIN.
And as a bonus, #11
11. Be Positive and friendly – Be nice, make their day, tell a funny joke. Recruiters don't like putting bitter people in front of clients.
I can't tell you the number of candidates who put themselves in conflict with recruiters by with holding information, even when directly asked. The job market is more an d more transparent each day, so telling a recruiter what companies you've interviewed with, what jobs you see, won't increase competition. If that recruiter doesn't pitch the company for the job order, someone else already is. So withholding doesn't lessen your chances of getting THAT job, but it creates mistrust between the recruiter and you.
I challenge you to try this tactic for a month. After you're HONESTLY tried these tips. if you find recruiters who don't respond to this…fire them and work with someone else.


Sarah M said...


Bob Tricam said...

I think your posting is completely one-sided and out of touch. I can't tell you how much of my time has been wasted over the years by recruiters who are minimally competent. Recruiters who know very little about the technical field they are trying to find recruits for. In over 12 years in the data/database field I have only found three recruiters who I thought were very professional and who I would go out of my way to work with again. Most think so short term about the immediate position and do nothing to build any relationship. And when I'm not interested in the position or usually its not a good fit they ask me to refer a professional colleagues. Why would I do that unless I knew my colleague was desperate for a job. I think your post is out of touch with the reality in the field.

Anonymous said...

I'd say it's just plain unrealistic.
It boils down to do everything for us, tell us everything and make sure you understand that the recruiter is in control.
Well, you aren't.
We are.
If we don't work with you, because you get too far into "who's in charge" you will starve.
Headhunters are salespeople! Never forget that!
We are the product.

Joel Garry said...

What Bob said, x2, since I'm coming up on 3 decades in this field.

One good one was in 1982. I had two years of experience in a field that was hot. A slam dunk for the lady, following a well-thought-out set of procedures her company had. These days, I've given up on recruiters, since they tend to be, as certain folk say, "freshers."

Another was in '92, he matched me up with a place that I had applied to several times in the previous decade without success. He was head of a small company, and I've contacted them several times since. Of course, no match. That company that hired me? They could've saved the fee...

The last was in 2001. He actually came up with a "new paradigm" for how to get the best of both worlds of contracting and placement. Then 9/11 came along and his company disappeared (I mean, a big part of the company was contractors to big aerospace companies who decided to downsize). It was kinda funny, no one told me they went away, I found out by calling HR about some trivial thing. So they missed the big payday with me, I think.

I'm not interested in any "management paths," I never have been, I'm a db geek. Plenty of places need people like me, most headhunters are freakin' stockboys - they can only match a label on the shelf with a can of beans. You are all missing a hell of a lot of opportunity by being so stupid!

And I mean stupid. You should see the dumbass email I get, and I get a lot. Read the effin' requirements, and understand what they are asking for!

I don't want an interview, I want a job (well, not right now, I'm plenty busy, thank you). I've had the best results with no headhunter at all - otherwise useless body shops, er, I mean, intermediaries, where I just show up at their customer one day and start working, and keep working for years.

1. What? Why should I do your job for you?

2. What? Screw the resume, who wants to compete with a bunch of lying liars who lie? Companies would be a lot better off if they would realize it takes training and support to get and keep workers for the long term. Exact match is not only rare, it's often counterproductive. Who wants to think they are an expendable resource?

3. What? Ask me what I think of the dumb email, you might learn something useful.

4. What? See 1.

5. Hey, I have all the work I need. I like email because I can control the amount of time I put towards it, and when. If I responded to every dumbass in India who tries to get me an H1 job...

6. I have few friends, because to me friends are a special and important part of my life. I'm no glad-handing suntanned salesperson, and I don't want to be.

7. What? See 5.

8. That would be telling. But if you buy me lunch I have some juicy stories...

9. I'd much rather go to the hiring manager.

10. See 1.

11. I can never get this right. If I tell jokes (and I come from a family with loud friendly newyawkas and entertainers) I'm considered not-very-professional. Because comedy is tragedy.

word: fkttg
2nd word: myhue