The Secrets Of Working With Recruiters

Posted: 7/31/2013

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

I know that some of you probably don't like recruiters in general, much less working with them! However, there are good recruiters out there and we do in fact help people find positions. I know that the conventional wisdom is to use your network, etc., (which is true), but you can't ignore the reach of a good recruiter. I'm going to outline a few ways you can maximize the effectiveness of the recruiters you work with.

1) If the recruiter refuses to tell you who the client company is, don't work with them! I have been in this business for over 11 years and can literally count on one hand the number of truly confidential positions I have worked with. I always share the client company with the candidate. Why? Well, I don't want to waste both of our time if the candidate is already in process. Second and perhaps more importantly, some companies will discard a resume if they get it from multiple sources. If I won't tell you who the client is, how can you determine if your resume is already there or not? You don't want your chances at the job ruined!

2) If a recruiter sends your resume to a company and you never hear from them again, never work with that recruiter again! You should always get feedback from a recruiter if you have gone down the path far enough to be submitted. Good recruiters understand the value of a long-term relationship. Bad recruiters are just in it for the quick hire and don't care to stay in touch.

3) If the recruiter gets angry or offensive when you indicate you'd like time to consider an offer or that you have other interviews / offers to consider and need more time, MOVE ON! Again, a good recruiter should want to place you and should also want you to make the right decision, even if it is with a different company. As we all know, jobs are rarely truly permanent and a good recruiter will want to place you the next time.

4) Make sure you and the recruiter work together to tailor your resume for the position. The main benefit of working with a recruiter is the direct communication with the hiring manager. Thus, the recruiter should have a good idea of the key requirements for the position and those should be highlighted in your resume. If this doesn't come up in conversation, ask the recruiter what the keys are and how you can make them more visible in your resume.

5) Get interview tips before you meet with the client company! The recruiter should have some talking points for you and may be able to share with you some of the things that the hiring manager does and does not like in interviewees. Again, if this isn't brought up by the recruiter, make the suggestion yourself!

6) Make sure to ask the recruiter what other positions they have open that might work for you.

7) Finally, if you have some specific companies you are targeting, ask the recruiter if they have any contacts or insight into how you could get an interview, even if the recruiter isn't working with that company directly. Good recruiters can often make introductions or even get you a job, even when they may not get paid for it. Yes, that really happens.

The overriding concept in all of this is communication. There should be a lot of open communication in the recruiting process. If you feel like you are being shoved through without really being helped or having your questions answered, you should question whether or not to continue working with that recruiter.