Many of the senior-level and c-suite executives I talk to don’t have clear understanding of how recruiters place candidates. They mistakenly assume they can contact several recruiters who specialize in their niche, then sit back and wait for offers to pile in.
Harry Urschel, a Twitter friend (@eExecutives) and executive recruiter, wrote an informative blog post I Know! I’ll Let a Recruiter Find Me a Job! offering a look inside his world, and tips on best practices when working with a recruiter.
He first cautions that recruiters are not your best job resource. At best, recruiters account for about 3 to 5% of jobs filled.
Like many recruiters, he’d like to be able to help everyone he talks to, but his primary responsibility is to his client companies, who pay him well to find the best candidates.
A recruiter is not your job search agent. “I may have someone I think of quite highly, but if they don’t match all those criteria, I can’t place them.”
It should be no surprise that he recommends networking and proactively pursuing companies of interest for the best job search results. Combine this with continuing to make recruiters aware of you. Keep your brand value proposition top of mind with them. You never know when a good match for you may come across their desks.
When you do work with a recruiter, he has some suggestions:
♦ Consider your time with them a job interview, not a career counseling session. Put your best professional foot forward.
♦ If you want them to market you, it’s your responsibility to help them see the unique value you offer.
♦ Be accessible. If you’re hard to track down, they’ll move on to someone else.
♦ Be clear on what you want. Recruiters can’t successfully match you with client companies unless they have a clear picture of what you’re looking for.
♦ Don’t hand them any surprises. Don’t tell the client company something different than you tell the recruiter . . . especially concerning salary history and expectations.
♦ Be flexible in meeting their scheduling challenges.
♦ Be upbeat and cheerful. The more likeable you are, the more likely you’ll make a positive impact.
♦ Be confident, but not cocky. You’ll be more attractive with a softer approach.
♦ Be focused and concise. Don’t drone on with a monologue of your 30-year career history. Stick to your key selling points.
♦ Track the contact you have with companies and which recruiter sent you to each one. Don’t allow more than one recruiter to pursue the same companies.