Candidates - Get your recruiter working for you...

In July I was asked to go back to my old university and talk to the current MSc Business student about CV and Interviewing skills. It was great to go back to see some of my old tutors and the reception I got from the students was fantastic. Most of the cohort had already had professional careers in banking, IT and telecoms so were used to speaking to recruiters.

One question kept cropping up during the talk “how can I get the best out of my recruiter?

It’s a great question and here are my thoughts from inside the industry:

Let them get to know you: Most recruiters only focus on the end goal… the placement. Therefore, their probing become limited to transactional questions. A good recruiter should be looking to get to know you as deeply as possible. Your likes, dislikes. What kind of company culture would suit you? Right down to whether or not you have kids. We are not being nosy but we do want to make sure we are representing you properly and that we are coming back to you with tailored opportunities that suit your career aspirations and personal situation.

Get to know them: Your career is one of the most important parts of your life. You need to know an trust the person who is out there working on your behalf to find you the best opportunities. Questions I would ask would include how long have they been in recruitment? Nothing wrong with someone who is new to the game. Do they know the reporting line? How long have they worked with the client?

I think the most crucial question is; have they met the client? If they haven’t then that would make me very nervous. If it a new client ok that’s fine but if it is a long established customer, then how solid can that relationship be? Work with people who know their customers deeply.

Honesty: It is all I ever ask for for clients and candidates. It is absolutely fine to not apply for a role I discuss with you. It is also fine to meet the client then decide it is not the right fit for you. What doesn’t work is being woolly with your answers. Be clear with your decisions and communicate honestly. Demand honesty and openness with your recruiter. By establishing a mutual, two-way channel of honesty you will find that you begin to build a relationship that is enjoyable as well as beneficial.

What do you think? Why don’t you let us know, I am sure there are loads more hints and tips that people would like to share.

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