Many job seekers are under the impression a Recruiter will find them a job. This is false, however Recruiters CAN play an integral role in your job search and career management. In Canada, Recruiters currently hold about 12% of the available jobs at the senior executive level.
The #1 thing I help people understand about Recruiters is that they don’t work for you; their goal is not to find you a job. Recruiters work for the companies who hire them to fill vacancies in their organization, and their mandate is to find the best possible candidates to meet those needs.
To hunt out the best candidate, a large percentage of Recruiters start with an online search. While some Recruiters personally conduct the search, others have a team of researchers on staff trained in digital recruitment strategies. The search results are often a diverse mix of people who are actively looking for work and people who presently hold the desired position at a competing organization.
Once they have compiled a list of potential candidates, they shorten that list, then shorten it some more, until they’re down to about 10 quality candidates. They call those 10 prospects and choose six or so to advance in the applicant selection process. Of course these numbers will depend on the individual Recruiter and the position they’re filling. Recruiters generally put forth the top four candidates for their clients to interview themselves.
Here are my top three success tips for working with Recruiters and getting to the top of their list:
1. Get connected
Be sure your resume is completely up to date before you send it to a Recruiter. Follow up by phone, but don’t expect them to return your phone call. Recruiters are extremely busy people and usually have a number of projects on the go at any given time.
You’ll have the best luck reaching a Recruiter directly between 7:00-7:30 a.m. Keep it short – on average, top Recruiters receive 30 resumes a day. If they were to give everybody even five minutes to go over a resume or have a chat, it would leave little time to actually meet the client deadline for each contracted search.
That being said, summer is often a slower time when Recruiters may be more willing to meet for a coffee or lunch, as 70% of job seekers suspend their job search in July and August. Seize this opportunity to increase your network of influence. After all, Recruiters do like to network and build up their roster of qualified professionals they can tap for future projects.
2. Keep in touch
To stay on their radar for those future projects, be sure you’re connected on social media, and that you’re actively posting new content and popping up on their screen. Everything you post should demonstrate your thought leadership and expertise in your specific niche. When they have a project that meets your skill set, they’ll know where to find you.
Keep in touch with the Recruiter even when you’re gainfully employed. No one wants to know you just when you’re out of work and desperate. Let them also see you when you’re having fun and getting results at work. You’ll make a much better impression.
Simply say, “I’m having a great time at [ABC company] as the [vice-president, etc.], and here is one of my recent accomplishments: [details]. I’m glad to stay in touch with you, as I’m always looking out for my next opportunity.”
3. Stick with it
Plan for the recruiting process to span months, not weeks. Don’t expect an instant hit and never halt your job search activities simply because a Recruiter indicates you’re in the running. Doing so could cost you months of very valuable job search activities if nothing happens with the Recruiter.
Building and maintaining relationships with Recruiters is a crucial career management strategy. Make it an ongoing practice.