by: Ian McEwen
The best recruiters are active in the industry sectors they serve. For employers and job seekers, working with recruiters can be a valuable resource. From an employer’s perspective, hiring an executive search firm or a recruiter may seem like an expensive proposition. There are, however, a number of benefits in establishing a relationship with a recruiting partner.
One of the key reasons to work with an executive search firm is to gain access to highly qualified candidates particularly in hidden markets. Sometimes employers can find candidates through word of mouth or posting openings internally or on their own company website. Generally, this approach attracts people who are already looking for a job, and in many cases are not working, are inexperienced, or just “kicking tires”. Recruiters have inroads to the hidden markets to which employers do not have access. Recruiters who have industry specific experience can quickly identify top notch candidates, through their own databases or targeted networking who have the skills, qualifications and accomplishments, and will fit-in with the corporate culture of the employer.
Recruiters aren’t responsible for a job seekers’ success. It is not a recruiter’s responsibility to take a resumé and distribute it to its entire client base, and then follow-up with them to determine their level of interest in order to collect a fee. A recruiter’s responsibility is to match the best candidate with an opening. It is up to the candidate, in conjunction with the recruiter, to market and present themselves as the best candidate for a specific opening they want. And from a job seeker’s perspective, recruiters can also safeguard their anonymity if they are still employed.
Good recruiters know how to market job opportunities. They can be your cheerleader and public relations spokesperson who implement viral marketing techniques. They will create an air of excitement about the opening to attract people away from their current jobs in order to advance their careers.
What we often find in our practice is that many employers don’t have the in-house expertise for navigating through the hiring process. Recruiters will help in defining a clear and concise job description, why the position is available, and they will define the operating culture of the department or business. They will schedule and confirm interviews, prepare interview questions, provide two-way comments and feedback after the interview, and complete reference checks. Good recruiters will stand behind the candidates being considered for a job and will provide a written guarantee that the employee will live up to the employer’s expectations. Industry specific recruiters know the terrain and are experts at qualification and assessment. Good search firms utilize career assessment qualitative tools to justify a fit. This methodology is invaluable and can save companies a lot of time and money.
Candidates and employers alike rely on executive search firms for guidance and advice in many areas. Because of their industry knowledge, recruiters are a resource for things like organizational structure, career development, compensation grade levels, benefits, dismissal issues, and training.
In negotiating an employment offer, recruiters help structure the offer to meet both the employer and candidate expectations. They act as a go-between to smooth-out contentious issues or get clarity on vague items. They act as agents for both the employer and the candidate to eliminate any confrontation ensuring a win-win agreement and a harmonious start.
After choosing a recruiter, candidates need to be prepared. They need to know their “Dream Job” and the geographical area where they want to work, the salary expectations, the field of interest, etc.
Have a current resumé. Have a job search plan. There is no guarantee that a job seeker will find a job through a recruiter, at least not immediately. Candidates need to make a good impression and ask the recruiter to be included in their database for future opportunities that require their skills and accomplishments. When one has found the right recruiter, make sure they are listed as an Internet favourite.
For both the employer and the candidate, it is important to be precise about the opportunity being sought. If you are precise and the recruiter is suggesting jobs that don’t appeal to you, this may not be the recruiter you want to represent you. It is also very important to keep the lines of communication open. Good recruiters are busy people, and patience can be a virtue. Be prudent in the timing for giving or receiving accurate and detailed information on a particular employment search. It helps when everyone is on the same page as a search progresses.
Find a recruiter with whom you can connect. One that just fires off resumés to employers without doing their homework first ensuring a win-win fit is not the right partner. Choose one that considers your interests as well as the employer’s. A good recruiter strives to find the best qualified person that is the right fit for the job.