10 Tips to A Successful Relationship With A Recruiter

There are more than 20,000 recruiting firms and more than 150,000 recruiters in the US.
The trick is to know how to work with them so they work for you!

Employers will hire executive recruiters for assistance in filling their open positions. Thus, as a job seeker, it is important to develop a relationship with a recruiter. When you have built a good relationship, you may be the one they think to contact first when they get a request that matches your background and experience.

However, it can take time to build that relationship. As such, we offer some tips:

  1. Help Them: There will be times that your recruiter will contact you with a possible position that doesn’t interest you. You can help your recruiter by recommending others you know who may be a better fit. You’ll be doing two people a favor.
  2. Be Truthful: Be honest with your accomplishments, credentials and experience. Recruiters have to do reference and background checks and if you have exaggerated, that lie can hurt your relationship. If by chance(?) it does get by the recruiter, and if the employer finds out, you’ll damage not only your relationship with your recruiter, but your recruiters’ relationship with that client.
  3. Be Certain: Don’t contact a recruiter and get set up in their system if you aren’t sure you’re ready to change jobs. Or before you accept an interview setup through your recruiter, make certain you are interested in the position. Don’t waste their time, the employer’s time or your own time.
  4. Set Boundaries: Let your recruiter know of any specific employers, geographic area or industries that you absolutely do not want to work in. While it may narrow down the opportunities you’ll have with them, the more they know your parameters, the better they can place you.
  5. Have References: Offer your recruiter at least three names and contact information that they can get references on you and your previous employment. Preferably names of bosses and colleagues from previous positions. The more information you can provide a recruiter, the easier you make their job, which makes you a candidate they want to work with.
  6. Ask Questions: When your recruiter brings you an opportunity, ask questions about the employer, the work environment, the competencies required for the position. Ask if you are the first candidate they’ve sent and ask for the job specifications. These questions tell the recruiter you are looking at the whole picture.
  7. Explain Any Declines: If you get job referrals that aren’t right for you, be up front and let your recruiter know the reasons. This is the only way they can get a clear understanding about you and what you’re looking for in employment.
  8. Keep Involved: Touch base with your recruiter no less than once a month, if not once a week. You aren’t their only job seeker these days so you need to make yourself known and in their radar. After you have been on an interview, follow up with them and provide feedback within a day or two. If you find out about a company that has openings that fit you, offer that information to your recruiter and let them know why you think you’re a good fit.
  9. Best Time: Ask your recruiter when is the best time of the day to contact them. Most agencies set a time for recruiters to make outbound calls and to return calls. By knowing the best time to reach them, you aren’t making multiple calls, leaving messages and wondering why you haven’t heard from them.
  10. Help the Recruiter Grow His Business: If you would like to be considered as a VIP candidate and get the recruiter to remember you, try to help him as well by referring him a client and suggesting him to check with a potential client. While it is not your job, everyone like to help someone who helps them! The hard part of the recruiting business is to gain clients (employers) and if you can help or even try to help it can be worthwhile.

[Editor note: A recruiter is one of the best ways to find employment in today’s job market. Having a good recruiter that is familiar with you, your abilities and your needs is a good tool to have in your job search.]
Image courtesy of “iosphere” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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