Christmas in July - #6 Recruiters

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Article Index
Christmas in July
#1 Networking
#2 Becoming Visible
#3 Managing your on-line time wisely
#4 Career Coaches
#5 The Resume and Cover Letter
#6 Recruiters
#7 Interviewing and
#8 Overcoming Fear of Rejection
Final Thoughts
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#6 Recruiters

Love’em/Hate’em. I wish I had a nickel for every recruiter in my connection list on LinkedIn. I’d be a wealthy man! Not a lot of middle ground here. Keep in mind that the recruiter is much like the realtor and works for the seller.

I have divided recruiters into two basic categories: a) The Sourcer and b) the Consultant or Trusted Business Advisor, one who really understands the needs of an organization and the cultural fit. With the Sourcer, it's all about coloring-in all of the squares for a job order written by someone in HR. Much like a realtor does when searching for the perfect house for their client. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, granite countertops, a pool, 3 car garage, etc. Computerized Resume scanners are the name of the game here looking for the”must haves.” Scanning resumes for the keywords such as educational pedigree, relevant experience, exact matching skills, etc. For every position posted today, there's a plethora of candidates that can overkill the qualification requirements. That's why we have MIT PHD's driving cabs, right? Lot's of Sourcers out there. Avoid them like the plague.

On the other hand, the true recruiting consultants are those whom have a trusted business advisor relationship with their hiring client developed over time. They usually have a direct line to the hiring manager (VP and above) and are well respected for their advice. They have drilled down in the business to really ascertain the need behind the need when looking for talent. They know the industry and all of the athletes out there. In most cases, it's not about how many initials the person has behind his or her name. It's about the person, the attitude, the best athlete, the reputation, the core values, the culture fit and the overall desire and passion for success. This type of recruiting professional can spot a good match even when the exact skill sets are not 100% totally in alignment with the written job description. Your skills can be transferable to other industries. Keep that in mind. But clearly, don't waste your time chasing jobs that you are truly not qualified to perform. Example: I would not recommend pursuing a Director of Engineering position at Jet Propulsion Laboratories with a degree in Sociology.

This Consultant recruiter type also knows that he/she will not receive full payment until after the candidate has made it through a 6 month period so it's important from them to "get it right". They have a high vested interest in protecting and nurturing their well-earned and well-deserved relationship with their clients. I can count on one hand the number of recruiters in my industry that fit this description.

Note: Be careful that 2-3 recruiters are not bringing you into the same position. Not good. If your in a particularly incestuous industry like I am , there's a conga line of qualified candidates for every open position. A lot of people know each other. Don't create a problem. I recommend finding a few recruiters that you really like and stick with them. Be up front and honest with them as well. Tell them what you're doing. Enlist them on your team. But also, be careful not to give away too much information. The antenna's are up, especially in this market. Remember, they are on straight commission and just like you, they are trying to make a fair living. Just throwing out some caution to wind. Be careful who you're dealing with out there in recruiter land and remember: "Loose lips sink ships".