The Do’s and Don’ts of Working with a Recruiter
The reasons to work with a recruiting firm are many. But as a job seeker, choosing the right recruiter is only first step. Here are some things you should — and shouldn’t — do to increase the likelihood that your recruiter will match you with a great employer.
Do be honest
First and foremost, be honest with your recruiter. Too many job searchers get in the habit of telling anyone involved in the hiring process what they want to hear — whatever version of the truth will land a job. But when working with a recruiter, you should answer every question truthfully.
Some questions might seem invasive — for example, questions about your previous job’s salary and other companies you’re currently interviewing with. But recruiters don’t ask these questions to try to lowball or punish you. After all, it’s in the recruiter’s best interest to find you a job that’s a good fit (and pays well!).
Questions about salary help the recruiter figure out which salary range you might be able to get in a new position, and what benefits to negotiate when it comes time to get an employment offer in your hand. This knowledge also helps recruiters determine which open jobs you might qualify for — and which might be a waste of time. If your salary history isn’t in range with a potential position, the recruiter is unlikely to find success pitching you to that hiring manager. Remember, getting you a great salary is in the recruiting firm’s best interests, too.
It’s also important that you answer your recruiter’s questions about other interviews, past, ongoing, or future. If your recruiter presents you as the best person for a job and you don’t show up to an interview because of another job offer, you’re endangering your relationship with that recruiting firm (which you might need for future job hunts) and the hiring company. When you tell the recruiter about your other prospective employers, he or she can leverage that information when trying to get you an interview or negotiating salary for you.
Don’t skip the in-person meeting
Whatever you do, don’t skip the in-person meeting with a potential recruiting firm. Job seekers try to avoid this meeting for many reasons: They’re busy with the job search. They already have a job and can’t get away. They’ve already talked with the recruiter over the phone or online, so why repeat the conversation?
The simple truth is that the recruiter will be sending you on face-to-face interviews with potential hiring firms. He or she needs to see how you present yourself in person. Are you reliable? Do you talk too fast? Do you have a fantastic handshake? The recruiter can give you pointers that can help you hone your interview skills. Furthermore, meeting you in person gives the recruiter a better opportunity to talk with you in more detail about your job search so that they can better represent you to hiring firms.
Do ask the recruiter about employers
A recruiter who has a successful record of placing candidates with a particular company can give you insight into that firm’s culture and hiring process. Take the initiative to gather as much information as you can from the recruiter about potential employers.
Do be careful when working with multiple recruiters
You want to avoid the faux pas of having more than one recruiter submit your resume for the same job. Not only would that situation embarrass the recruiter, it could make you come across as desperate and blacklist you as a potential employee. Many firms have relationships with more than one recruiting company, and those firms don’t want to deal with the type of conflict that could come from such a situation. It’s easier for them to just drop you as a potential employee.
Don’t let a recruiter pressure you into making a decision
Your recruiter is a great source of advice as you look for a job. But ultimately, it’s your career and your decision whether to pursue any opportunity the recruiter presents. If you feel the job or hiring firm isn’t a good fit, let the recruiter know as soon as possible (remember: be honest). No one benefits if you end up taking a job that’s a poor match.
The perfect partnership
You invest your time and trust in a recruiting firm; the firm also places its reputation and relationship with client companies in your hands. Your goal in working with a recruiter is to find a position and employer that provides the best match to your needs. By investing a little effort, you can make the most of your recruiter partnership. A candidate-focused recruiter such as Chase Technology Consultants, who gives highly personal attention to your job search, can put that goal within your grasp.