Tips For Working With a Recruiter

Working with a Professional Recruiter, also known as a “Headhunter”, may be just what you need to kick your job search into high gear. Recruiters know about job openings that are not widely advertised and can offer great insight into current hiring trends and salaries for particular positions.

But, using a Recruiter does not guarantee that you will easily land a job. Here’s how to determine whether a Recruiter could help you, and how to forge a fruitful relationship with one.

Understand the Recruiter’s Priorities

Employers hire and pay Recruiters to find them new employees. Therefore, a Recruiter’s primary allegiance is to the employers who pay their bills. “We work on behalf of a candidate, however, the employer is always our boss”, Don Dickason, Owner of dmDickason Professional Search says.

It is important that you, our Candidate, understand that dmDickason Professional Search does not function as a traditional employment agency, whereas, our services are performed specifically for the job seeker. Traditional employment agencies typically “help people find jobs”, marketing your specific skills to employers, and where the major job of an employment counselor is to “find you a job”. This service is usually provided only on an applicant fee paid basis.

Recruiters, however, work strictly on an “employer fee paid basis”, representing employer assignment needs and requirements (almost) exclusively. Our function is to recruit, interview and represent hand-picked, hard-to-find candidates on employer job assignments that almost always require very specific, sometimes hard to find requirements (including education, skills and work history in the employer’s specific industry). El Paso employers do not have a great deal of problem in locating (on their own) qualified candidates with general or traditional backgrounds and experience, and, typically, do not have to pay Recruiters to locate people that want to change careers, be trained or have limited work experience or education. And most importantly, all dmDickason candidates are represented without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical or mental handicap or disability, veteran status, marital status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local statute.

Still, Recruiters do recognize that experienced, credentialed candidates are their bread and butter, since Recruiters often get paid only if they fill an employer’s opening. Recruiters have nothing unless they also have qualified candidates.

Unfortunately, dmDickason Recruiters cannot commit (to you) that they will actively represent your job search. You may be invited into our office, on an appointment only basis, because, based on a preliminary discussion or review of your resume, you appear to have qualifications that are requested in our marketplace. However, it is important for you to understand that we are only one source in your overall search for a new job, and that you should not expect your Recruiter to actively represent you, unless / until we have a specific employer job assignment that meets or exceeds your work history, background, education and job requirements. Do not be alarmed if you do not hear from us for several days and/or even months. Your work history and job requirements will be added to our sophisticated computerized database. This state-of-the-art software quickly identifies consistencies in backgrounds and requirements, and will certainly match you to future employer assignments, where a match exists.

Please do not expect our Recruiters to stay in daily touch with you. It is not necessary. And once again, please do not leave our offices with the expectation that we are going to find you a job. Instead, please be informed that your file will only be purged, and you contacted, when and if a suitable match is made between your background and an employer’s exact requirements. In reality, this may never happen.

Know when to use a Recruiter

If you are looking for a traditional entry-level or staff-level position, you probably won’t benefit from a Recruiter’s services. However, a Recruiter could help if you are seeking a higher-level position in Management, Engineering, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Sales or Sales Management, Accounting or Information Technology.

Recruiters may even work with inexperienced candidates who have the right credentials, such as a recent MBA graduate looking for an Accounting career, or college graduates recently licensed in many healthcare professions.

Have a Goal, but be flexible

A polished pitch to a Recruiter is just as important as a polished pitch to employers. Be as specific as possible when describing the type of job you want, but leave some wiggle room. Be very specific and absolutely sure about your least acceptable requirements (benefits, salary requirements, location, size of employer, etc.) Making demands or ultimatums, being uncooperative, or requiring out-of-line expectations will turn a Recruiter off, no matter how stellar your credentials. Keep your options open.

Take advantage of your Recruiter’s expertise

Recruiters can share inside information on the working environment at an organization you may be considering, including the type of candidate it may be seeking. They can also offer valuable tips on how to improve your resume, sharpen your interview skills, prepare answers to difficult interview questions, position yourself for a job offer or even dress for an interview. Although all of this advice and knowledge does not cost you a dime, a good Recruiter will expect your complete cooperation in return. You will be expected to come into our offices before and after all local interviews (for an interview preparation and follow-up session) and, unfortunately, the whole interview process may take the entire morning or afternoon. If you are not willing to take the time off from work, to cooperate fully with your Recruiter, and/or take full advantage of their expertise, you probably won’t ultimately benefit from your Recruiter’s services.

Be honest and accessible

Be straightforward from the beginning about your minimum salary expectations, and do not revise them upward as the recruiting process progresses. It is also important to be up front about any black marks on your work history. A good Recruiter will generally find them out anyway. Besides, Recruiters don’t like surprises. Another way to permanently burn bridges with your Recruiter is to pursue a job with a new employer solely to increase your leverage for a raise at your current job (a counter offer). And, if you plan to work with more than one Recruiter, please disclose that fact to all parties.

It is also imperative that you have carefully thought-out a job change, that you are absolutely sure that you want to change jobs, that you will not go “emotional” and change your mind when an offer is ultimately extended. If you are not absolutely sure that it is time to change jobs, please do not waste your Recruiter’s (or the potential employer’s) time.

Finally, please make sure that all personal or family matters are taken care of in such a fashion that will allow you to put your head down, go to work, and commit your entire work time fully to a new employer without him or her having to deal with your pending personal or private issues (at least until you are due vacation time). Remember, new employers do not like / want, to have to deal with your personal problems or issues. They have enough of their own to contend with, without having to deal with yours. Get these matters in order, take your vacation, finish the class that you are taking that might conflict with your work schedule, take care of childcare and family issues (and locate back-up plans to those) before you even begin to look for a new job.

Don’t get lazy

As we discussed above, using a Recruiter should be just one element of a job search that includes networking, knocking on employer’s doors and responding to advertised job openings. Don’t just “sign up” with a Recruiter and then sit back and wait for things to happen. You cannot expect a Recruiter to do the work for you. Go for it! Just keep your Recruiter informed so he/she will not duplicate your efforts.

Good luck with your job search. This can be a very exciting time for you. But remember, looking for a full-time job is often a full-time job in itself. Make sure you are ready for the challenge.

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