The Art of Recruiting
IYJN JEN’s WORLD … FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Recruiting seems to be one of those things that is poorly understood (sometimes even by those who call themselves Recruiters). I thought it may be a good thing to define their functions here, for anyone who is interested. There are several types of recruiting, but the mechanics and psychology of it are all the same.
First, let me explain, for those who don’t know; there are Corporate Recruiters (those who are employed by a company for the purpose of finding and qualifying new employees for the company). And there are 3rd party Recruiters (those who are subcontracted to by a company for the same purpose).
There are a couple of different types of 3rd party recruiters, but the main difference lies in how they are compensated.
Both are paid by the hiring company, but Retained Recruiters typically have an ‘exclusive’ with the company and are paid a portion of their fee upfront, and the balance paid when the search is over. Retained recruiters are typically used for executive level positions.
Contingency Recruiters don’t typically have an exclusive relationship with the company, and are paid a fee only if the company hires a candidate through their efforts. (Most 3rd party recruiters fall into this category.)
I do some (volunteer) interviewing skills training, among other things, and am often asked about recruiters by job seekers. Among the comments/questions I hear the most are;
1. “Recruiters often call and ask for my resume, but then I never hear from them again.”
2. “A recruiter sent me on an interview, but I can’t seem to get any feedback about how I did. …They say the company is still interviewing, so I can’t assess where I may have gone wrong (so that I may do a better job on my next interview).”
3. “I have sent out dozens of resumes (sometimes 100’s) to recruiters, but I never hear from them, and can’t get them to return my calls.”
There are various reasons for the above situations, but many of them boil down to one thing… money. To successfully work with recruiters, one must first understand that they are not working for you (the job seeker), but the company.
It is the company that pays their fees. It is the company they must ultimately satisfy if they are to get paid for all of their hard work. 3rd party recruiters are typically compensated 20-30%, or more, of a placed candidate’s first year annual salary. (If a job seeker could pay them $10,000-$25,000 to find them a job, the job seeker may find a shift in attention from a recruiter, but that’s not going to happen, so forget about that.)
A company wants what they want, after all they are paying well to get it, and if a recruiter were to bombard the company with resumes of people who just don’t fit the job, they would find themselves not being called by the company the next time there are jobs to be filled. Don’t take that personally.
If you fit the job they are actively recruiting for, you can bet your bottom dollar that the recruiter will do everything in their power to be sure you are successfully hired by the company.
However, there are ways to determine whether your recruiter is a seasoned professional, or an amateur. An experienced recruiter will always get feedback from a company following an interview they have arranged. They won’t continue to send applicants to the company without knowing why the ones they have already sent didn’t cut the mustard. Without such critical feedback, the recruiter also has no way of knowing where they are falling short, so that they may do a better job at sending the right kinds of candidates.
Another sign of an amateur (or a fisherman) is if they do nothing but collect resumes for no apparent purpose. If you are contacted by a recruiter about sending them your resume, don’t be afraid to ask questions about why they want to see it.
I would ask the following questions –”Is there a specific job you have in mind for me?” –”Once you have my resume in hand, when can I expect to hear from you again?” –”Will you ever send my resume to one of your clients without my knowledge and/or consent?”
If a recruiter ever contacts you and asks for a resume before knowing anything about your professional background, don’t do it. Your resume could land in places where you don’t want it to be. A ‘good’ recruiter, though as I said is working for their client, not you, will want to insure that you are a ‘good’ candidate.
They will ask questions such as –”What is it that you are seeking in a new employer that you don’t currently have available where you are presently working?” –”Would you consider relocation for the right job, and if so, where?” (If you say you would consider relocation, they should also ask about your family situation.) –”Does your spouse work?” –”Do you have children still in school?” This will help them determine whether or not you (and your family) will be happy, and stay with the job, should moving be a necessity.
A professional recruiter will want to know that they have not only done a good job for their client, but they will also have your best interest in mind as well. (When I was recruiting, most of my referrals came from candidates that I had done a good job for; treated with respect and gave them the courtesy of thorough communication, even if I didn’t necessarily place them on a new job for one reason or another.)
Understanding your recruiter, and being sure they understand you, is the first step in successfully working with one.