There has been a lot of comment on LinkedIn and other social media recently about poor treatment of candidates by recruitment consultants. The frustrations raised particularly revolve around recruiters not getting back to candidates and candidates feeling the recruiter doesn’t care. I think this is particularly prevalent at the moment because people are feeling anxious, frustrated and powerless as a result of job losses.
To be clear, I’m not here to defend the recruitment industry; I thought it would be more useful to share some strategies on how to get the best out of any recruiter so they are there when you need them. To do this effectively you need to take a long-term view and build good relationships.
The following four pointers may help:
- The most important thing you can do is to form a relationship with a recruiter so you can rely on this when you need them as part of a job search. Pick the recruiters you think could be useful to you and make sure you stay in contact, meet in person occasionally and return calls/respond to emails etc when they contact you.
- Make sure you adopt a considered approach to choosing which recruiters you will work with – we’d suggest working with firms that are specialists in your field and choose the recruiters within those firms who have a solid track record. There’s no point in working hard to form a relationship with someone who is constantly changing the sectors they work in.
- Create a mutually beneficial relationship with your chosen recruiters by providing them with the ‘heads up’ on events you think could be of interest to them. Expect them to do the same for you.
- When you’re in a position to procure the services of a recruiter, use your chosen recruiters and treat them well, eg be honest, do what you say you will do and be professional. People often forget that recruiters are forming opinions on people with every interaction they have and working with someone as a client gives us a chance to see how you work so we can recommend you from our first-hand knowledge of your approach to your job.
By taking a long term, high level strategic approach to relationship building with a recruiter you will benefit when you need them as a candidate to help find your next career move. This is particularly important in a business environment where there is high unemployment and the employer is in the box seat.
Finally, a transactional approach to recruitment by either the recruiter or the candidate isn’t very clever – the smart people work at their relationships with recruiters and reap the benefits of that relationship. Trust, confidence and a willingness to work hard on your behalf will be the result which is particularly important in the tough times when we all need someone who is on our side.
With Christmas fast approaching, it’s worth remembering that a recruiter is for life, and not just for Christmas.