Working Effectively With a Recruiter: First Conversation of Substance

I have been a recruiter in staffing for roughly 5 years now. One thing that I have learned through time is that transparency and full disclosure is paramount not only from the perspective of the recruiter, but also the candidate. For whatever reason, there are many job seekers (passive and active) out there that step into working with a recruiter with a mind full of preconceived notions. Some of these ideas are false, some are true, some are positive and some are downright ugly. What I hope to do with this article is to pull back the curtain a little to show that whatever the motivations, recruiters and candidates are truly scrambling and fighting for the same cause.

Over the next few months I will give you a full transparency breakdown of our process, why we ask so many questions and why transparency in those questions will greatly increase your odds of having a phenomenal experience.

Successful and reputable recruiters will be made immediately apparent on the first scheduled phone call. This will come in the form of demonstrated industry knowledge and thorough inquiries of your likes, dislikes, goals, accomplishments and of course your work history and expectations. From the recruiter’s perspective, the goal of this conversation is to walk away with a crystal-clear understanding of what would be the IDEAL job for you. While this dream job may or may not currently exist, the recruiter will take thorough notes of the answers to these questions to ensure anyone calling you in the future will not be wasting your time. Answering honestly here will save you headaches in the future. If the recruiter knows your goals, achievements, skills and expectations it will save you from job mismatches and the frustration of wasted time.

From the candidate’s perspective, it is immensely important for you to walk away feeling confident that the person you just spoke with is a professional, has had success placing people within your industry and skill set, AND has an excellent understanding of the dream job for which you are looking. The first conversation is your opportunity to vet the recruiter as well. Ask questions, familiarize yourself with their process, and set follow-up expectation. Setting expectations on day one and laying the groundwork for a transparent, mutually beneficial relationship will ensure a relatively stress free, honest and effective experience. If you feel uncomfortable with the recruiter’s track record in the industry, organizational reputation or if you feel the recruiter is rushing you off the phone, move on.

Recruiter’s compensation plans are almost always centered on long term placements. This is important to know because it means that the end goals for both job seekers and staffing professionals alike are aligned. Recruiters, even if only for their own benefit, will be more successful in their careers if they provide thorough service and accurate matches efficiently.

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