Job hunters go through a cycle. Their initial instinct will be to go to LinkedIn and online job boards and submit their résumés to as many jobs as possible. The lack of responses will make them feel despondent. The job seeker asks their co-workers and friends if they have any leads on job opportunities. Once in a while, they do have a connection, but more often than not, the tip goes nowhere. Now is about the time when the job seeker will think about enlisting the help of a recruiter.
It could be daunting for those who have not utilized the services of a headhunter. They are unaware of how to find a recruiter and establish a relationship. You can’t just pick any recruiter. The key to finding a good one is to think of the search professional as a long-term relationship.
Most people get discouraged over using a headhunter, as the budding relationship quickly sours. This happens because the person doesn’t inquire if the recruiter specializes in their area of expertise and holds the right connections with human resources and managers at their target companies. Job seekers also need to be keenly aware of the differences in recruiters. Some executive recruiters solely focus on C-suite professionals, while other search professionals work on a contingency basis for middle to senior-level management roles and staffing, which includes part-time and contract assignments.
What To Know About Working With A Recruiter
Utilizing the services of a recruiter is similar to having an accountant, lawyer or stockbroker. They all offer specialized advice to help you reach your goals. A big difference is that you don’t pay the recruiter. The company compensates the headhunter when they make a successful placement, and the newly hired worker remains at the firm for a specified period.
They will inquire about your career goals, the type of role you are looking for, your desired compensation, your preferred work style, such as remote or hybrid models, and other factors you are considering in switching jobs.
The search executives offer exclusive entry into well-paying jobs in the hidden job market. Many corporate jobs are not posted online for a variety of reasons, including a manager is going to be let go and leadership doesn’t want this information leaking, or an internal employee thinks that they are up for a promotion, but the company is discreetly searching for someone from the outside.
Most of the top recruiters specialize in one or a few verticals. They do this to become experts in a particular space, such as technology, compliance, legal or accounting. By focusing only on a few sectors, the search agent cultivates fruitful relationships with human resources, management, internal corporate talent acquisition recruiters and hiring managers.
How To Get A Recruiter
If there is a person in your company or someone you know who secured a great job, be bold and ask them what recruiter they utilized. Delicately and without blowing up your spot, ask around the office who they’d recommend if you were to engage in a stealth job search. Make sure that the people you ask have similar work backgrounds. If you work on Wall Street and ask a person for a recruiter referral, they may give you the name of the best headhunter for investment bankers, but you are an accountant.
If you’re a white-collar worker, go on LinkedIn and look for highly active recruiters in your space. Check out job boards to see if you notice recruiters posting job advertisements similar to those you covet. Reach out to them by sending a note that states that you are in the job market and share what type of role you are looking for. Then, take it to the next level by asking for an in-person or video meeting to get further acquainted.
The Recruiter’s Edge
These tight-knit relationships give you a competitive edge. Recruiters are a lot like talent agents. They’ll be able to get your résumé to the right person’s desk. The headhunter knows about the corporate culture and can coach you on what to be aware of during the interview process, since they know what works and what doesn’t.
They can get the ear of the people directly involved in the hiring process and flesh out what their candidate needs to say to get to the next round. The recruiter will offer color to the people you are meeting with, obtain critical feedback and constructive criticisms and gently pressure the hiring managers to choose their client.
A big key is that they’ll be your advocate when it comes time to negotiate a compensation package. For most people, salary negotiations are an uncomfortable, awkward experience. The negotiations are unfair, as you’ll be negotiating against your future boss. Since job applicants don’t want to make a wrong impression and want to appear as a team player, they may soften their approach and not ask for the money that they really want.
The recruiter will adeptly work on getting you the best package. It is essential to know that since recruiters are paid a commission based on the offered salary, it’s in the search professional’s interest to get the highest level of compensation.
Misconception About Recruiters
There is a dangerous misconception about headhunters that hurts candidates. People believe they will be paid less because a recruiter was used, costing the company a placement fee of around 25% of the first-year base annual salary. The reality is that companies bake in the costs and utilize the services of recruiters for the hard-to-find professionals that their internal recruiters could not source.
Search professionals may not have a suitable job for you. If your recruiter doesn’t have the right roles, it doesn’t mean they are not interested in helping you. The reality is that, at times, a search agent may be flush with relevant opportunities. Other times, they may not, due to market forces.
Recruiters are not the ones who make the hiring decision. Therefore, it’s not their fault if you are not selected. The hiring decision is made after numerous interviews with the hiring manager, peers, subordinates, HR and an array of tangential people involved with the process. After due deliberation, a person will be selected.
Source: Jack Kelly via Forbes.com