When asked, most job seekers will generally assume that recruiters work for their clients. Whilst it is of course true that clients ultimately pay the bill, Arlington Resource Management firmly believes there can be no fee due without great candidates to fill those vacancies.
Good recruiters will genuinely have the best interests of their candidates at heart, and will work hard to present you with great opportunities which enhance your career. Like any good relationship, both parties should be committed to making things work. So to really get the best from your recruitment consultant, these are our top tips for building a great relationship:
1. Be committed
If you would like a consultant to help you find a new position, they need to know you are serious before they’re able to commit time and resource to supporting you. However, if you’re just dipping a toe in the water, then let them know you are interested but want advice before committing, they will be happy to have a conversation and advise you on market conditions.
2. Know what you want
Consultants prefer to work with people who have a clear check list of what’s right and (equally importantly), what’s wrong for them so they can match opportunities and potential employers against your criteria. Be clear about what you want, and be very clear about what are your deal breakers.
3. Remain flexible
It’s a much healthier job market now but with that comes lots of competition looking for jobs too. So while you obviously have goals and aims for your career, a recruiter will definitely be better able to help you if you are able to be flexible. If you are prepared to consider some variations to your job wish list, your consultant will be able to offer you a wider choice of roles. For the same reason, when it comes to arranging interviews, everyone has commitments that are hard to change, but it is worth being as flexible as you can when it comes to availability for interviews.
4. Be faithful
We would strongly recommend you identify a couple of consultants who specialise in your specific field and develop a relationship with them that will last many years. You should really be aiming to work with consultants who have well developed networks and can present you with live vacancies as well as discuss your profile with other organisations that may not be advertising.
Sending your CV to lots of recruiters could result in applications being duplicated, and you could lose track of where your CV has been sent, or even potentially encountering an agency who promote your personal information without your permission. Recruiters will choose to work with candidates they have a better chance of placing, especially when you consider they’re acting on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis most of the time.
5. Keep it real
Be honest about your skills and experience. No matter how good you are, if your background doesn’t include a skill essential to a client’s brief, you should seriously consider whether to apply. You risk wasting everyone’s time when they find out you don’t have the necessary experience at the interview. That’s not to say you cannot push the envelope if you are looking to change career. Just be clear with your reasoning why, know your knowledge gaps versus the role you’re interested in and display a clear rationale as to what you can offer instead. A good recruiter should understand transferable skills and will help guide you on the best ways of bridging those gaps, or even advise if it’s a gap too far.
6. Be open to advice
Your recruiter will have a good overview of your market and how you and your skills fit into it. For example, if they are advising you on salary expectations, improvements to your CV or how best to impress at interview with a particular company, take note. Ultimately they want you to get the job, so will be laying the groundwork to give you the best chance of success, but they will keep things grounded and realistic in line with market conditions.
7. Be adaptable
Recruiters understand that taking calls about a new position whilst at work can be tricky, but if you really want to secure a position you must make yourself available to speak to them. They’ll be happy to arrange something around lunch breaks, before or after work but once a time has been agreed you should ensure you are able to speak freely and for a sensible amount of time. If not, you may end up finding the consultant assumes you are not really committed to a move, and so starts looking for other people.
8. Regularly communicate
If something is bothering you about a position or the recruitment process, or if something has changed in your personal circumstances, let your consultant know as soon as possible. Having an open two way communication is always the best way of dealing with things. Don’t think you’re bothering them if you need to call two or three times in a day to check some information as a good consultant would always rather you were over prepared / informed and keen. Equally, whilst we appreciate circumstances can change, it is frustrating for everyone if a job offer is made and turned down through lack of communication, for example, relocation wasn’t discussed with your partner and they seriously object to moving house!
If the relationship worked well, why not commit to it for the long haul. There is nothing better than developing a strong professional relationship with someone you trust. Unsurprisingly you will find the longer you know your consultant, the better they know you and what your preferences are for both types of employer and your career. When it comes to moving on again in future, they should be able to help you even more effectively and there will be an inherent trust built over that time too.
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