As a candidate seeking their next career move, you’ll have a defined idea of what you’re looking for. Out there are a multitude of recruiters and picking the right ones to work with is an essential part of being introduced to the right people.
It’s easy to follow that recruiters tend to get good at one or more areas of recruitment and expand their client base in these fields. Remember we’re running a business and like anything you’re good at in business you focus on the areas that are working-out with a greater deal of your effort.
That’s not to say we ignore the other fields we could be working in, it’s to say that, out there, there will be a recruiter focussing on your area of expertise, knows their stuff, and this blog hopefully helps you find them.
- Do they recruit for ‘me’ often? Lets use an example from LiCa Scientific, my company, I personally hire a few skill areas but a LOT for analysts and organic chemists. Why? I’ve a bunch of clients needing them, I love talking chemistry so like the work, most importantly it’s successful for us. So, you go onto my website and guess what you’ll see? Now lets say you’re a nuclear physicist, do the same search, nothing. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to recruit you, I just don’t focus on that right now. Actions speak loudest so if the action of the recruiter is they have tried to recruit ‘you’ 10 times each quarter for the last few, then chances are you should talk. If they haven’t, I’d keep looking.
- Do they come back on my email, and when? Recruiters should be eager to get in touch with you, almost to the point it’s a bit up front in my book. So, did your emailed CV get a reply within a couple of hours, do you have three missed calls over your morning meetings and did I also borrow a colleagues phone to try and reach you? Good! It means I’m keen which means we can talk jobs, interviews and offers. If this is a bit keen, I make no apology. Now, is the reality you waited a week on that email? How’s about your call in was it returned that day? Possibly time to question the motivation of who you’re speaking with if not. I’m at my desk 50 hours a week I either don’t have the 10 minutes within that or have something more interesting on the agenda. Either way, the recruiter who doesn’t come back is the recruiter to move on from with a ‘none taken’ on either side.
- Do they have an interest in your field? What is the evidence of this? Most recruiters are on linkedin and you can see on here whether someone is part of or running groups in your fields. Perhaps they are in a society you are or post social media tweets about a trade-show in the field you are keen to break into.
- What is the positive action taken following receiving my CV? After the call is your CV going to be sent onto their client, or them and a number of others? Basically ask yourself what next tangible steps being taken, beyond the minimum commitment of keeping you on file for the future?
- Is there accountability? Your CV should only be sent to companies once, after this our clients will deem another submission of your CV a duplicated CV for up to 6 months, therefore as a candidate do consider who is sending this. Do they have a relationship in place with the company they are dealing with, with the commitment to follow this up or is this more an email-send and hope approach? Note that there is nothing wrong with a well thought out hit and hope - in fact it can/does work very often - however if there is a business out there you're especially keen to look into and know more about, it may be better to ask about relationships your recruiter has and what actions they plan to take and when, once this CV is sent over.
- Have you applied for their clients already? While our clients highly value what we do, we are here to find them the candidates they don’t know about. If the clients your recruiter is describing are companies you’ve already applied to then we will be less able to help. One hint is to make a decision to engage with your recruiter as your primary means of contacting companies and before you’ve made any direct applications, please respect the information given in confidence about clients and apply via the recruiter providing it - otherwise it is difficult to maintain trust. By going to a recruiter before you've made applications we’ll be motivated to put the hours into your introductions safe in the knowledge we won’t simply be told we’ve repeated applications. Finally if you know about which companies you’ve gone to; then you can know which ones have not been applied to and either ask the recruiter to make enquiries or make an application yourself.
- Do they know me and what’s motivating me? Key for me in my candidate interactions is something called the MIT. Most Important Thing. Otherwise known as a ‘pull’ factor or the positive element of a job that you’d like to track down. If I know what this is specifically, I can help find it. Not everyone has one… so second is RFL. Reason For Leaving (if you have one of these!). Otherwise known as a ‘push’ factor - or what’s pushing you out of the door of the current job! Someone representing you should know something about this backdrop to help focus on the right type of roles for you. If you don’t have push or pull factors we just want to know “what’s you’re situation and what can we do to help?”
- Quality of advice - chances are that you will not be working with a 100% perfect CV for your goals, you might be though in most cases we give some degree of advice to our candidates on CV’s or interviewing. How supported/informed you feel in the initial stages of application is another indication of being in contact with the right person.
- Outcomes - at the very least, engaging with a recruiter should lead to an improved outlook on the job market and where your opportunities will potentially lie in future, if your coming away feeling better informed and positive then this is a further indicator of being on the right track and working with someone who will have the desired impact for you.
Good luck with the applications you are making and we look forward to hearing from you.