How to work with recruiters – for job seekers

How to work with recruiters – for job seekers

If you are working with, or have a desire to work with, external recruiters and have no idea how it all works – this blog is for you!

What is a recruiter?

Just as a real estate agent places the right buyer into the right house, a recruiter places the right job seeker (candidate) into the right job with the right employer (client). We call this a placement.

Some recruiters work for an agency and manage multiple jobs, clients and candidates. These recruiters are commonly referred to as ‘agency’ or ‘external’ recruiters. The ones that are trying to be fancy, call themselves ‘search’ consultants, but it’s all the same thing. This is what we do at Little Black Book.

Other recruiters work in-house and manage the entire recruitment process for a particular organisation. This can be their whole job, or part of their job if they are a human resources professional. These recruiters are referred to as internal recruiters but are often called talent acquisition specialists or partners.

Why do I want to work with one?

Three reasons:

  1. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a lot of job opportunity.

Not all jobs are advertised. Recruiters are aware of, and are, working on many opportunities that are not advertised on job boards.

The first thing we do when we have a new role is think of who we know. Then we think of who we know that might know someone. Often the role is filled by this stage, especially if the recruiter is well connected.

We only advertise if we have to, it’s expensive and going through the ad response is very time consuming.

  1. A recruiter can introduce you to people and influence them to hire you.

A recruiter will work with you to identify organisations that match you career goals and cultural fit. On many occasions, a good recruiter will introduce you to hiring managers on a speculative basis.

In recruitment, we call this a float. A recruiter who has a strong relationship with their client can be hugely influential as to who they hire. There doesn’t need to be a job available right then and there, opportunities open up, people move on, and in some cases a job can be created for you. You just need to get in front of the right people.  In 2018, over a third of the placements we made at Little Black Book resulted from a float.

  1. A recruiter can take away a lot of the stress.

A good recruiter can be really helpful, a superb one (like us at Little Black Book) will make the job application process completely seamless. We help you with your resume, give advice on interview technique and prepare you for any potential meeting.

We pitch you to the hiring manager prior to your interview, so you start from a strong position especially if your recruiter has a great relationship with the hiring manager and can influence.

We handle all the awkward conversation about money and negotiate salary on your behalf.

Remember, a recruiter WANTS to place you, that’s how they make their money. It’s in their best interests to find a role that’s perfect for you.

How do I choose a recruiter?

Again, like real estate agents – there are two types of recruiters. Those that have a genuine desire to help people, and those that just like banking the money. You need to find the former. Like most things in life, it pays to ask around.

You also need a SPECIALIST.

There some recruiters out there that recruit a lawyer one minute, an engineer the next – these guys are called generalists. You don’t want to work with these recruiters. If you have tooth ache, you wouldn’t go to a GP now would you?

Most recruiters have a specialisation (or an area of expertise) AND more importantly, a strong network within it.

If you’re an Accountant, find a financial recruiter, if you’re an Executive Assistant, find a business support or administration recruiter.

Little Black Book specialises in marketing, communications and creative recruitment. If you’re in supply chain and logistics, best to find a recruitment solution with strong ties in that industry.

Do I have to pay?

No. The client pays the recruiter directly.  We do enjoy chocolates and flowers though, just sayin’…!

Margot Keegan - Chief Booker

Margot Keegan

Chief Booker

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