Why, When, And How to Engage a Recruiter

Why When And How to Engage a Recruiter

A good recruiter will become your career coach. They will open your eyes to new opportunities and help you find jobs that meet your career goals. Let’s discuss why, when and how you can engage a recruiter so you can start your journey towards the job of your dreams!

When it comes to your career there is nothing more important than finding the right role. Whether you are a recent graduate entering the workforce or an experienced professional looking for bigger and brighter opportunities, you should be leveraging ALL of your resources. Now, more than ever, we see businesses downsizing or closing temporarily due to coronavirus. One of the best (and often underutilized) resources is a professional recruiter.

Why should I engage a recruiter?

  • Avoid the online application “black hole” – recruiters can get your resume seen. Many of us have had the experience of applying to a job online. It’s frustrating to either never hear back or get a vague “auto rejection” email. Recruiters have a direct line to the companies they are hiring for. Our team at Greysmith will speak with them, in person, about you. This way they can ensure your resume gets seen by a hiring authority, not just a piece of software.
  • Recruiters have access to confidential and unadvertised positions. Did you know that many jobs are not published to online job boards or company websites? This may be because they are backfilling a current employee or just don’t have the bandwidth to do the hiring on their own. Recruiters have the deep relationships with employers and exposure to these jobs, giving you a leg up on potential opportunities!
  • Navigate your search and gain job market insight.
    A good recruiter will become your career partner. They can provide feedback on your resume, make recommendations on the types of roles best suited for you and help you navigate the interview process. Recruiters also understand the job market in your area and can help you set realistic career expectations. Many recruiters have been in the market for years. They understand the unique dynamics of your industry and can provide counsel for promotions and career advancements.

When should I engage a recruiter?

  • Entering or returning back to the workforce. Sometimes it’s difficult to get started, especially with so many job boards and websites to find jobs. Talking to a recruiter is often a good first step. They can help you focus your search and narrow down the types of positions you are most qualified for.
  • Need to gain some additional experience for your dream job. “Experience required” is something we see on so many job advertisements. Often you need to prove you can do the work before you will be considered for the position. Recruiters can help you find temporary or contract positions so you can gain the additional experience and references required for the job of your dreams.
  • Even if you’re happily employed. Don’t turn down a call from a recruiter (or be afraid to proactively reach out). Even if you love the job you’re at there may be a better opportunity right around the corner with better pay, a shorter commute, or more flexibility. Things change and as a savvy professional you should keep your job prospects open…just in case!

How should I engage a recruiter?

  • Don’t feel intimidated. Talking to a recruiter shouldn’t feel intimidating. Remember they are there to help you focus your search and connect you with opportunities. Prepare to discuss your current job search, companies and roles you are interested in and the specifics you are looking for in your next job. Have an idea of the location, company culture, benefits, compensation you need in your next role.
  • Be open to feedback. Part of a recruiter’s job is to help you set realistic expectations. Recruiters have inside knowledge on the job market in your area and they know what employers are looking for in candidates. Listen to the feedback they provide, ask questions and discuss your thoughts.
  • Be honest. Communication is extremely important. If your recruiter presents you with an opportunity that doesn’t quite match your needs at first glance, don’t get frustrated and walk away. Instead talk through your concerns, maybe they just need a little more information to get on the right track.
  • Be Responsive. Recruiters are often working with a number of applicants at various stages in the process. When they reach out to you, it’s usually for something important! Be respectful of their time and prioritize your calls and emails back to them. Most employers view your responsiveness as a gauge of your interest in the position and an indicator of how effectively you would communicate on the job. If you aren’t getting back to them they may need to move onto another applicant who is more engaged.  If you don’t have the flexibility to respond right away, that’s ok, just make sure you talk to your recruiter about the best methods and times to communicate.

Now that you know why, when, and how to engage a recruiter, let’s talke about setting your own expectations. Your recruiter should be just one resource out of many that you utilize in your job search. Don’t overlook your own abilities to apply to jobs online, engage your personal and professional networks and ask for help from alumni groups and career and development centers. Remember, your career is a journey and you are in the driver’s seat!