Working with executive recruiters makes the entire hiring process more streamlined, both for the employer and potential employee. They are screening both sides as a neutral party to make sure the company, job and recruit are the right fit. But many people don’t understand how to work with recruiters and what that means.
If you’re speaking with a recruiter, always keep in mind that you want to build a good relationship, whether the opportunity on your lap at the moment works out or not; you never know what could happen in the future! The following are some good rules of thumb on how to work with recruiters as a job seeker.
Talk openly about your professional accomplishments without exaggerating too much. In this day and age where recruiters can check your background with the click of their mouse, there’s no point in fibbing to get the gig.
Ask intelligent questions.
When you’re working with executive recruiters who have approached you about a career opportunity, investigate its big-picture aspects: the competencies required for the position, the company culture and the team structure. Many recruiters and their firms have an inside track into a client companies’ hiring needs. They should be able to answer those questions.
Inquire on what the process will look like after your initial conversation. Good recruiters should take candidates through the entire interview process with their client company from A to Z. They should give you some keen insight to the company and specific role as well as set up interview times and tell their candidates who will be calling or whom they should call. Prior to an interview, make sure you are having dialogue with your recruiter so you have the “inside scoop” on what to expect. Use that preparation conversation to practice your interview questions. Also, make sure you debrief and provide solid feedback to the recruiter after an interview with an employer.
Don’t lead them on.
If you definitely don’t want to move for a new job or really don’t want to work in certain industries, be forthcoming with that information, and don’t act excited about a potential position if you’re ultimately pretty sure you’ll turn it down. That’s just making everyone spin their wheels! However, if you are interested at the get-go and then change your mind, make sure to explain your reasoning to your recruiter to help them fully understand.
If you’re actively job hunting, mark on your calendar to check back in with a recruiter every one or two months to stay top-of-mind.
Have you worked with an executive recruiter? What advice would you give?