Working With A Recruiter

There are many ways to find a new job.  Today we have all kinds of new technologically advanced tools to help us in our search for a new career home or consulting gig.  Online job boards, niche networking groups, LinkedIn, Facebook, and various blog sites can often prove to be very useful tools in marketing your skills and resume.  These are all great tools to utilize when searching for a job, but there is something very powerful about the relationship of a professional recruiter and their hiring managers.  Working with a specialized recruiter can give you a strong competitive edge over the competition; especially a recruiter with a strong relationship with a hiring manager that they have worked with for several years.


Hiring managers that have worked with a reliable recruiting/staffing partner for many years will often put a lot of trust that recruiter’s professional opinion.  They trust the proven fact that the well-known recruiter will only provide them with the right person for the job, for their team, and someone that really will add value to their overall hiring goals.  When your resume comes from a trusted partner (specialized recruiter) it can be much more attractive to many hiring managers when compared to random strangers sending in their resumes through an online web portal in a generic fashion.

When working with a recruiter, you need to understand that certain things are necessary to really have an open, productive relationship.  Basically, it all boils down to a simple phrase… “Help me…help you.”  Many times you must speak much more openly with a recruiter than you will with the hiring manager.  The recruiters job is to assist you in ensuring you put your best foot forward, assist you in how to talk with the hiring manager, ensure that you are properly prepared for what to expect in the interview, prepared for the type of people you will work with, and any good recruiter will be able to honestly let you know if he thinks you will fit into the environment technically and personally.  Here are 5 key things that you must be direct/honest with your recruiter about in order to allow him to help you properly.

1. What are your career goals?
Recruiters will know if a particular company offers career advancement, the expected timeline for growth potential, and how to best express your goals to the hiring manager in the interview.

2. Are you really ready to leave your current job and start a new one?
Sometimes people would like to interview to see if they can really get that “deal of a lifetime” offer they can’t refuse, and other times people really do need to find a new position that better fits with their career goals.  Your motivation for looking at a new position are very important and the multitude of factors related to your ability to start a new job are equally important.  Some things to keep in mind and talk with your recruiter about include: Do you have a vacation planned soon? Do you receive an annual bonus? How much vacation time to you have now? Can you start a new position in 2 weeks? How will you handle a counter-offer from your current employer?  These are all things that you need to discuss with your recruiter to work through how they will be handled when a new job is offered.

3. What salary/compensation package are you prepared to accept?
This information is just as critical as what you are currently making for many reasons.  Many times, the recruiter will be negotiating on your behalf with the hiring manager/company.   If you tell me you MUST have a $120,000 base salary to accept the position then that is what I will do for you.  I will negotiate your compensation to the level you tell me you must have.  But if in reality you WOULD have accepted $100,000 as a base salary, but I didn’t know that…you could miss out on your dream job simply because you weren’t honest with your Recruiter.  We will work as a team on the best way to present your salary needs to the hiring manager if it comes up during your interview to ensure we are able to meet your goals.  This goes for your current compensation level as well.  This information will be critical at offer stage with the company and will provide your recruiter with the vital information to negotiate as best as he can on your behalf.  It benefits you and the recruiter to get you the best compensation package possible, so be sure you are open and honest about what you need, want, and will accept.

4. Will you consider working outside of the city or relocating to a new state?
When you tell your recruiter you must find a local position, only that is what they will do…focus only on telling you about local opportunities.  Really think this through though because if there is a chance you would consider moving back to your home-state, or really have always thought about trying a different city, it would benefit you to tell your recruiter this.  There could be a job opportunity with a company willing to offer a relocation package to move you there.  If your recruiter doesn’t know it would interest you…why would they tell you about it?

5. Do you have other interviews going on and how far into the process are you?
This is very important for many reasons.  If you have had three interviews with XYZ Company and are expecting an offer by the end of the week, you really need to tell your recruiter this.  The main reason is so that they can tell their hiring manager if you are “the one” they want to hire they better make it happen FAST or they will lose you to the competing company.  This could be the difference between a hiring manager emailing a document to HR to get signed (taking a couple days) or walking it down there personally and getting it done THAT day.

Obviously these are things that you will only want to share with a trusted recruiter that you feel confident has your career interests as his first priority.  Being open and honest with your recruiter really can make or break the deal for you…and in the end, you are the one that is the most important player here as it is your career on the line.  If you help us, help you…the experience can really enhance your career search and ultimately provide a smooth career transition to your new position.

One thought on “Working With A Recruiter

  1. Nice article. Nowadays for any job search, online sites are great tools but finding the right recruiter who has the right connections to the right company with the best offer, it is quite challenging for a prospect unless you are switching jobs quite often and get to know more recruiters or the prospect has limited their expectations.

    By having a well connected, good understanding recruiter, it becomes easier to find a job for a well qualified prospect or to fill up a position for the company itself. A company that cannot afford to have a full recruiter in these economic times or cannot trust online only approach, they need to have a smart recruiter from a well established staffing company who can understand their needs very well and line up the right candidates for their valuable time/scheduling interviews by doing a thorough preliminary screening as much as possible. A smart recruiter can do that easily than just a machine reporting them a list of prospects.

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