Best Practices For Working With Recruiters

by Phil Rosenberg

Few candidates maximize the potential of working with recruiters.

Often it’s just because the candidate doesn’t really understand best practices of working with recruiters.
By understanding how recruiters work, what they care about and what they ignore, it provides you with a superior model to gain recruiter attention and employer submission.

But when you ignore recruiters’ needs (or don’t understand them), you lessen the chances that you’ll be front of mind, which reduces the number of times your resume is submitted to hiring managers.
Many times, candidates blame recruiters for their own failures, calling them impolite or unprofessional … rather than gaining an understanding why recruiters aren’t providing the communication you want.

You’ll gain far better results from recruiters when you understand these best practices:

  1. Don’t think that recruiters work for you: They don’t. They work for the employer. You’re inventory … get used to it. Unless you want to never hear from that recruiter again, keep the attitude at bay. Sure there are lots of recruiters, but why burn the bridge that might have your perfect opportunity?
  2. Reply quickly: The first candidate recruiters submit is often the first candidate spoken to about the job. Recruiters typically only have a limited number of submissions they can make to hiring managers, without giving their client the impression that they’re throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks … a waste of the employer’s time.
  3. Recruiters rarely help career changers: A recruiter’s job is to find an exact match for the employer. Employers rarely contract with recruiters to find career changers – they work with recruiters to find someone from the same industry and job function. When you first talk to a recruiter, if you outline your goals as changing careers, don’t expect the recruiter to stay in touch.
  4. Recruiters communicate with the candidates they have the best chance of placing: It has nothing to do with how professional or polite the recruiter is. If recruiters don’t feel they have (or will likely have) a good match for you, where you’ll be viewed as a superior candidate, you’re not going to hear from them. It’s not a recruiter’s job to stay in touch with you … a recruiter’s job to stay in touch with hiring managers and with the candidates most likely to be placed. If a recruiter isn’t trying to place you, he/she won’t have time to call you back.

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