What Every Executive Should Know When Working With Recruiters

What Every Executive Should Know When Working With Recruiters

Recruiting Etiquette Every Executive Job Seeker Should Know

Not working with a recruiter? Here’s why you should be … 

Search firms/placement agencies (also referred to as recruiters or headhunters) find candidates to fill permanent (and sometimes, contract-to-permanent) roles.

Recruiters account for approx. $7B in annual revenue and spend BILLIONS on recruitment tools (e.g. a staggering $2.6B goes to LinkedIn Recruitment) to source and vet ideal candidates.

It’s estimated that 3% to 15% of jobs are filled by recruiters.

That’s a lot! And, what these numbers tell us is that up to 1-2 jobs out of every 10 aren’t advertised and made public to Jane & Joe Jobseeker.

Working with recruiters isn’t all cut and dry, however.

In fact, as the number of passive job candidates increases, professionals like you are competing for jobs like never before.

Yet, there’s hope for you.

A study conducted by SilkRoad revealed that applicants ARE still NOT conducting optimal job searches.

With the information available to today’s jobseekers and the massive availability of online tools and apps, I’m just as confused as you are.

What can you do better?

Don’t just use a “post and pray” strategy for this job search — or any other.

Part of any laser-focused job search should encompass how best to approach and follow-up with recruiters. This ensures that you’re not wasting your time … or that of recruiters.

The methods and tools we use to job search today have changed over a mere 5-10 years.

We now leverage social networking sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.

We use phone apps to find jobs and research potential employers.

We communicate differently too.

We communicate using social media and text messaging more. And, use our email and phone dial pads less.

The way recruiters work is changing too.

Recruiters are increasingly embracing text messaging to speed communications.

This makes sense because email can be slow and phone calls/social media don’t always offer instant responses (AKA satisfaction) for recruiters.

How Best to Approach, Work With & Send Follow-up to Recruiters

You may already know this, but let’s recap what recruiters do:

  • Source and prescreen candidates using established pre-employment questions to determine applicant skills.
  • Utilize recruitment tools, such as LinkedIn Recruitment, iCIMS, and other ATS systems to manage resumes and candidate communications.
  • Initiate background checks, skills testing, and lead generation services to drive talent acquisition.

Working with recruiters generally isn’t quite what jobseekers expect.

For example, it’s important for you to know that recruiters won’t be working for you.

I know this is a “difficult pill to swallow.” Yet, you should know this right now so you can align your expectations.

Wait. There’s more.

Recruiters aren’t always sitting on a treasure trove of job openings.

Like you, recruiters are continuously assessing job openings/tasks and cross-referencing those against the skills of job candidates.

Sure, ATS systems can do some of the grunt work.

The process still takes time, however.

There are different types of recruiters, too, which add a layer of complication.

For example, there are internal and external recruiters.

Internal recruiters work at a specific employer and are on their payroll. Larger companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon employ internal recruiters.

External recruiters are independent and work with an array of hiring companies (clients).

Mid-sized to small employers (sometimes large companies too!) use external recruiters because they work as independent contractors.

Outside recruiters are exceptionally helpful when a hiring company needs a candidate with a unique skill set.

External recruiters are generally paid once they make a successful placement.

There are different types of external recruiters as well.

Have you heard of retained recruiters and contingency recruiters?

Simply put, retained recruiters are retained by accepting an upfront fee to search and find ideal job candidates.

Contingency recruiters work for free until their best candidate is under contract by the hiring company.

Working with either of these recruiter types can be ideal for helping you land that next perfect job.

Because these recruiters don’t work for you, you can’t follow-up with them as you would another hiring channel (e.g. a small company that only hires a dozen new employees/year).

Recruiters are sales professionals and brokers. Pure and simple.

So, how should you communicate with recruiters?

You start the process by submitting your resume to recruiters via their website, through LinkedIn, or by email. These remain the preferred 3 resume submission methods.

Always let the recruiter DICTATE how they prefer to be contacted.

The tricky part about recruiters is the follow-up.

Should you follow-up with recruiters? Or, should you accept “no news” as “bad news”?

Because recruiters don’t work for you, they aren’t obligated to you in any way.

Chances are if they haven’t contacted you, there’s a good reason.

Maybe your skills don’t match the open positions the recruiter is trying to fulfill.

Maybe you don’t have the level of education needed.

Conducting routine follow-up with recruiters may not always be advisable.

Example Question – Recruiter Follow-Up

However, you’ll want to follow-up with recruiters when appropriate … and when that arises, I find it best to ask permission before doing so.

For example, you could ask the recruiter this simple question:

“Would it be okay if I sent you an email (or text message) follow-up in a couple of weeks if I don’t hear from you beforehand?”

Easy enough, right?

Do you want to be pursued? Want recruiters to find you first? If yes, let me write an optimal LinkedIn profile that attracts recruiters and hiring managers to you.

Once you’ve submitted your resume, what’s next?

On the most basic level, you should receive an auto-populated email that says something like, “Thanks for sending us your resume, we’ll be in touch.”

If you haven’t minimally received this from the recruiter, I recommend placing a call.

There are practical reasons why you might not receive the “thanks email.”

For example, maybe the company’s website is experiencing technical difficulty? By placing a call, you’re drawing attention to a potential problem that the recruiter might not be aware of.

List of Recruiter Directories / Find The Right Recruiter For You

Alright. Let’s now talk about where to find recruiters.

Thankfully, there are several online recruiter directories that you can use to locate and connect with professionals who can help you find new employment.

Here are 3 top recruiter directories to find recruiters to work with:

#1 Search Firm – a clean, easy-to-use recruiter directory that enables you to find contingent, retained, and RPO recruiters.

#2 Oya’s Directory of Recruiters – they’ve coined themselves as being the oldest directory of recruiters.

#3 Online Recruiters Directory – a directory that enables you to search for recruiters based on your specific industry and location.

Of course, don’t forget about LinkedIn for recruiters too.

It makes sense that LinkedIn offers the largest directory of recruiters (more than 1.475 million recruiters as of February 2019).

You can simply use LinkedIn’s search box to find and filter your search for recruiters by industry, job title, demographic, etc.

Additional Articles To Help You When Working With Recruiters

A Recruiter Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile – Now What?
5 Tips To Working With Executive Recruiters
Best Practices For Capturing the Attention of Executive Recruiters

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