Okay executives, no matter what phase of your job search you are in, a time will come when you will cross paths with a recruiter, whether it is an in-house recruiter, retained recruiter or contingent recruiter. A quick review of the three types of recruiters:
In-house recruiter is an employee of the company whose job is to recruit employees for job openings. This recruiter may have other HR duties or talent management responsibilities in their role as an employee, but their primary job is recruiting.
Retained recruiters are hired by a company to find candidates for various job openings. These recruiters may specialize in industries such as manufacturing or technology, as well as level of talent, i.e. mid-level managers, C-level executives, etc. This type of recruiter is on a payment retainer with one or more companies.
Contingent recruiters are a bit different. A company may distribute a job order to several contingent recruiters and only the recruiter that finds the perfect candidate that is hired gets paid. So these recruiters can be a little more aggressive in their recruiting practices.
The main thing to keep in mind when working with recruiters is that their time is valuable, they are likely looking at dozens of candidates at the same time, and are usually working under tight time constraints. Following the proper protocol with recruiters is essential in building a relationship and common courtesies (no matter what the circumstances) can go a long way.
Avoid these top five recruiter frustrations:
1. Unreasonable expectations. If nothing else resonates in this blog, take away this one fact: executive recruiters are NOT working for you. They work for (and get paid by) the company to find a perfect candidate for the job. That being said, they will assist you through the hiring process if they identify you as a good potential for the position.
2. Outdated resume. As an executive who may have seen hundreds of resumes in your career, wouldn’t you find it annoying to look at a candidate’s resume only to find out that it is not up-to-date? It is a real time waster for the recruiter. Even if you submit an up-to-date resume originally, and down the road need to add a newly acquired degree or certification, or additional recent accomplishments, be sure to send the recruiter an update.
3. Embellishing expertise. One way or another, experienced recruiters have a way of drilling down to the skills and talents of an executive candidate to verify them. Don’t oversell yourself and put you and the recruiter in a position where neither of you will win. After all, the real you will be showing up for the job and unrealistic expectations may set you up for failure.
4. Poor phone reception. Executives and most levels of job seekers are using cell phones as their main contact number these days. While this is very convenient and avoids the possibility of young children answering a home phone, lost messages, or even worse, use of an employer’s phone, it is important to consider cell phone reception. There is almost nothing worse than trying to conduct a conversation with a recruiter with every other sentence being “Can you hear me now?” Be considerate to the recruiter and make sure you are in an area where you receive good phone reception.
5. Unethical practices. If you are frustrated by a recruiter who does not return phone calls or emails, and think that by trying to connect directly to the company your possibility of being considered as a candidate is better, scratch that idea. Companies hire recruiters for a reason. They rely on recruiter expertise and may not have the time or internal resources to conduct a talent search themselves. So neither recruiters nor companies appreciate candidates trying to scale the wall to avoid the proper channels.
A recruiter’s job is challenging trying to match the perfect person for a job opening every single time. Understanding how to work with them can make it easier for you and ultimately could result in a new position.