From professional development, to management, and even having experience recruiting himself, Blue Signal’s Senior Manager of Operations has extensive experience working with recruiters, candidates, clients, and the industry overall. In our newest installment of Blue Signal’s Coffee with a Recruiter series, Jonathan Lee shared with us a two part segment on some key things people should know when working with recruiters - as both candidates and clients. Watch and read on to gather the intel you need to make the most of your recruiting experience.
Working with Recruiters as a Candidate
Question: “As a candidate, what should you know before reaching out to a recruiter?”
Answer: “As a candidate, what you really should know before reaching out to a recruiter is really more about the recruiting company itself. They’re going to be representing you to the new company you want to work at, or maybe new companies that you’ve never heard of but could have your dream job, so you want to make sure the company has good reviews online. More importantly, you want to be sure they specialize in your industry or in the functionality of the role you are currently in. This is really really important. They might have a really good reputation in the industry and those big, target companies will tend to utilize those companies more. Just keep in mind that they will be representing you, so make sure who is representing you is who you want to.”
Q: “Should you have anything prepared beforehand?”
A: “As a candidate, there are actually things you should prepare before you reach out to a recruiter. This is going to be a simple tip, but I feel like there is a lot of value. Of course you should have your resume prepared and most up to date with your current job experience, current responsibilities, things like that. But also, I think it’s a really good idea and will up your chances of you being placed at that dream job if you have something like a brag sheet of rewards that you’ve won, patents you were granted, quotas that you’ve overachieved, things like that.
Recruiters are so inundated with resumes that the more additional information that you can provide, the better and the reason is this. So whenever you send in your resume, cover letter, things like that - recruiters will put it in their ATS system. This is how they keep track of all the applicants, all their resumes. Now these systems are able to search for specific keywords. So if the recruiter has the dream job you’re looking for, or they get that dream job later on in the future, they are going to search their ATS. So the more information that you can provide the recruiter, the more chance they can reach out, the more they can better represent you, and the more likely that you’re going to get that dream job.”
Q: “What is a common misconception candidates have when starting to work with recruiters?”
A: “I think a big misconception that people have when starting to look for a new job with recruiters is that the recruiting companies find jobs for you. In reality, logically speaking, it really is a free service for the candidates. So recruiters technically find their clients people to fill their jobs and not the other way around. I’m just being straightforward and honest. So what I recommend is having patience. To really try to get ahead of that curve if you know something has changed in your current job situation, the right time to reach out to a recruiter is not when you need to find a job now, it really is a month out in advance. So keep on applying, keep on reaching out to recruiters. Make sure those recruiters are in your industry, have good reviews, are really good at what they do - and you will find your dream job.”
Working with Recruiters as a Client
Q: “As a client looking to hire, what should you know before reaching out to a recruiter?”
A: “As a client looking to hire, there are really 3 things you need to keep in mind before reaching out to a recruiting firm. These 3 things that differentiate recruiting firms from each other are cost, speed, and quality. One recruiting firm really can’t have all 3 of these things so you really need to understand which is most important to you. All of these have their own merits and there are many different situations where one of the three would be more valued than the other. So you really just need to understand and have that alignment with the recruiting firm on which is important and they can definitely help you create that good hire that you want.”
Q: “Knowing the search, what should you have prepared for your recruiter?”
A: “Knowing the search, there are really two things you should know before reaching out to a recruiter, and these are really about your own company. The first thing is your weak points, and really being transparent when you talk to the recruiters about weak points. These weak points - whether it be bad reviews, whether it be a bad reputation in the industry - will come up throughout the interview process as candidates conduct their own research and talk to people in the industry. Having the ability as a recruiter to counter it or show that you’re having that level of transparency with the willingness to improve will always help the recruiter bring that talent and really address those weak points right up front, and help you create that good hire.
The second point is your strengths. Now a good recruiting firm will take candidates away from their companies, not just find the ones who are unemployed. (Not to say that there isn’t good talent who are currently unemployed.) We call these strong points the sizzle. It is incredibly helpful to attract the best candidates in general, not just the ones who are available.”
The Key Takeaways
As a candidate, it’s important to do your research and make preparations before reaching out to a recruiter. Since finding you a job is essentially a free service, it helps to support the recruiter through updating your resume, setting goals, and getting on the market early. Recruiters need to know how to best represent you for the job you want, so communication is essential.
As a client, transparency should be your priority when working with recruiting firms. You’ll need to know your goals, and know what you are willing to prioritize in order to reach them. Recruiters are masters at marketing opportunity - but in order to best market your company and the role you are looking to fill, they need to know both its strengths and weaknesses so they are fully prepared to tackle any objections as they arise.
Blue Signal Search has over 150 years of combined recruiting experience, proving we have the knowledge you need to land that perfect job or hire. Contact us today to discuss your options and see if Blue Signal is the right fit for your next search.
SR. MANAGER OF OPERATIONS
Jonathan supports a range of customer-facing and strategic functions. He heads the operations and technical support departments and manages IT initiatives and sales support goals. He also acts as our database administrator. He excels at building customer-focused action plans to help companies reach their business goals.