Working with a Professional Recruiter, also known as a “Headhunter”, may be
just what you need to kick your job search into high gear. Recruiters know
about job openings that are not widely advertised and can offer great insight
into current hiring trends and salaries for particular positions.
But, using a Recruiter does not guarantee that you will easily land a job.
Here’s how to determine whether a Recruiter could help you, and how to forge a
fruitful relationship with one.
Understand the Recruiter’s Priorities
Employers hire and pay Recruiters to find them new employees. Therefore, a
Recruiter’s primary allegiance is to the employers who pay their bills. “We
work on behalf of a candidate, however, the employer is always our boss”, Don
Dickason, Owner of dmDickason Professional Search says.
It is important that you, our Candidate, understand that dmDickason Professional
Search does not function as a traditional employment agency, whereas, our
services are performed specifically for the job seeker. Traditional employment
agencies typically “help people find jobs”, marketing your specific skills to
employers, and where the major job of an employment counselor is to “find you a
job”. This service is usually provided only on an applicant fee paid basis.
Recruiters, however, work strictly on an “employer fee paid basis”,
representing employer assignment needs and requirements (almost) exclusively.
Our function is to recruit, interview and represent hand-picked, hard-to-find
candidates on employer job assignments that almost always require very
specific, sometimes hard to find requirements (including education, skills and
work history in the employer’s specific industry). El Paso employers do not
have a great deal of problem in locating (on their own) qualified candidates
with general or traditional backgrounds and experience, and, typically, do not
have to pay Recruiters to locate people that want to change careers, be
trained or have limited work experience or education. And most importantly, all
dmDickason candidates are represented without regard to race, gender, color,
religion, national origin, sex, age, physical or mental handicap or disability,
veteran status, marital status or any other basis protected by federal, state
or local statute.
Still, Recruiters do recognize that experienced, credentialed candidates are
their bread and butter, since Recruiters often get paid only if they fill an
employer’s opening. Recruiters have nothing unless they also have qualified
Unfortunately, dmDickason Recruiters cannot commit (to you) that they will
actively represent your job search. You may be invited into our office, on an
appointment only basis, because, based on a preliminary discussion or review of
your resume, you appear to have qualifications that are requested in our
marketplace. However, it is important for you to understand that we are only
one source in your overall search for a new job, and that you should not expect
your Recruiter to actively represent you, unless / until we have a specific
employer job assignment that meets or exceeds your work history, background,
education and job requirements. Do not be alarmed if you do not hear from us
for several days and/or even months. Your work history and job requirements
will be added to our sophisticated computerized database. This state-of-the-art
software quickly identifies consistencies in backgrounds and requirements, and
will certainly match you to future employer assignments, where a match exists.
Please do not expect our Recruiters to stay in daily touch with you. It is not
necessary. And once again, please do not leave our offices with the expectation
that we are going to find you a job. Instead, please be informed that your file
will only be purged, and you contacted, when and if a suitable match is made
between your background and an employer’s exact requirements. In reality, this
may never happen.
Know when to use a Recruiter
If you are looking for a traditional entry-level or staff-level position, you
probably won’t benefit from a Recruiter’s services. However, a Recruiter could
help if you are seeking a higher-level position in Management, Engineering,
Manufacturing, Healthcare, Sales or Sales Management, Accounting or Information
Recruiters may even work with inexperienced candidates who have the right
credentials, such as a recent MBA graduate looking for an Accounting career, or
college graduates recently licensed in many healthcare professions.
Have a Goal, but be flexible
A polished pitch to a Recruiter is just as important as a polished pitch to
employers. Be as specific as possible when describing the type of job you want,
but leave some wiggle room. Be very specific and absolutely sure about your
least acceptable requirements (benefits, salary requirements, location, size of
employer, etc.) Making demands or ultimatums, being uncooperative, or requiring
out-of-line expectations will turn a Recruiter off, no matter how stellar your
credentials. Keep your options open.
Take advantage of your Recruiter’s expertise
Recruiters can share inside information on the working environment at an
organization you may be considering, including the type of candidate it may be
seeking. They can also offer valuable tips on how to improve your resume,
sharpen your interview skills, prepare answers to difficult interview
questions, position yourself for a job offer or even dress for an interview.
Although all of this advice and knowledge does not cost you a dime, a good
Recruiter will expect your complete cooperation in return. You will be expected
to come into our offices before and after all local interviews (for an
interview preparation and follow-up session) and, unfortunately, the whole
interview process may take the entire morning or afternoon. If you are not
willing to take the time off from work, to cooperate fully with your Recruiter,
and/or take full advantage of their expertise, you probably won’t ultimately
benefit from your Recruiter’s services.
Be honest and accessible
Be straightforward from the beginning about your minimum salary expectations,
and do not revise them upward as the recruiting process progresses. It is also
important to be up front about any black marks on your work history. A good
Recruiter will generally find them out anyway. Besides, Recruiters don’t like
surprises. Another way to permanently burn bridges with your Recruiter is to
pursue a job with a new employer solely to increase your leverage for a raise
at your current job (a counter offer). And, if you plan to work with more than
one Recruiter, please disclose that fact to all parties.
It is also imperative that you have carefully thought-out a job change, that
you are absolutely sure that you want to change jobs, that you will not go
“emotional” and change your mind when an offer is ultimately extended. If you
are not absolutely sure that it is time to change jobs, please do not waste
your Recruiter’s (or the potential employer’s) time.
Finally, please make sure that all personal or family matters are taken care of
in such a fashion that will allow you to put your head down, go to work, and
commit your entire work time fully to a new employer without him or her having
to deal with your pending personal or private issues (at least until you are
due vacation time). Remember, new employers do not like / want, to have to deal
with your personal problems or issues. They have enough of their own to contend
with, without having to deal with yours. Get these matters in order, take your
vacation, finish the class that you are taking that might conflict with your
work schedule, take care of childcare and family issues (and locate back-up
plans to those) before you even begin to look for a new job.
Don’t get lazy
As we discussed above, using a Recruiter should be just one element of a job
search that includes networking, knocking on employer’s doors and responding to
advertised job openings. Don’t just “sign up” with a Recruiter and then sit
back and wait for things to happen. You cannot expect a Recruiter to do the
work for you. Go for it! Just keep your Recruiter informed so he/she will not
duplicate your efforts.
Good luck with your job search. This can be a very exciting time for you. But
remember, looking for a full-time job is often a full-time job in itself. Make
sure you are ready for the challenge.