Tips for Candidates Working With Recruiters

We get lots of sales and marketing executives, mid level and front line job seekers who come to our office and we’re happy to spend time with them to get to know them and to understand their skill sets, what they’re looking for, and to put their resume into our database. We make sure to follow up with every candidate because we feel it’s important that we get to know them so that when we do have a search that’s relevant to their skill set, we can immediately consider them for those opportunities.

Many candidates come to us not actually understanding exactly how a search firm works. As a result of that, they continue to pound us for opportunities, even when we’ve already told them that we aren’t working with anything that is relevant to their skill set at a given time. Candidates need to remember that executive recruiting and sales and marketing search firms like ours are client retained. Our clients are the ones who pay our bills and therefore we focus a very large part of our effort on sourcing, screening, interviewing and presenting candidates that line up with exactly what our clients are looking for at any given time. This does not mean that we’re not interested in meeting candidates. As I’ve said before, we are happy to network with them and get acquainted, but it’s important for a candidate to remember that if you approach a search firm, if they are willing to give you time, don’t keep following up too often with the search firm if they don’t have something that fits your skill set right now.

Why is this? Well, for one thing, the reason why we spend time to meet candidates is so that we can develop a very good profile of their skill set, exactly what they’re good at and what they want to be doing, so that when a search does come up, we’re actually capable of presenting them with those opportunities. We make it our business to know candidates specifically so that when the right opportunity comes along, we can jump on that with good talent.

Does this mean that if you’re a candidate, I’m saying, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you?” Well, partly. The best candidates that we see understand that once they’re in our system, what’s required is just from time to time, an email or some sort of touch base communication telling us what they’re up to, how their job search is going, whether or not they’re still available. What this does is it serves to keep them in our minds which is important so that we can make sure that we do give them a shot at any opportunities that are relevant. The worst candidates are constantly harping on us, trying to get us to give them a job, and it just doesn’t work that way.
If you are a candidate and you’re approaching recruiting firms looking for a new position, practice the following rules:

1. Get the appointment and make sure that you’ve brought an up to date resume with a very clear depiction of the kind of position you’re looking for.

2. After the appointment, make sure to follow up with the recruiter, and thank them to remind them what it is that you’re looking for.

3. Then, periodically, once every four to six weeks I’d say, ping them via email or call them and leave them a voicemail and just let them know what you’re up to and how your search is progressing, and remind them in a nice way that you’re still looking and that you appreciate any consideration of opportunities that are relevant.

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