Mount Everest. (Handout / @nimsdai Project Possible/AFP/Getty Images)
The fastest way to gain a hiring manager’s attention is… without a doubt… to partner yourself with a trusted and experienced recruiter. One, who has earned that manager’s trust!
A skeptical candidate, with whom I have worked recently, told me that they were reluctant to work with me because… they had a bad experience with a recruiter in the past. Unfortunately, there may be some annoying ones out there… (especially some in the growing number of overseas call centers) that have given the whole group of us (recruiters) - a bad rap. For the many dedicated and caring CAREER-STRATEGISTS…like the ones you will find
in your local job market – we are sadden by comments like this.
Here’s an idea to ponder: You shop locally for many things (e.g., food and beer) – why not shop locally for YOUR recruiter? The following is some practical advice when shopping.
You know you have a GOOD recruiter - when:
· Connections / Network: They know many people in the industry – and can give you specific details about the people and connections they have in your field. They want to meet you in person.
· Specific Details: They tell you the name of the company (their client) and they offer VERY SPECIFIC information about the actual opportunity (including - the compensation package and the corporate culture) up front.
· Help: They try to help you even if they do not have an immediate role for you. You will feel like you are a human-being; and not a commodity. Hint…they WILL return your correspondences in a polite and timely manner.
So why use a recruiter instead of (or in addition to) a job board? Good question…consider these factors:
· AI (ai) – Can you say “Artificial Intelligence”? You are SOOOOO much more than a Boolean Logic string search! Many candidates (and yes…even “geeks”) do not understand how to play the game. Getting scored, ranked, sorted; and then found by an HR person is your first challenge (please watch these videos to understand a little more about this topic; Step Forte: www.stepforte.com (FREE ADVICE).
· Volume & #s - The typical corporate HR recruiter or hiring manager receives MANY resumes in one day. Many of these same HR folks are absolutely overwhelmed with requisitions to fill; as well as meetings, and other daily demands. Often – they do not even understand all of the technology (lingo) that they have been given as a search list; or in the job description. The BUSY boss (who needs certain skills and technology) gives the BUSY HR person a “punch list” built from a job description.
What are the chances that out of those 100s of resumes that come into a company’s ATS (applicant tracking system) that you have included the right “lexicon” (naming conventions) and the correct values/technologies that the HR team used to parse/score ALL of those resumes? Probably…if you don’t understand the “system” – they are not very great !
· Relationships & Time – If you are using an established and reputable, sourcing-recruiter who has a long-standing relationship with local businesses. That person will contact their customers directly –with a detailed write-up of who you ARE…actually (you will NOT be just a number -given by a machine - that scored you). They will know your back-story, and your strengths. The good ones (recruiters) will ADVOCATE for you.
Most importantly…they will be able to “skip the line” because they can make a phone call or write an email directly to someone on the HR team. Their recommendation carries legitimacy and weight (when they have an established, working- relationship) with the internal corporate HR team.
· Curiosity & Market Research – What most active (and just curious) job seekers sometimes fail to realize is the following: 1) yes - job boards (e.g., LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed) compile statistics like average salaries in a particular geographic location; but… 2) they are not always accurate in many ways. A REAL person (your local recruiter) knows that there are many variables (e.g., naming conventions for specific jobs, corporate expansions or take-overs, as well as - market-competition for a particular skill-set, and etc.) that go into building a realistic compensation package. YOU should be talking to YOUR recruiter about this…even if you are just “CURIOUS” at that moment in time.
Most times – your friendly, local recruiter is where you will find your best, most recent data about the job market. When you speak to your local recruiter or your “career strategist” – be sure to ask them about their connections – and – about their customers. Ask them… “What is your STRATEGY for finding me my next opportunity?”