||Treat Recruiters Like Employers
Recruiters are not on your side, and are not agents for you. All are
paid by employers. They decide who will be presented to the employer,
and who won’t be.
- Job hunters should treat recruiters the same way they treat employers.
Someone asked me what
the most common mistake that job hunters make when dealing with me, an
executive recruiter. The answer is not difficult – job hunters
frequently treat me differently than they would treat an employer.
Whether retained (I am retained, and most Job Magician advice on
recruiters pertains to dealing with retained firms) or contingent, an
executive search firm is always paid by the employer. Their job is to
please the organization that is paying them, not you. That means that
the good ones are going to do their best to present candidates to their
clients who will be outstanding, or at the very least, be productive
employees, well-regarded by their new companies. That’s where repeat
business comes from.
When speaking to a candidate that I have decided not to present for a
position, in some cases, I’ve gently told the person that he or she
shouldn’t have dressed casually for the interview, or have come late.
had more than a few job hunters respond to this by saying, to my
surprise, “You’re only a recruiter – I always wear a suit when I meet
with an employer, and make sure I arrive an hour early for an interview
with one.” A pretty insulting comment. Is this one of those
people who sucks up to the president, yet treats the receptionist
poorly, then tells the guy on the lift that he’s “just a forklift
driver,” and acts as if his opinion is unimportant?
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Retained Search Firms
- Search 10,000 six-figure jobs
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There’s a disconnect here.
The recruiter decides who will be presented to the client. Fail to
impress her, and she’ll be calling you in two weeks to tell you that
she’s presenting five candidates to the client who were closer fits to
her clients’ specifications.
The good recruiter comes across like she’s your best friend. From the
moment she first talks with you on the phone, she makes you feel so
comfortable that you figure you can relax, take it easy, and treat the
interview like a coffee break.
You’re smarter than the average job hunter (and fully a third of the
people I interview for 6-figure-plus jobs make one of the blunders mentioned below).
You won’t fall into this trap. You know that you have to treat a
recruiter with the same respect and caution that you would use if you
met with an employer.
- Dress properly (no business casual, even if that is commonplace in your industry).
- Tell the recruiter only things that you would tell the client
– avoid saying things like, “Just between you and me, there are two
jobs that I left off my resume because …” The ethical recruiter
shares all relevant information with her client.
And of course, you’ll extend one
additional courtesy that is frequently and shockingly ignored: You’ll
turn off your cell phone, and won’t sneak peeks at your Blackberry
during the interview.