What To Look For
The Flightpath News - November 6, 2002
Kevin T. Buckley, CPC
Recruiters: What To Look For
come in many categories -- specialists and generalists, retainer and
contingency. They all share one thing in common: employers engage their
services to hire people for specific positions.
limits to what a recruiter can do for you if you are not immediately
applicable for a current search assignment. So, how do you determine
which ones are more likely to be a useful contact for you? How do you
recognize the ones who will fairly and professionally represent you
to their clients? Use these benchmarks to evaluate them by: honesty,
integrity, longevity, discretion, attitude, commitment and awareness.
Honesty and integrity are the first considerations. Avoid recruiters
who want you to misrepresent yourself by suggesting changes to your
resume -- inflating titles or position duties, or leaving out portions
of your career history to make you more "marketable". Regardless
of the persuasiveness of their arguments, remember that employee misrepresentation
can be justified cause for immediate termination by an employer if it
is discovered. Suggestions of this kind can indicate the level of professionalism
of the recruiter. You want someone who is going to be truthful with
you about your prospects, your presentation strengths and weaknesses
and the career opportunity itself.
means a recruiter has remained in business because employers and candidates
have been willing to place trust in them over a period of years. Do
industry associations active within their area of specialization know
these recruiters? Ask friends and coworkers what their reputation is.
Look them up in the Canadian Directory of Search Firms, published by
Mediacorp in Canada. How long have they been in operation?
is vital. If a recruiter is careless, your resume or the knowledge that
you have been looking may come to the attention of your superiors. Establish
how they work and set the ground rules for them representing you. Insist
that you know beforehand which companies you are being presented to.
You don't want unpleasant surprises by finding that your resume has
been sent without your permission to a key supplier, customer or competitor.
and commitment are important. Determine if your interests and needs
are being taken into account. Be wary of the aggressive recruiter who
tries to steamroll you into looking at or accepting a job, trying to
convince you that they know what you need. Some people allow themselves
to be bullied into accepting jobs because they feel that the recruiter
must be the expert. Accepting under duress rarely makes for sound decision-making.
Don't be rushed into making a commitment that doesn't sit well with
you. Trust your intuition. If it feels wrong, it probably is. How committed
are they to the people they represent? What resources do they offer
in their literature or website to help people in need of guidance with
resumes, covering letters and other issues? Do you get the feeling that
they are genuinely trying to help you, or is self-promotion the theme
of their communications?
how aware they are of trends in compensation or other changes affecting
your industry. Do they know that certain companies in your industry
have a reputation for high turnover? Do they work with those firms?
recruiter can be a good contact to have and a valuable resource of information
and counsel to consult when making a career move. At the right time,
they can direct you to those unadvertised career opportunities of real
interest to you.
Recruiter Directories, this site
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