Jul 152013
7 Tips for working with a Recruiter 2

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My last article 7 Tips for Working with African Recruiters – Part 1 focused on three important things to consider when working with a Recruiter – 1) identifying the best and most relevant one for you, 2) building a mutually beneficial relationship where possible and 3) honesty at all times. This part focuses on the remaining four.

To get the best experience working with a Recruiter, it is important you:

4        Are ready to discuss remuneration

Remuneration package discussion is almost always sensitive. One of the first questions hiring managers ask is “how much does the candidate earn or what is his/her expectation?” This is particularly so for positions that are not hard-to-fill. So when a candidate hesitates or even refuses to disclose their remuneration package, their chances of not being shortlisted by a Recruiter is increased.

Recruiters put a lot of effort in sourcing candidates, preselecting, interviewing, shortlisting, presenting them to clients and arranging interviews. One of the things we least enjoy is having candidates make it to an advanced stage of the recruitment process and then pull out because their salary expectation for a role is not aligned to what the employer is offering. It is a lot of wasted time and effort by all parties involved, including the candidate. To avoid this, Recruiters tend to work more closely with candidates who are open to discussing their packages early in the process.

5         Are ware of communication etiquettes

Effective communication is the basis of all recruitment activities.  A Recruiter should communicate to shortlisted candidates as often and necessary as possible. A good one will let you know if you are not successful in a recruitment process and ideally, why.  Poor communication between Recruiters and their candidates is partly because some Recruiters feel they have no incentive to call back if there is no commission to be made. This is unprofessional and misplaced because they forget that an unsuitable candidate for a role may be an ideal candidate for another, plus candidates today may be clients tomorrow. Good Recruiters appreciate that candidates are as important as employers because it takes the two to make their job successful.

On the other hand, although using the services of an experienced Recruiter may improve your chances of getting a suitable position, even the best Recruiters need time to process candidates’ applications. A typical Recruiter’s responsibility includes business development, sourcing candidates through multiple channels, interviewing and shortlisting candidates’, following up with clients, attending local & international networking and other business events as well as managing every stakeholder’s expectation.

Recruiters also have high-levels of administrative, analytical and reporting activities. So be patient when dealing with them as good ones will let you know as soon as they receive feedback (positive or negative) and are able to communicate it. Calling every 5 minutes and following up with 10 emails after every call will make little difference if they are unable to communicate. In fact in some cases, it may put them off working with you in the future.

6        Are aware of the core responsibility of Recruiters

One of the common misconceptions about Recruiters responsibilities is that we are CV writers and career counsellors.  While it may sound harsh, it is important to know that Recruiters are neither. The primary responsibility of every Recruiter is to find the best talent an employer needs for a role.

There are many good (and free) CV templates online and when needed, competent CV writing companies that charge reasonable fees. In the same light, there are many free platforms for career counselling and when needed, career coaches that charge reasonable fees. If you want the best from a Recruiter, it is important to know what we do so you can determine how best we can help.

Expecting a Recruiter to counsel everyone they come in contact with or help with their CVs is not realistic. Apart from the fact that it is not their responsibility, it takes time.  Some Recruiters work with thousands of candidates every year, it is impossible to manage and effectively deliver on their “real” responsibilities if they assist every applicant.

This said, good Recruiters are always happy to help review the CVs of some candidates and give advice on ways to improve them, whenever they can. They are also keen to advice candidates on the best ways to advance their careers.

7         Do not apply to every role

I have not come across an Accountant with expertise in Facade Engineering, Civil Law, Investment Banking, Astronomy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. I have however come across candidates who have applied to roles as different as these. Seriously…

We understand that many candidates have multiple skills, but we also understand that some extremes are not compatible and “Jacks of all trades are usually masters of none”. When you apply for multiple roles that are not remotely connected, it raises concerns. Before you have the opportunity to discuss your expertise, questions will be raised with regards to your honesty (do you really have expertise in all of these areas or are you just desperate to get a job – any job?) and motivation (even if you do, what path are you really interested in?). Chances are that a Recruiter will contact other candidates before you.

In summary, while Recruiters may help review candidate CVs from time to time and give career advice where possible, our main responsibility is to source and recruit candidates for our clients. To get the best out of us, it is imperative that you identify, work with and build relationships with only true professionals. Good results usually come from honest relationships, open communication and mutual respect.

A good way to turn us off is to apply to many unrelated roles. The best way to get our attention is to have a great profile. We appreciate your referrals,  it will not only help us fill our roles, but also easily remember you if we come across a relevant role that matches your expertise. However, keep in mind that ultimately, your profile is what will get you through the door, not the number of referrals you send to us.

While there are some “bad eggs” in the recruitment industry, there are many great professionals who are keen to ensure candidates come out of every recruitment process with positive impressions, regardless of the outcome. You just need to find us…

One last thing… Recruiters can be a great resource; but some candidates will not find their next job through us.  Candidates should ensure they utilise other resources, especially professional networking to maximise their job-hunting opportunities.

I wish you the very best in your job search…

  2 Responses to “7 Tips for Working with African Recruiters – Part 2”

  1. Yes, I might not find my next job through you, but I have learnt some good tips about recruiters from your article.

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