You’ve just hung up the phone after talking with some character who, out of the blue, asks you if you’d be interested in changing jobs. Maybe it set your antennae quivering. Maybe your stomach plummeted. You may have difficulty refocusing. And maybe you have been mulling over a career change, and this phone call pushed you a bit closer to taking some action.
Have you ever worked with a recruiter before? Do you know what to expect? Or what you should expect?
I sat down with Barbara Blau, President of DP Professionals, who has more than 25 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, and asked what she thinks an applicant should expect from a recruiter. Here’s a recap of our conversation.
A good recruiter will partner with you. It’s your career search, and although the recruiter may have initiated the contact, you are the one who controls your destiny. It’s important for you to decide what things are essential to you, and to share these with the recruiter. If the recruiter is not willing to listen, then this relationship is not a good one.
Understand that a good recruiter will provide impartial career advice. She will not tell you what you should do, but she can provide options based on her expertise. You need a clear understanding of what the recruiter can and can’t do for you.
Has the recruiter painted a picture for you? Can you see yourself in that new position, at that company, in that city? Does the recruiter give you the full scoop: the good, and the bad, and the ugly? Or is it all wine and roses? If it’s the latter, be careful.
Working with a recruiter is building a relationship. A good recruiter is going to ask many questions. She’s not being nosy. She needs this information to help her make a good placement for you and for the client. So, she may ask if you’re married, the ages of your children, and whether or not you’ve discussed such a job change with your significant other. If a new job means moving to a new city, the recruiter needs to know to what extent this change will impact everyone involved. If your S.O. works, will they need assistance finding another job?
If you’re well into exploring a career change, and your recruiter hasn’t asked these kinds of questions, you need to wonder why.
Finally, you shouldn’t work with a recruiter or staffing company who wants you to pay a fee. The client (the company who needs the talent) pays a fee to the recruiting firm, not you.
A good recruiter is your ally. Don’t forget that the recruiter is working to make a placement. However, the good recruiter knows a good placement — the right person in the right job, happy and productive — means return business from the client, and from you.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series. In part 2, we’ll discuss exploring the opportunity with your recruiter.
~Catherine Buck Morgan
Corporate Media Specialist, DPP
Photo by K Schneider on Flickr. Some rights reserved.