I am an internationally trained accountant, with lots of experience and expertise, who is looking for a better job and career growth. I would like to work with recruiters and placement agencies in my field.I have heard mixed reports on the helpfulness of these types of companies. I really don’t understand how they operate.
Please could you explain how I can work effectively with recruiters in my field?
Signed: Recruiter Resistance
To help answer your question, we consulted Raffi Toughlouian, Vice President – Branch Manager at Robert Half International, who is a leader in his field with more than 10 years of experience, focusing on the financial and business industries. To clarify some of the confusion around the role of recruiters in the job search process, Toughlouian always educates his candidates from the get-go on what they can expect.
He provides these tips on how to work effectively with recruiters:
1. Understand the business.
Recruiting firms may be known as placement/outplacement firms, search firms, temp agencies (for temporary work), or recruiting/consulting firms. The staff may be called recruiters or head hunters. They commonly field offers of work for many occupations, including office work, architecture, financial services, accounting, nursing, child care, creative, information technology, engineering and executive positions. Fee structures vary for different companies – but in all cases, a recruiter is paid by the employer.
Importantly, the recruiting firm should not charge you for the work they do on your behalf. Remember that the recruiter is working for the employer.
2. Be ready. Recruiting firms work quickly.
If the recruiter feels your resume and social media profiles meet the qualifications of their client (i.e. the employer), you will be invited in to be interviewed and potentially tested for work that is technical or office related. This is usually done before the interview with the prospective employer.
3. Do your research.
Often, successful recruiters specialize in one particular profession/area of expertise and are subject matter experts in those fields. Therefore, job seekers should identify companies and positions they are specifically qualified for and seek out recruiters who work with them. This is especially true for upper management roles, as companies searching to fill these positions typically rely on an established relationship with a recruiter or recruiting firm.
Keep in mind that you have the right to register with more than one search firm.
4. Build a partnership.
When working with a recruiter, you are developing an important professional relationship. There has to be mutual respect between the candidate and the recruiter for this to be successful. If you are invited in for an interview and testing, you will be working with a recruiter, or a few recruiters, who are responsible for your file. Employers hire candidates who not only have the technical skills required to do the job, but candidates who they feel have a professional outlook that is compatible with the business culture. Same applies to recruiters.
Follow up with them. They are your gatekeeper to your future boss. Be honest, state your employment conditions, salary expectations and what your goals are for your next role.
5. Be flexible — consider permanent, part-time, contract or temporary assignments.
Refer to my case above: after you apply for jobs on the staffing agency’s site, follow up with the recruiter assigned to the job (usually at the bottom of the job posting) with a phone call to make sure he or she received your resume and application.