Things to think about before working with a Recruiter

job-seeker-button (1)Although I am biased I do believe working with a recruiter can be a successful and easier way to find a new career path than doing it on your own.  That being said, recruiters are not always the best way to go depending on your personal circumstance.  I will go through some common questions and issues to look at before working with a recruiter.  The number one question you have to ask yourself before working with a recruiter is “Am I exceptional?”  What does that mean?  It means that a recruiter has to work with the top performers especially since he or she is getting paid a fee for placing you in a company.  It’s a great free service (there are some recruiters that require money from candidates they work with but I am not one of them) for the candidate but the client company is expecting someone that is a difference maker.  A company that works with a recruiter wants someone that can hit the ground running with little to no training.  To use a sports analogy they’re looking for a Starter not someone that comes off the Bench.

Another challenge when working with a recruiter is placing a deadline on the search.  The job search process can take months and the old saying was it takes a month of searching for every 10K of your salary.  That translates to 12 months to find a new position if you’re making 120K.  Let me be clear – I do not subscribe to that salary based time line on any job search.  The job market is too unpredictable and volatile to try to boil it down to a simple equation.  However, I do believe that you need to expect the process to take at least 3 months and many times a good amount more depending on your circumstances.  Therefore I do think it is often tougher to work with a recruiter if you need to be somewhere else in a very short time frame, unless the recruiter has one or more jobs that fit you when you first call him or her.

Asking a recruiter to help you get an interview with a company after you’ve already tried on your own is another trend I’m seeing more and more currently.  If you’ve sent a resume in to a company and you haven’t heard back it can be very frustrating.  I can definitely empathize, but once the company has your information on file they’ve likely already made their decision that you’re not a fit for one reason or another usually based on your resume.  Also once a company has your information on file they will typically not pay a recruiter a fee for bringing you to their attention.  Therefore I always tell candidates I am actively working with to call me before sending off their resume so I can let them know if I’m already working on the Search or if I have connections at the company to help them get an interview.

Realistic expectations are key to success when working with a recruiter, but it’s also important to look for win-win scenarios.  Partnering with the right recruiter can give you a strong long-term advocate and advisor that can help make a difference in attaining your career goals.

How to make a hit in the Job Market

Michael_Jordan_BaseballWhat are companies looking for when hiring today? It’s a question that I get asked so many times I want to tell you what I’m seeing. If I had to boil it down I’d say you should be doing what the hiring company is looking for in your current position. Prospective candidates always tell me “I can do that job” and confidence is great, but it’s more important that you have done the same type of job for another company (sometimes a competitor). I often use sports examples when trying to make point about the hiring process so here goes. If Tom Brady decides he wants to be the starting pitcher on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox this year should he be allowed to start? As an outstanding athlete maybe he believes he could be successful. Sounds a little crazy but that’s the way a lot of companies will look at a candidate with no industry specific experience that guarantees success. Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous examples of Executives that go to new industries especially in sales and marketing roles where they continue to thrive. That being said you’re often most valuable in the industry where you have made your mark. Just ask Michael Jordan how things worked out for him when he tried baseball after dominating basketball for so many years. Also ask him what he was paid as an unproven player in Minor League Baseball as opposed to his salary in the NBA.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is the ability to show a progression in your career. Have you built a reputation and a name for yourself in your chosen Field? If you have it will be obvious when you begin to test the job market. Strong companies are almost always willing to look at a difference maker that is proven especially when they are working for a competitor. That’s why so many companies require such executives to sign non-compete agreements. I always tell people to keep an eye on the competition while making certain to not burn any bridges. When looking for a new position always remember that actions speak louder than words. So don’t tell them you can do it, show them that you have done it, and done it well.

Key Account Manager – Seafood

Title: Key Account Manager
Salary:  100K Base with Bonus Potential
Description:  Growing New Bedford area Seafood Company seeks outstanding Key Account sales candidate. Seafood sales experience required along with strong industry contacts. Position will require Inside and Outside sales
Industry: Food & Beverage
Category: Sales

Apply Here

“Thoughts of a Recruiter in this Economy”

515_WEB2As I start writing a blog that I will try to update twice a month with thoughts on recruiting, hiring and career issues I realize how important business relationships are to success in any career.  As resources like Twitter, LinkedIn, and various Job Boards increase in popularity many Hiring Managers have less and less contact with the people that are applying to work for their company.  Applicants have to wonder what type of Black Hole their resume and application have been sucked into.  Human Resource Managers are inundated with applicants to such a large degree that often there is not even an acknowledgement that they have received your resume.  I have spoken with several candidates that often say that is getting more and more dehumanizing to search for a job in today’s market.  It’s important to realize that there’s a person attached to that resume you received and they want to know where they stand in the process.  Bad news is never easy or pleasant to give to people, but leaving people in Limbo is often worse and more frustrating.

Another troubling trend that I see is companies that talk about “partnering” with vendors and “valuing” their employees still push both to the limit.  In a market where employees are already stretched very thin, more and more companies seem to be adding responsibilities while paying the same or less salary wise.  It has been quite a buyer’s market for some years now, but is making your budget on the backs of your most valuable human resource a good strategy?  Maybe in the short term, but as the saying goes – what goes around comes around.  How you treat people is also a huge factor in how likely those same people are to help you if and when you need them.  It’s also a major factor in employee retention.  Many surveys say employees are now more stressed and less satisfied with their current jobs.

For me it’s been interesting because in such a tough job market you don’t want to be firing the clients that pay you.  However, it doesn’t take too long to figure out which companies are interested in partnering with you and which companies are not.   Actions always speak louder than words.  When companies do not get back to me with timely feedback on resumes and candidate interviews, I am put in a tough position.  Companies also have to realize lack of communication during the hiring process usually has a very negative affect on the company’s perception with prospective job seekers.  I have had to counsel a few clients and explain to them that professionalism and responsiveness also affects my effectiveness on their searches.  I was pleasantly surprised by some of the responses and one client (a business owner) even apologized to me saying “How would I feel if I was looking and I couldn’t get an answer on my candidacy.”    Recruiting is a relationship business and as people move from company to company having those relationships is key to success.  Treat people the way you would want to be treated and the rest will fall into place, because you never know when you’ll be the one asking for a favor.