Recruiters & Headhunters – Are they worth it?
Typically there are two schools of thought when it comes to getting help with your job hunt. One is that employment agencies and recruiters don’t really have the jobs they post and it’s just a bait and switch game. The second is that the more nets you cast into the sea, the more opportunities you will potentially see. Personally, I am a believer in the second.
Recruiters should not be viewed as gatekeepers, but rather, they can be valuable career advisors. They want to get you into a well-paying position as badly as you want to find one. They aren’t likely to place you in a position you won’t succeed because they will not get paid if you leave before 90 days on the job. Using an employment agency is a win-win situation. You and your recruiter are on the same team and will both benefit from your successfully landing a job. That said, there are some things to be wary of when meeting with a recruiter. Not all recruiters are great at their jobs. 1. It is okay to be skeptical if a recruiter is “selling” you on a certain job posting. The conversation should be less about convincing you to want a position, but rather positioned to be an intelligent career move for the candidate for XYZ reasons.
2. The recruiter should know what the job REALLY entails. While it’s nice to know about the company culture, summer hours or the annual company retreat, the details of what is expected are far more important.
3. You need to present yourself as someone worth knowing. Most recruiters are scouring LinkedIn or attending industry networking events to fill positions. They commonly say, “The people you want to hire aren’t looking.” This has some truth to it, along with, “You never know who knows who.” Always be putting your best self forward. Always have a personal calling card you can hand out. Be be prepared. If I have your card and a recruiter contacts me to inquire if I know anyone for a potential position, if I consider you worth knowing, I am certainly going to give your information to the recruiter. Understand that a good recruiter is not merely posting job openings and waiting for people reach out. A good recruiter is out there networking and building relationships. You want to be doing the same. If your recruiter rarely leaves his cubicle, he is not going to work for you.
As with any interview, be it with the corporate HR manager or a recruiter, first impressions are key. A recruiter is going to be more attentive to a candidate that presents as confident, polished, positive, engaged, and professional. This works both ways…your first impression of your recruiter is going to set the tone for how you interact as a team. Don’t be discouraged if one recruiter is not a good fit. Find another one. Really connecting with a recruiter will make all the difference for the both of you to find the next step in your career path; not merely a job.
If you need referrals to recruiters in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to reach out and I can give you some names of those I’ve personally worked with and know to be reputable.