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What To Expect When Working With a Recruiter

Recruiting Companies started making strides into the marketplace in the 70's. They were probably one of the first outsourcing practices large companies moved to. Also known as head-hunters, they were known as just a step above a used car salesman. This all changed when large companies like IBM, Ontario Hydro and the Banks realized they were being inundated with resumes for every job they posted.

Remember every resume back then was paper, yes, I said "paper". Delivered in the mail, gasp! The mail room, to the HR secretary to the actual HR Managers were being drowned in paper. Not only did they have to manually screen (no ATS systems) each resume, they also had to reply - yes, gasp, again by paper and stamp. HR Departments were being clogged. Great candidates were being missed. Hence the rise of the "employment/recruitment agencies".

These agencies also had to change the way they did business. Companies didn't want them sending over 100 resumes, they wanted 3 to 5 for each position. The agencies now had to screen all these resumes and find the best candidate. Just like buying a house, the companies attitude was "find me the right candidate or I'll go to another supplier". Keep in mind the agency was only paid if the client hired a candidate. Recruiters had to become experts in their field (technology, finance, administration to name just a few). They also had become experts in the interview process.

Over decades, the recruitment process has changed. Which leads us to the question, "What to expect when working with a Recruiter?"

Industry/Company Knowledge

Recruiters tend to specialize, so if you pick the right one they should be a wealth of knowledge about their field. If you have hooked up with the wrong one the first thing they should do is direct you to an expert recruiter in the field you are looking for. Take advantage of the Recruiter's expertise in the company. Ask them detailed questions about the company and industry. Start with a few simple questions:

  • Company culture - will you fit in, is it a stuffy company, is it too relaxed, does it promote from inside, is training available?
  • is the company expanding?
  • is the company doing lots of hiring?

Expertise in Their Field


Live Jobs

  • Recruiters sign contracts with companies for specific live jobs. These positions could be exclusive to one or more recruiting agencies. They aren't available on the company webpage. This gives the Recruiter you are working with direct access to the hiring manager. Part of this relationship includes knowing what the hiring manager is looking for, and what kind of candidates they have liked in the past.

Resume Help

  • Yes, I said Help. Because of their expertise, they know what the company is looking for. Most companies don't want to see 10-page resumes. Your recruiter will help you to discard the superfluous information and leave in the information the company is interested in for that particular position. Be prepared for them to reformat your resume. Move education from the last page to the first. Highlight the key technologies. Resumes with "I did, I was", "John changed, John has" will be rewritten to use prominent action words. Expect this from them, they are experts in having their candidates (you) get to the next step.

Interviewing

  • Screening Interview: after receiving your resume, be prepared for a screening interview. This interview is basically to make sure you are available, do you have the education and technologies, finds out if you would be willing to do the commute or relocate if necessary. This interview can be done by a Junior Recruiter.
  • Telephone/Video/Face2Face Interview: Prepare for this just like you were being interviewed by the company, with a little less stress. The recruiter's job is not only to find out if you are capable and experienced enough to do the job but also to help you to interview well. They will be looking for your accomplishments and helping you to present them in a relaxed manner. Your "elevator speech" will be fine tuned. Practice your questions and possible interview answers with the recruiter.

Salary/Benefits 

  • The Recruiter will discuss the salary/benefits with you. You don't have to worry about it being discussed in the actual company interview. The Recruiter is your salesman, after finding out what you are expecting they will present this to the Company and help find the perfect match. This will include not only salary negotiation but also vacation, benefits, bonuses, start dates, etc.

Job Offer

  • This will be presented to you and explained. And then you will take it home and read it over again. If you have any questions - call your Recruiter.

Feedback

  • Why didn't you get the job? The recruiter will have feedback from the Company and they should explain to you why you didn't get the job. What were you missing? Was it experience? Education? Too nervous? Too cocky? What can you do to improve? Was your salary expectation too high? Remember they want you to get a job so it's to their advantage to help you improve and analyze what happened.

References

  • This also falls under the bailiwick of the recruiter. Depending on the company the Recruiter will call your references. That doesn't mean they will lie for you so make sure your references are up to date.

Resigning

  • This can be very stressful especially if you have been with the company for a while. The Recruiter will help you through this step. They will offer advice on how the company may make a counter offer and whether you should take it or not. Although their client is the company they also want you to be satisfied in your decision. Recruiters love repeat customers.

 

Do you only get in touch with a Recruiter if there is a specific job you are interested in? Definitely NOT. Recruiters can help you with career changes, re-education advice, getting back into the work force, etc. They are a job hunting resource, use them and form an honest and fulfilling relationship with them.


40% Job Offer Acceptance Rate on Millennials

I have witnessed many changes working in the World’s most culturally integrated and growing City over 30 years in Technology recruitment. The first in a series of topics I will be sharing in a series of posts, on a recent phenomenon that is mind boggling –  I was recently in a meeting with a VP and they are at a 40% close rate on Millennial candidates! Are you kidding me! What is happening to our corporations, mid-sized and start-up companies in the recruitment cycle? Without doing a thing, the close rate should be 75%. In the Agency world we look hard at individual performance if a Recruiter falls below 85% on close rate.

So it has to be the Millennial candidate - right? ... Wrong, our stats show no difference in closing on millennials vs baby boomers.

I was taught by an industry veteran that people look very hard at 6 items even before they consider salary; over time, nothing has changed.  If you understand the needs of a prospect and create a narrative over the full recruitment life cycle, then the offer closes if salary is market reasonable. After 17 years of statistic accumulation, we see a close rate over 90% as being acceptable.  

The General Manager in Sports, Director in Entertainment productions and VP level in business are responsible for the composition of their teams. As we see in current affairs; the bright light in Sports is on capable Managers recruiting and retaining key talent to win; and dark side – the Entertainment industry’s decision makers (Directors and Producers taking advantage of their status), are heavily involved in the process of selection and offer. This leads to simple questions – “Are you involved in every selection in your team?” and “Have you developed a recruit and retain process that works for you?” Not what your company does, not what HR recommends, not what someone in company down the street does, but what works for you?

The Millennial needs are no different than other demographic categorizations. They want interesting and challenging work that makes sense to them in their career progression. Working in an Industry for a company that is either a leader or an up and comer. That the people & managers, technology and location of the suitor meet their individual needs. This is standard closing material. However, I very rarely see this over the vast number of clients with who we have worked with over the decades. 

My recommendation is to use what we do in the Agency world. Constant feedback with the candidate. This is exceptionally difficult to do if you are not using some sort of 3rd party service. Justification of using in-house recruiters versus Agency costs has been around forever. It`s not going away. Therefore how does one get a 3rd party involved? The answer is to both bite the bullet and select your Agency that you have a relationship with (not a company that Purchasing or HR or Administration has chosen) and get on with it, or bring in an outside Consultant versed in closing. The objective is to receive and give feedback through each step and delay in the process. Your favourite sports team didn`t just land the key free agent by putting an offer on the table. They worked the deal from the time they identified the opening to the time when actual ink went on the contract. You must follow the same steps. 

Otherwise 40% is the reality.

In conclusion, the 40% Millennial close doesn’t have to be your reality. If your objective is to build, lead and retain the talent that works for you, then you have to be involved. Develop a process. Like everything else, ask an expert. Make sure you know the 6 non salary related reasons for change (needs). Get an independent 3rd party involved to assist with the feedback. Be bold, sell the opportunity and always be closing.