The phrase “It's not what you know, it's who you know” can be incredibly frustrating to hear during your job search. The fact that getting hired can have more to do with your network than with the expertise you bring to the table can be demoralizing.
The easy workaround here is working with a recruiter! Recruiters have the insider knowledge you need to ace the interview process and get an offer! It is essential to identify a recruiter who can best act as a partner to you in your job search. You should partner with a recruiter whose network you can lean on to get you in front of the right hiring managers faster.
The average job posting will receive 250 applications over its lifetime. Of these 250, between 4 and 6 will be called for an interview. Working with a recruiter is the most direct way to set yourself apart from the crowd; it will get you seen. This article details the ins and outs of recruiting and how to navigate your placement process.
According to a survey of 4000 recruiters, 48% say that their biggest challenge in 2022 is talent shortage. If you have industry expertise, odds are you are in high demand for placement.
How do I find a recruiter?
Identifying great people to work with can be tricky, but there are several strategies you can use.
- A referral from someone who has had a positive experience with a recruiter is an excellent place to start. Your connections and friends are a great resource, and chances are some have worked with a recruiter. Maybe a recruiter placed them in a great job or filled an open position within their company. A referral may be from someone they have already worked with; igniting a great partnership begins with an understanding that you come highly recommended. That mutual respect gets both of you off on the right foot.
- Make sure you have a high-quality LinkedIn profile. It may sound crazy, but LinkedIn is an essential tool for anyone searching for a job. 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates to fill their client’s positions. A good LinkedIn should parallel your resume and showcase your expertise and personality.
- Don’t be afraid to just ask. If you lack a recruiter connection and aren’t having any luck with LinkedIn, don’t worry. J2T and many other agencies are willing to help qualified candidates find their perfect position. Recruitment firms often have existing company clients who desperately need a specific job. You never know, you may just be their ideal candidate.
When looking for a recruiter, you may have to submit a resume and letter of interest. Make sure that your resume is clean and optimized for automatic screening when you do this. Up to 45% of recruitment agencies utilized automated screening services.
Why should I work with a recruiter?
Over 70% of all job seekers in America search for jobs solely through job boards and online portals. When you work with a recruiter, you can stand out from most passive candidates and show you mean business.
When you utilize a recruiter, you are working with someone who has a track record of success and a plethora of deep industry connections. This legacy and network are crucial to being an effective recruiter. Combined with a robust reference from a former client, these two critical aspects will make for an effective recruiting experience.
Recruiters will always have a more extended reach than you. After all, their entire job revolves around networking. Their network and secondary network are likely dozens of times larger than yours.
What makes a good recruiter?
Many elements make a great recruiter; here are a few crucial ones:
- Has specific industry knowledge and expertise. Your recruiter should be an expert in your field; they should be comfortable with the culture, lingo, and shared commonalities within.
- Has an extensive, well-kempt network that spans dozens of organizations. As we mentioned before, a good network is endlessly essential for job searching. Your recruiter should have a big network to advocate for you by proxy.
- Skilled at highlighting their candidate’s strengths. Your recruiter should be able to advocate for your skills and personality. They should know what gets you excited and where you can shine in your career. For example, if you’re excellent at data analytics but don’t have the best people skills, your recruiter should understand that about you. They should be able to communicate that to any company interested in you, so they will know if they fit the position and overall culture.
- Is aware of trends and patterns that create openings. If your recruiter isn’t aware of the general trends and directions your industry is heading in, they will not be privy to companies that need to fill positions. These trends are invaluable information; a preemptive inquiry into a position can be the critical factor that lands you the job.
- Is empathetic of their candidate’s wants and needs. Your recruiter should put themselves in your shoes. They need to walk your walk to fully know where you will fit best. If you have a special requirement for working conditions, your recruiter should be aware and understand this to a high degree.
- Is proactive and forward-looking. If your recruiter is stuck in the past, whether technologically, industry-wise, or communication-wise, they cannot serve you as they should. Every industry is constantly in flux, moving towards the next big thing.
- Has deep attention to detail. As a cap to all of these aspects, your recruiter should be able to handle large amounts of detail and information. You wouldn’t want them to confuse you with someone else! They should be able to juggle the personal and professional information about all of their candidates simultaneously.
When you are seeking a recruiter, keep these qualities in mind. Your chances of landing your dream position skyrocket when you are working with someone who makes you the priority.
There are also certain personality traits that great recruiters usually share:
- High self-confidence (without being arrogant)
- You want your recruiter to have a command of social interactions. They should be highly capable of being believable and respectable. However, they should never come off as cocky or overconfident; that can bleed over to the employer’s perception of you.
- Excellent, clear communication skills
- Your recruiter is communicating for you. They need to efficiently support you and your desires to a potential employer; otherwise, they will lose interest.
- Natural salesperson
- Keep in mind that in many ways, a recruiter is selling you. They are your billboard, and they must be good at it.
- Likable and relatable
- A recruiter should be pleasant to converse with; they should always be respectful, friendly, and kind.
While these personality traits are not necessarily essential, it certainly helps the process along. If your recruiter lacks in these areas, you may see a slow turnaround.
Does my recruiter need to be specialized?
Another essential consideration when seeking a recruiter is understanding what industry they serve. Many recruiters specialize in a specific industry or function, and it is often a huge benefit to work with someone who understands what you do. Ideally, they also have a network of clients who hire in your profession. A great recruiter will spend 100% of their time networking and better understanding the critical trends in their area of expertise.
Recruiters who don’t specialize may be great at what they do. Despite this, if they spend their morning placing marketing professionals and their afternoon recruiting engineers, your position is not getting the focus you need. This lack of focus is why you need to work with an industry specialist.
A good recruiter needs to understand your motives in your search, and in turn, you need to feel comfortable telling them why you left your last role and why you need to make a move. Make sure you are working with someone you like. You don’t have to spend your free time with your recruiter, but if you don’t feel like you can ask them the right questions or feel comfortable being 100% honest with them, it may not be the right fit.
You will be discussing the salary you need, you are entrusting this person to get you that salary or tell you that you should lower or raise your expectations. These can be difficult discussions to have but will help you land in a role where you are happy, can grow, and are paid what you are worth. You must work with someone you can communicate these needs to.
What are the drawbacks of recruiting?
Recruiting is a wonderful way to get placed as a candidate. Still, there are a few cons of recruiting:
- Time. Like any other job search, the recruiter placement process can take time. Just remember to be patient.
- Cost. Placing a candidate through a recruiter can be a pricy strategy to fill a job opening. Often, the recruiter will take a large percentage of the position's salary as payment. However, this cost is fronted by the employer, not the candidate.
- Poor communication. Recruiters get a bad rap for being uncommunicative and indifferent toward client needs. In the modern-day, most recruitment agencies (J2T included) take a personalized approach, so you shouldn't have to worry about this.
- Unfair. Some would argue that it is morally ambiguous to target a specific person within an organization and place them in a new position elsewhere. Recruiters will often do this, which likely gave rise to the “headhunter” moniker. Regardless of your view on headhunting, there is almost always a net benefit to the candidate in these situations. They get a new, shiny job, likely with a bigger paycheck and better benefits.
The recruiting industry may seem daunting and confusing at first, but it is all about people at the end of the day. Communications, relationships, and connections are king when it comes to recruitment. When a recruiter places you, you are tapping into a whole new universe of people.
This article has detailed the nitty-gritty behind the recruitment industry. You are now equipped with the knowledge to choose a great recruiter. Now that you’ve laid the foundation, you can go off into the job market with the confidence that a recruiter brings.
Do you specialize in accounting or finance? Are you in need of a better job? If so, J2T can help with your recruiting needs. As Colorado and Montana’s premier finance and accounting recruiter, we offer the best in advocacy, authenticity, and relationships. If you are looking to be placed or need a position filled, please contact us here and let us know how we can help.