December 13, 2023

Maximizing the Benefits of Collaborating with a Recruiter

Lauren Kemp

In today's job market, where the unemployment rate is 3.7%, working with a recruiter has become a strategic move for job seekers. However, the focus has shifted from this benefit merely being where a recruiter connects a candidate to a job to cultivating a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship between candidates and recruiters. To maximize this benefit, read below to learn the signs of a good recruiter, how you may benefit from working with a recruiter, and an outline of a recruiter's role before, during, and after your career search.

Signs of a Good Recruiter: The distinction between a recruiter who is relationship-focused versus one who is purely transactional is important. One who is relationship-focused will likely have the following characteristics:

- Embodies industry-specific expertise.

- Serves as an advocate for candidates.

- Offers resourceful support in navigating the job hunt.

- Leverages their insights to align candidates with suitable opportunities.

Companies hire recruiters to source hidden talent, not already available to them, without charging candidates, and good recruiters prioritize candidates' best interests during negotiations, striving for mutually beneficial outcomes.

What does a Recruiter do?

Recruiters are not mere matchmakers between candidates and roles. They function as coaches or "career agents," guiding candidates through every stage of the employment process. Their direct connections with hiring managers enable them to advocate more effectively for candidates, leading toward win-win matches. Recruiters can also aid candidates in navigating notice periods, contributing to a seamless transition into new roles.

In best-case scenarios, a candidate will have a relationship with a trusted recruiter before their career search even begins, so when the time comes for a job change, they already know of a trusted person to contact. On the flip side, many roles are filled before they are even made public. It is never a bad idea to be top of mind with a recruiter who has these industry insights and can present you with a position that meets your needs before it goes broad-audience.

They've Got Your Back:

One of the most tangible benefits of a recruiter-candidate relationship is the extensive support provided. Recruiters not only align you with career opportunities and present you to clients, but they also prepare you for the interview process, enhance resumes for stronger impressions, and equip candidates with other tools necessary for success.

Furthermore, they offer insights into market salaries based on a candidate's skill set, ensuring fair compensation. Did you know that salary increases have hit a 40-year high? Based on our placement data, J2T Financial Recruiting observed an impressive 13% increase overall in average salaries from 2023. If you want to ensure fair compensation in your career search and ensure no money is left on the table, contact us at Atassoul@j2t-recruiting.com to obtain a copy of our J2T Financial Recruiting 2024 Accounting and Finance Salary Guide.

What can you Expect as a Candidate?

Candidates should anticipate comprehensive assistance from recruiters, regardless of their career stage. There is a common misconception that working with a recruiter is for those with longevity in their field and vast career experience. Recruiters represent a range of candidates, from those breaking into the workforce to those seeking C-suite level positions with 20+ years in their field. J2T recognizes the different needs a new entrant may have compared to someone with years of experience. For this reason, we have two distinct divisions:

- J2T: Specializes in direct hire on the senior to CFO level

- J2T Flex: Specializes in contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire from associate-level positions to staff-level.

As a candidate, you should expect a recruiter who is focused on relationship building, can meet you where you are professionally, and offers a range of services and advice based on your unique needs.

Long-term Career Support

Beyond immediate job placement, viewing recruiters as long-term career partners can be immensely beneficial. They serve as a gateway to future opportunities and offer advice even after securing a position. Cultivating this ongoing relationship ensures continued career growth and evolution, so even if you are not actively seeking a new job now, staying in touch with a recruiter helps you plan for a future job change.

Collaborating with a recruiter in today's job market extends beyond finding a job; it's about fostering a meaningful partnership. Recognizing the traits of a good recruiter, leveraging their multifaceted support, and nurturing a lasting relationship not only enhances career search success but also fosters continued career growth.