Thinking About Working With a Job Recruiter?

A job recruiter can be a powerful ally when it comes to you finding the right job.  But don’t mistake a recruiter for a career coach who will give you strategic guidance and a greater clarity of purpose for your career.  Recruiters are in business to get people hired. 

Recruiters typically work in 2 capacities, Internal and External.   Internal recruiters, also known as “corporate” recruiters, work inside the employer’s organization and usually collect a paycheck (salary) from the employer who has the jobs open.

Their office will typically be on the employer’s premises, and their email and phone will typically be part of the employer’s email and phone system. So, their email will probably be Jane.Doe@[employer] or possibly HR@[employer], recruiting@[employer], or something similar. To reach them by phone, you may call the employer’s main number and then ask for their extension, or you may call them directly.

External recruitersalso known as “independent” recruiters, do not receive a paycheck from the employer who has the open jobs. They work for someone else, a recruiting firm or agency, which issues their paychecks. Some, of course, work for themselves. None are on the payroll of the employer with the open jobs.

How to Work with Internal Recruiters

Very carefully. They are not “on your side” in this process. No matter how friendly, they are not your friend (yet). Always present your “best” self to them. Do not confide in them, or ask them to do you any favors. Be professional and business-like in all your communications with them. Wear your interview outfit if you are invited in for a meeting with them.

Typically, they are your official contact for the process. So, when you have questions or concerns, you are usually advised to contact the recruiter. Be careful not to abuse this contact function because it can have a negative impact on your opportunity with that employer. Do you best to avoid the “difficult-to-work-with” label, because that will greatly reduce (if not eliminate) your opportunities inside that organization.

How to Work with External Recruiters

The best part about working with an external recruiter is that you both usually have the same goal — getting you placed with the employer. Again, don’t tell them your deepest secrets, but do be honest with them about your interests and experience. If you have gaps or other issues, they may be able to help you strategize a way to present yourself in the best light.

Don’t expect them to help you figure out what you want to do, but do expect them to provide you with some insight into what is going on inside the employer’s organization – what the “hot” issues are, who are apt to be your allies in the hiring process, and who the real decision makers are.

After you have been in for an interview, they may be your primary source of information on what is going on “behind the curtain” during the often extended hiring process. Try very hard not to drive them crazy with daily calls, but do stay in touch.

If you land a job through an external recruiter, be sure to send them a thank you. A good relationship with an external recruiter can be an asset to your career for many years. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Send cards during the holidays. Refer top performers you know to these external recruiters to strengthen your relationship with them and help them to remember you with positive feelings.

Connect with Recruiters

Most external recruiters, and many internal recruiters, are open to LinkedIn connection invitations. Being connected to as many people as possible in LinkedIn is an advantage to them because it enables them to do a substantial amount of research in LinkedIn without paying the extra fee LinkedIn likes to collect from recruiters.

Recruiters often use LinkedIn Groups to find, connect with, and monitor good potential candidates, so join the professional and industry associations appropriate for your career. (Huffington Post).

When it comes to your job search you will probably want to exhaust your resources to give yourself the greatest opportunities.  Working with a recruiter may be a good way to do that.

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