How to Work With a Recruiter to Get a Job
A staffing professional can give you sound career advice as well as job leads — including those not listed on public job boards. But if you want to take full advantage of working with a recruiter, you need to do your part, too.
Here are some suggestions on how to work with a recruiter to get a job:
1. Ask the right questions
Every relationship begins with a courtship phase as the two parties get to know each other. When selecting a recruiter, you want to be sure that they can help with your specific job search needs. After all, not every talent solutions business is the same.
Here are some questions you can ask to help assess whether a recruiter will represent you well:
- “Do you specialize in the industry I work in?”
- “How often do you staff roles with the skill sets in my background?”
- “In what types of companies and industries have you placed professionals with my types of skills and experience?”
- “Do you proactively market your candidates? How does the process work?”
- “How can I make myself for marketable to employers?”
See this post to learn more about what recruiters look for in candidates when hiring.
2. Be straightforward about your expectations
Explain to the recruiter what you’re looking for in a job — and what you’re not. For example, are you seeking contract assignments or a full-time role? Would you prefer working remotely all or part of the time? Being up front about your objectives is the only way a staffing professional can do the best possible job for you.
Likewise, be clear about your salary history, the responsibilities you held at previous positions and why you left past roles. First impressions set the tone for your relationship with a recruiter, and being forthcoming demonstrates trustworthiness.
It’s fine to look for work on your own, but don’t leave your recruiter out of the loop. Promptly inform them if you have a job lead in the pipeline. The same holds true for personal obligations that might impact your availability. Knowing how to work with a recruiter on your job hunt will help improve your odds of landing the kind of job you want.
Want to start working with a recruiter? Get the ball rolling and submit your resume to Robert Half today!
3. Don’t expect recruiters to do everything
Recruiters can give you guidance — but not act on those recommendations for you. You can ask them for tips on the best resume format for you, for instance, but it’s not their job to write that document for you.
Recruiters can provide an objective view of your chances of landing a job, which is critical as you move forward in the hiring process. Ask for a candid appraisal of your strengths as a candidate. If they’re doing their job, they’ll give you unvarnished feedback. But that means you need to listen without going on the defensive — and then be willing to act based on their advice.
4. Don’t be shy about money
There’s no reason to withhold information about your compensation expectations or what you’ve been paid by past employers. The recruiter’s job is to suggest a rate or salary that’s agreeable to both parties.
If you’re unsure about your salary expectations, check out the latest Robert Half Salary Guide. It can help you determine what to expect based on your skills, experience and location. Armed with that information, you’ll feel more confident when discussing money with potential employers.
Don’t be disappointed if your recruiter suggests some positions that don’t perfectly match your desired location, rate of pay or exact position. They want to provide as many viable options as possible so you can start working sooner rather than later. Holding out for that perfect job could leave you waiting forever.
5. Stay in touch
Many recruiters continue to provide guidance while you’re on assignment, especially while you’re new. That goes for you, too: Be sure to approach your recruiter first about any issues you might be experiencing with a company.
If you’re hired for a full-time role, make a point to keep the recruiter who helped you in your professional network. You never know when you might decide to launch a new job search, or when one of your contacts needs assistance making their next career move.
6. Spread the good news
When you find a talent solutions firm you love to work with, consider recommending the business to friends and colleagues. Great referrals can help to raise your profile — and may inspire recruiters to think of you as new job opportunities arise.
No matter where you are in the job-hunting process, honesty and responsiveness provide a great foundation for building a solid relationship with any recruiter.