Recruiters and Headhunters

Do you like recruiters? Do you have an opinion on them?

If a recruiter has ever found a job and placed you there, you must have high praise for them. And of course, their biggest wish is that later when you are the hiring manager, you will call only them. Most of the time, the fee that a recruiter gets for placing you is equal to 20% to 30% of your first year’s salary. The hiring company pays this, not you. There are also “recruiting” companies that charge you, although I have chosen to never use one. In my career, recruiters were wonderful for me when I was at the level of a staff accountant or even a senior accountant. As I moved into management positions, it seems I do a better job of finding the job for me than they have. However, that may also just be a product of the times. In the 1990’s, a company would make up a job description with 10 requirements and be happy if they could find someone that had 3 of them. Today, a candidate better have 12 of the company’s 10 requirements just to get an interview.

In my shotgun approach to the job search, recruiters are always a part. Remember: “Never Say No To Yourself”. So, why not also let them be looking for you. Here are some things to remember about your relationship with recruiters:

  1. Register with as many as you can find. Last time I was looking, I was with 50 different recruiters. The problem is about 10% of the recruiters you sign up with will really be working hard for you. Also, a hiring manager will only call 1 or 2 recruiters. They will say: “Here is what I need, send me 3 resumes.”  If you are not with that recruiter, you are not up for that job.
  2. Tell each one you are only working with them.
  3. NEVER give a recruiter a list of the companies that you have already applied to. A recruiter will tell you they need a list of the companies that you have already applied to. Their reason is that they don’t want to submit you for the same job. The reality is they are looking for you to do the marketing part of their job for them. By giving a recruiter a list of positions that you have applied for, you are actually giving them a list of companies that are looking to fill open positions. The recruiter will then try and send another of their candidates up for the position. Tell the recruiter that you just started looking and the ads you have applied to have been “blind ads” (the company was confidential).
  4. Call and check-in. After meeting a recruiter, call at least once a week to check-in and remind them that you are ready for a new job.
  5. Connect with them on LinkedIn. A lot of the recruiters will post a brief description of a position they are trying to fill. However, you must be connected with them to see it. They almost always accept a request to connect and it is a quick way to increase your number of connections.
  6. Keep a business card.  When you meet with a recruiter, be sure to get a business card. In my experience, I have found that recruiters change companies frequently.
  7. Find recruiters through ads. A lot of the jobs posted on websites like Careerbuilder and Monster, and even in your local newspaper, are actually ads placed by a recruiter. It is a good way to find them and get your foot in the door.

 

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The 500 List and LinkedIn

About 25 years ago, my father was working on his Master’s Degree. What is interesting is that my Dad never got a Bachelor’s degree. He was accepted to a Master’s program based on his business accomplishments. As part of this program, they had guest speakers come in. One of these speakers began his lecture by asking if anyone in the room had ever looked for a job. Of course, everyone in the room raised their hands. He then said, I can guarantee you a job offer in 2 weeks if you do what I am about to tell you. At this point, everyone is on the edge of their seats. He said: the first thing you do is make a list of 500 people that you know. LinkedInNow most people can easily come up with 20 names, maybe even 30 names. But, this list is more than your good friends and family. It is anyone that with a sentence or 2 would sort of know who you are. For example: “We took that class together” or “Our kids go to school together” or “We go to the same Church”. The man said, once you have this list, call each of them and let them know specifically what you are looking for (see our post on the perfect job description under “Job Hunting Tips”). Of these 500 people, 10 will know of an opening that fits you. Another 10 won’t know of one while you are on the phone, but will think of one and call you back within a week. That’s 20 potential jobs that you get to choose from.

Now, LinkedIn has come into the business world to do all of this for you, and a whole lot more. If you have not already done it, create your free LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com). Your goal is for 100% completeness. After adding your resume with at least 3 jobs, you achieve 100% by also adding the following:

  1. At least 50 connections
  2. Profile photo
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Education
  5. At least 3 skills
  6. Industry and postal code
  7. Get at least 3 recommendations (these can replace references on your resume)
  8. Give at least 3 recommendations

You need to use as many “key” words as possible so that your profile comes up in “key” word searches.

After your LinkedIn profile is complete, and you have received several recommendations of your work, put the web address of your profile on your resume. Put it at the top, right after your name, address, phone and e-mail. I also recommend you adding it to your e-mail signature.