Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where Oh Where Has My Resume Gone?

Where is your resume going?  Why is it important to know?  I've touched on this topic before when discussing important questions to ask your recruiter, and feel it is worth more attention.
Experienced Healthcare IT Consultants often receive multiple calls and emails from industry recruiters on a weekly basis.  Sometimes it is difficult keeping all the information straight, but 2 things are imperative:  1.  You should always keep a spreadsheet to track where your resume has been submitted.  2.  You should always know the name of the client where your resume will be sent.

Why are these 2 items so important?  For starters.... for your own sanity.  It is bad practice to apply for multiple opportunities without tracking your process.  What if you have spoken to 4 different recruiters from 4 different firms about 6 different opportunities that may be a fit for your qualifications?  Along with all the other things you have to remember on a daily basis, are you really going to remember which recruiter posed which position to you with what requirements without writing it down?  What happens if Recruiter A calls you to request a client interview and you get it mixed up with the job description Recruiter B gave you about another opportunity?  How will that sound in interview?  How will it look if you say to the recruiter "what was the job again?" Not very professional at the very least, and at the worst, like you're interviewing for anything that comes along.  I have a hard time remembering scheduled conference calls, let alone all the information involved in job descriptions, thank goodness for outlook calendar and databases!

Another faux pas made by people in the employment search process is to give a recruiter permission to submit their resume to a client without obtaining important information about the client.
Before you allow a recruiter to submit your resume you should ask these 3 essential questions:
A.  What is the name and location of the client?
B.  Do you have a contract with this client?
C.  When should I expect to hear back from you about next steps?

Here are a few situations that may arise when you have not asked the above questions.
(A) By not knowing the name and location of the client these scenarios may arise:
>The recruiter submits your resume to the client and it turns out it is a facility that you have NO desire to go to.  (due to location or culture or other reasons, by knowing in advance this saves you, the client and the recruiter time and energy)
>There are potential non-compete issues; for instance, because you were recently employed by a consulting firm and the position is with one of their clients or you were at that facility previously and it isn't listed on your resume. (or various other scenarios with non-compete contracts, again saving you, the Recruiter and the client valuable time)
>Another recruiter from a different firm just submitted your resume to this client 3 days ago. (Many clients that receive the same resume from different sources will throw out the resume, feeling that the candidate is not worth their time) With the shortage of qualified personnel in the Healthcare IT Industry, many Healthcare Facilities and Consulting Firms are working with multiple staffing vendors to fill their roles, so you may be approached my more than one recruiter about the same opportunity.

(B) Why it's important that the Staffing or Consulting firm have a contract with their client:
>If the recruitment company doesn't have a signed contract in place with the client it is very possible you will never receive a response on your resume, or if you do get into the interview process it may take weeks for an offer to be finalized while you wait for the contracts to be approved.
>You may get a call the following week from a Recruiter with another firm that DOES have a client contract in place with the same facility you've already been submitted to, but you now have to avoid a duplicate submittal and must continue working with the first company.

(C)Why knowing when to anticipate follow up is important:
>When you end the conversation with a recruiter without having an idea when to anticipate follow up, you may never hear back from them.  One of the chief complaints I hear from candidates is that they had an interview with a recruiter who promised to submit their resume to a client and they NEVER heard from the recruiter again. 
>Some clients are great about immediate response, others can take weeks.  A good Recruiter will know their clients and be able to give you an idea of their normal response time and what to expect for next steps in the interview process.

There are no good reasons for a recruiter to keep their client confidential.  If a Recruiter refuses to divulge the name of a client, find someone else to work with.

I've had the following situation arise many times over the years, you definitely do not want this to happen to you:
I speak to a highly qualified candidate about a particular position, describe the responsibilities, job title, discuss pay, travel, client information and all the particulars, only to have the candidate say "I am very interested but think I may have been submitted by such&such company for this job last week.  I'm not sure, they didn't give me the name of the client or the exact location but it sounds similar."
I then inquire if they have received any response from the recruiter since then and they say "No."  This puts us both in a tough situation.  I shouldn't forward their resume to my client, because if I do, and in fact the other recruiter did as well, the client is likely to disregard the candidate all together. Unfortunately the candidate isn't getting feedback from the other recruiter and has no way of knowing who their client is or if they even have a contract with that client because they didn't ask. The candidate may also may miss out on a great opportunity if my client is not the same client as the other company but we do not submit their resume because of concerns that it might be.
By taking the extra time to ask those 3 important questions you will be saving yourself and the recruiters you work with valuable time and energy.

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