Your relationships with your recruiters should be like your relationship with your Hair Stylist/Barber or Massage Therapist or Shrink, you wouldn’t think of using anyone else unless something catastrophic happens. In the Healthcare IT industry there are almost as many recruiters as there are consultants so how do you choose and what should you know about maintaining that relationship?
Use Your Instincts: Initially you should go with your gut. Do you genuinely LIKE the person? When the recruiter contacted you were they easy to talk to? Did they try to give you a “hard-sell” or did they actually listen to what you were looking for? Do they understand your qualifications and know how to represent you to their client? Were they forthright about discussing the financial aspects of the role/the client/the particulars? If you’re feeling good about the person, then it’s time to build that relationship.
Building the Relationship: Has the recruiter followed up with you even if the position they originally called you about has stagnated or you weren’t chosen to interview? Are you inclined to feel they have your best interests at heart? Do they call you with other opportunities? With each conversation are you getting to know one another a bit better so they understand your salary requirements, personality, location, availability, qualifications? Are they calling/emailing you about the right type of positions? If so it’s time to give them some loyalty.
Providing Loyalty: Most recruiters work on a commission or salary plus commission basis. This means that their livelihood depends on how many placements they make. There is competition in the recruitment industry very similar to the sales industry, so developing relationships with candidates is a recruiter’s best road to success. Certainly there are some recruiters that adhere to what I call the “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” version of recruiting where they burn and churn through candidates to get their next hire with very little regard to honesty, integrity or loyalty and that will become apparent very quickly to the candidate. It is always wise to form relationships with a variety of recruiters from different firms to make sure you’re getting the most exposure in your industry, but what about dealing with 2 recruiters from the SAME company?
Different Recruiters, Same Company: What most candidates do not know is that normally recruiters working for the same company have access to the same job openings. If you have a strong relationship with John from Point Blank Staffing and you receive a call from Terry instead, whom you’ve never worked with before, you should ask Terry: “does John still work for your company?, I’ve worked with him for a long time and I’d like to speak with him about this role”. You would expect that Terry will give you an honest answer and put you on the phone with John. Keep in mind even though the Recruiters are working for the same firm, they are still in competition with each other for placements and commission. Some companies are set up differently but most use this business model.
By building relationships with a few recruiters that work for different firms you should be well represented in your marketplace and depending on your qualifications, should be able to stay busy with contracts or be able to land the permanent job you’ve been dreaming of. Keep in mind that the ball is ALWAYS in your court. You are the person with the talent and education and qualifications we are seeking. You have the right to choose which recruiters you want to work with, what positions you want your resume submitted to and what contracts/job you accept. The very best way to find the ideal opportunity is to have a strong relationship with the recruiters that represent you.*Use of any parts of this blog are prohibited without the permission of the author*