Recruiters appear to be at the top of most jobseekers’ hit lists. Most people I have come across are certainly soured by the recruiter/jobseeker relationship, united in their criticisms that search consultants are the impenetrable brick wall to job search success; the self-serving, commission-focused obstructionist front line preventing a love match between the candidate and the employer.
Recruiters are human, so naturally there will be people who try to take the line of least resistance, be burned out or dismissive of your emotions. For those few who give the industry a bad name, there are many who fly the flag of excellence. Those people can be your greatest advocate as “Holder of the Secrets”.
Did you know that the search consultant can run interference for you on salary, benefits and perks? Search Consultants know what the employer wants, are savvy to the lengths the employer is willing to pay, understand the classifications and pay scales the firm follows, and evaluates the potential for negotiations. After advising you, the recruiter is able to test that flexibility without your involvement, leaving you squeaky clean, talented and willing to start work when everything has been ironed out. Recruiters are used to negotiations; it is part of the business and is expected by the employer. No emotions involved, no bad feelings. Allow them to apply their knowledge to your benefit.
As “Holder of the Secrets” the search consultant has been fully briefed on the required experience and industry background the employer demands. Consequently, if the recruiter suggests to you that your resume should include more information about your time at BHP in 1986 because the employer wants the candidate to have mining and exploration experience, then do it! Regardless of how silly it sounds or how it goes against everything you know about resumes, just do it! As “Holder of the Secrets” the recruiter is leaving crucial signposts to help you on your journey. It is up to you to heed this advice and recognise these pointers as “secrets” other candidates may not have or be privy to.
Search consultants have a stake in your successful placement and it is not limited to one commission payment. Experienced recruiters are astute enough to recognise that such relationships are a two-way street; after he helps you, you may choose him to help you hire your team. A kind of “you pat my back, I’ll pat yours” arrangement.
So the next time you deal with a recruiter, given him or her a chance to rise to your expectations before you dismiss them as that sturdy brick wall. You may find that your courtesy, flexibility and willingness to listen will do more for your candidacy and positioning for roles now and in the future, than herding them all under the heading of “necessary evil”.