Monday, March 28, 2011

What has Your Recruiter Done for You Lately? Part 2

More importantly, what have you done for a recruiter lately?

In my last “Four Degrees” blog we examined the role of recruiters; the difference between retained and contingent recruiters and why job seekers often find working with recruiters to be an "unproductive" experience at best. So what are the most effective ways to leverage recruiters as a resource in your career management and or job search? 

1. Keep in mind that recruiters really don't work for you.
First and foremost, as discussed in my previous post, it is imperative to understand and remember that recruiters don't work for you ( the job seeker). They are paid by and primarily responsible to the employer who has engaged their services.

2. Consider recruiters to be a small (5 percent or less) part of your overall strategy.
Translation: Spend no more than 5 percent of your valuable time and effort working with recruiters. Make them part of the 10 percent of your overall time and effort I suggest that you spend responding or "reacting" to advertised jobs or opportunities that may come your way, from a recruiter as an example. Spend 90 percent of your time proactively establishing relationships with actual hiring managers at organizations in which you want to work for by following my “Four Degrees Method.”

3. Follow a WIFT / proactive strategy with recruiters.
By "proactive" I don't mean calling recruiters you happen to know repeatedly to tell them you are looking and asking what opportunities the recruiter may have for you. Instead employ the “Four Degrees Method” to first, identify all the recruiters who specialize in your target industry. 

Next use a "What's in it for them" (WIFT) Strategy. Contact them with something of value to THEM, not you. As an example introduce yourself, tell them a little about your experience and knowledge of the industry and ask them what searches they are working on and offer to refer candidates you may know that may be a fit or may be a referral to someone else.

Consider asking the recruiter about who would be an ideal client (by "client" I mean paying "employer client" as opposed to a non-paying "candidate client"). Offer to make introductions or referrals for them to key decision makers who may engage their services. Be seen as an asset, not just another candidate looking for a job.

I have more than 5,000 "candidates" in my database and I can count on one, maybe two, hands those who have proactively approached me with a WIFT Strategy. In doing so these innovative candidates set themselves far apart from the "pack." As a result, I as the recruiter am much more inclined to see what I can do for them.