How to build relationships with recruiters?


Building a relationship with a recruiter is essential in your job search. You need to have respect for your recruiter. No matter what you have heard about recruiters or what you think of them, they are providing you a service and they could be your vehicle to a new job. I honestly think this is probably THE most important factor in building the relationship, and something that has been lacking whilst the market has been so buoyant.

As a Corporate Recruiter now, I see a change in people’s attitude when they change from thinking I am an agency recruiter to knowing I am truly representing my company. I don’t understand this. Recruiters will represent you into perspective clients, companies with jobs you may never hear of. Recruiters are always good to have on side, you should be using their skills and networks to your advantage.

If you are applying for a role it is up to you to build the relationship, and this starts from the initial interaction. From my point of view, a conversation beats an email. However the conversation needs to have meaning.

Please don’t call with a “I want to know more about the job”. Think about the ad.. think about how you can excel in it, and have questions which will help you tailor your cv to the role. Then tell them you will call them to discuss your potential suitability (at a certain time, get agreement on that) and stick to it.

Know this, you will only form a relationship if you can show, straight off the bat, that you will ad value to that Recruiter. Sounds crass doesn’t it? It’s true though, Recruiters literally get hundreds of calls and emails a day. Remember you are selling them something… yourself, being different and able to ad value to them makes a difference.

Once you speak to a Recruiter, modestly sell yourself, allow them to get to know you. When you get that interview, WOW them. Be open and honest, avoid game playing (For example, I’ve never seen the value of avoiding the salary question, as a Recruiter, it annoys me more than anything). No matter what you hear, I’m not convinced playing a game will give you an advantage one way or another, and I’m not sure you want a one up man ship, competitive style relationship with your recruiter. The more you get paid the more commission they make.. It is in their best interests to get you more. But also it is their job to help you realign expectations if they don’t match the clients budget. The Recruiters job is to find the right person for their client. Your job is to make them know that is you.

If your situation changes, (ie other job offers, the reason you were looking for a job disappears etc)let them know, give them honest feedback from your client interview, good bad or indifferent.

Again, treat them as you want them to treat you, but understand the dynamic of your relationship, you both have the same goal, just coming at it from different angles!

Posted on July 10, 2009, in recruiting, relationships. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good advice Dan…
    Glad to see someone flying the flag for us once in a while


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