How To Build A Long-Term Relationship With Your Recruiter
Author: Sophie Donato
Published date: 2018/06
When you’re searching for a new job, who you know and the relationships you have with people are the most valuable connections you can nurture. Whether it be family, a personal connection, an old work colleague or a recruiter, how you connect with people directly impacts the value of your relationship with them.
If you are searching for your next career move via a recruitment consultancy, it’s crucial to understand how recruiters work and the best way to build a fruitful relationship with them. Here are some ways in which you can build a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship with your recruiter.
Do your research
First and foremost, research recruiters in your industry. Actively choose someone who is a specialist in the area you want to get into, as they will have intimate knowledge of the industry and should have strong relationships with key players. Additionally, it’s important to partner with one or two recruiters only, as you won’t get far using the the ‘spray and pray’ approach. Understanding the go-to recruiters in your industry will help narrow your focus.
Get your foot in the door
We’ve all been in that position where you find a job on a job board that you think you could do really well and would thoroughly enjoy. You put your application through and a couple of days (or even weeks) later you receive an automated email advising that they won’t be progressing with your application. Instantly you feel annoyed, disappointed or even angry that you weren’t given a ‘proper’ chance.
What you probably don’t realise is what is happening behind the scenes. A recruiter is usually working on 5 to 15 active roles at any one time. And if it’s a business support position, a recruiter can receive over 100 applications in the first day or two of advertising, then an average 30-50 applications each day after that. Within one week they are having to filter through hundreds if not thousands of applications.
In light of this, it’s important for your resume to stand out! Firstly, don’t be lazy and spam 40 job applications with the same resume. Tailor your resume to the role you’re applying for, use industry keywords, and make sure its error free and easy to read. Utilise headers, colours, margins and fonts to make the design eye-catching. Importantly, have someone proof-read it for typos and spelling errors. Some errors I see a lot include the word ‘Summery’ opposed to ‘Summary,’ ‘Atention to Detail’ (wrong – it’s ‘Attention’) and incorrect use of ‘their’ and ‘there’, ‘two,’ ‘to,’ and ‘too,’ or ‘you’re’ and ‘your.’ These are the things your recruiter will notice.
One last thing many candidates don’t realise is that if a recruiter is advertising on a job board, this is usually a backup plan, or potentially even just for show for the client. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a qualified job, but a good recruiter will have a hot list of candidates that they are already working with. View your application as an opportunity to get on the recruiters hot list, rather than just an application for one particular job.
Communication is key
You need to ensure you are in contact with your recruiter, but be careful not to overdo it. If you haven’t heard anything on your application within 2-3 days, pick up the phone or send an email. Remember your recruiter is dealing with hundreds of candidates, so it’s important to stay front of their mind. However before you pick up the phone or send an email, do some prep. Think about what you want out of the contact with them. Just following up your application is not enough. Maybe you want to find out how you can get on their hot list, what other opportunities they are hiring for, or even ask them to grab a coffee with you to find out what the market is doing. Think long-term.
Be honest with your recruiter. I can’t stress this enough! If you don’t give them an overview of what you’re looking for in a role, a company or work culture, then they are flying blind. For example, if you’re a mum or dad and you haven’t communicated to your recruiter that you need to take off early every Wednesday to collect your kids from school, the last thing you want is to get to offer stage with a company only to find out you must attend a meeting every Wednesday afternoon. Or worse, you’ve already started with the company and then you find this out. This is a poor reflection on you and your recruiter, and you don’t want to be seen as unreliable.
Make your recruiter work for you – or let them go
If you see a job advertised with a company that you really want to work with, instead of applying directly, see if your recruiter knows anyone there. It’s always better to be referred into a role than applying for one and having your CV disappear into the abyss. They may not be able to help you but it’s worth picking up the phone and asking the question.
If you’ve got yourself on a recruiter’s hotlist and you haven’t heard from them in 3 – 4 weeks, make sure you pick up the phone. This is your chance to hold your recruiter accountable. Ask them if they have presented your resume to any clients and if they have had any feedback. If you don’t feel your recruiter is best representing you (or representing you to clients at all) then you have every right to tell them that you don’t want to be represented by them anymore.
It’s all about swings and roundabouts
Your recruiter is there to help you, but there are also ways you can help them. For example, if your recruiter has found you a great job and you love it, or even if they didn’t find you a job but they worked hard to help you – go ahead and help them back. If you hear that your company is hiring or a different company in your industry is hiring, let your recruiter know so they can approach them and potentially gain the business.
If you’re well connected (or even if you’re not), use social media to promote the opportunities your recruiter is advertising, and like and share their posts. We’ve all worked with some cracking colleagues over the years, so refer these people to your recruiter. Then you’ve not just helped your recruiter but potentially even helped your mate find their next career opportunity. Your recruiter will appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to help them out and it will enable you to build an even stronger relationship for the future.
In any relationship we build in life, you need to understand what people do and what drives them, how to communicate with them effectively, and that there is a balance between give and take. Put in the effort to build a strong relationship with your recruiter and you will reap the career rewards for years to come!
Sophie Donato is the Operations Lead at Fetch Recruitment. With a solid background in white collar recruiting and a knack for systems & processes, Sophie is the person who keeps our business running smoothly. You can connect with Sophie on LinkedIn here.