When you start working with a recruiter, it can sometimes feel like he or she is asking you a million questions about your work history, skills and experience. It might seem like you’re getting interviewed before you even start going to interviews, and that’s exactly what’s happening. Your recruiter is working to understand how your background aligns with an opening they’re working on, or if a client would be interested in your experience at a future date, even if they don’t have an open position now. A good recruiter will look to develop a relationship with you through these questions, and get to know you well enough to be able to talk to a client about where you’ve been and what you’re looking for in your next role.
Another question that will come up from your recruiter is the possibility of you providing a list of the companies you have already applied to in the last couple of years. Not only does this help your recruiter understand what kind of company you’re wanting to work for, it also is important for them to understand if you’ve already applied to work at one of their clients. It’s not that your recruiter is being nosy, they’re needing to understand if they can represent you at their clients. At the end of the day, if you’ve already applied on your own to an open position, a client won’t want to pay a recruiter a fee to locate you. So if you’ve already applied to an open position or sent your resume to a contact in HR, then your recruiter won’t be able to send you to the hiring manager that’s hiring for the role as one of the candidates he or she represents.
Your recruiter might also ask if you’re interviewing anywhere else. Again, this is not your recruiter wanting personal information for the sake of having it, your recruiter wants to understand the whole picture of your job search. If you’re super active and interviewing with multiple companies, they’re able to communicate that to their client and explain that if they want to interview you, it should be a priority because you’ll potentially be receiving an offer based on the number of interviews you’re doing and the stellar candidate that you are. Your recruiter won’t choose to abandon working with you because you’re interviewing other places, the more honest and open you can be about where you’re at with your job search, the more effectively your recruiter can work for you with their clients. A little healthy competition over you as a candidate can help you get the best offer and move the hiring process in the right direction.
When candidates aren’t transparent about opportunities they’re pursuing on their own or working with another recruiter to locate, it’s more difficult for a recruiter to answer questions from clients about how interested a candidate is in the opportunity, or how likely a candidate will be to accept an offer if they make it. A good recruiter will be asking their candidates these questions before the client asks them, but it puts even the best recruiters in a tough spot when a leading candidate in one of their searches tells them they’re taking a competing offer from a company that they had never even mentioned interviewing with. The recruiter then has to counsel their client on how they’ll replace their leading candidate and give an explanation for why the candidate never discussed the additional opportunity. Seasoned recruiters have had to do both of these things, but it certainly makes working with the candidate that kept them out of the loop less appealing in the future.
Good recruiters will be an asset to you in your job search. They are able to get you in front of a clients based on relationships they have built, can advocate for you when it seems like your resume underrepresents your talent or skills in a certain area, and can help prepare you for interviews with “insider” information about the team you’re interviewing with and the process you’re about to enter into.
Not all recruiters are created equal, but the team at Ambrion has been ranked as one of the top executive search firms in the Twin Cities for ten years running. We love assisting our clients with building the best teams they can and love helping our candidates find the next steps in their careers. Consider working with us to help you find your next candidate or your next role, and we’ll put our passion for recruiting to work for you.