You’ve had it with job boards and responding to ‘ads’ online! Not only aren’t you getting interviews, a lot of the time no one even calls you back! What’s a serious, motivated job seeker to do? How about getting yourself an ally with all the connections and insights into the tech hiring landscape you’ll ever need? Maybe it’s time to partner with a tech recruiter!
You want a tech recruiter to be your partner, because they already have ‘some skin in the game’, have a wealth of knowledge in the tech space and have deep networks and relationships with clients always looking to hire. The recruiter has a client company with a position to fill and they want a happy client company. The tech recruiter is motivated to find the best fit for every position. The client company is paying a fee, not for the recruiter to look for prospects or send them to interview, but to find the right candidate. And, until they find the right candidate and the job is closed – no money!! Since you both have the same goal – getting you into the right position with a client company – partnering makes sense. Even if this position isn’t the right fit for you, there is one that will be and, by having a relationship with your tech recruiter you are that much closer to the finding the right position.
You still might be hesitant to take this step because most everyone has heard a recruiter horror story. While they might be a bit exaggerated, they can still scare you off working with a tech recruiter. If you are going to work with one, the best way to think of them is as your partner. That means you have the responsibility of making sure you find the right tech recruiter for you. Think about what you’d want in a business partner:
- communications in the format that works best for you,
- someone you’ll feel comfortable telling all your career information,
- hard-working and knowledgeable,
- the potential for mutual win-win.
There may be other traits you want in a tech recruiter partner, after you identify your key criteria you need to do one more thing. Look into the company the recruiter works for and their reputation. Do their candidates get hired regularly and do they stay in the position for a reasonable length of time? Once you have your information all gathered you can start making some calls. If you know someone who has worked with a tech recruiter, ask if they can refer you. Interview each other and look for the best fit for you. Tip: just like you should always keep your resume up to date, form a relationship with a recruiter before you start your job hunt, so you are ready to go.
But what if you don’t have time for all this right now? There is a job posting for which you are a perfect fit and you must make sure the tech recruiter knows. The process isn’t too different, you and this particular recruiter might not be the best fit but, they can still be your partner. If you get a good ‘vibe’ tell the tech recruiter, you are looking for a partner for your search process and you hope you can help them too with referrals or industry information.
When you find a tech recruiter you’d like to partner with, get to know them a little so you can learn how they work. Candidate referrals may be their lifeblood and you likely know at least a few people looking to make a move. When you can help the tech recruiter in this way your relationship can be a win-win. Be sure you share achievements and successes that aren’t on your resume, don’t forget to include volunteer or associations. Another plus to using a tech recruiter is their ability to uncover areas of improvements on your resume or capabilities that add value and increase higher potential salary that you might not recognize yourself. You also want to make sure the recruiter knows your willingness to relocate (or not) and travel, how long you are willing to commute and what perks could be game changers for you. Are you willing to take the risk of start-up with the potential for longer term gains? If you foresee some challenges with certain aspects of a job, make sure the recruiter knows your concerns. Disabilities don’t disqualify you for a position, but they may require accommodations. Last and probably most important in a least a few minds are the salary range you are looking for, both now and in the future.
When you are working with your tech recruiter partner it’s possible that some of the positions they recommend may not be right for you. Don’t think you have to force yourself into a job because your ‘partner’ recommended it, if you feel it is not right for you say so upfront. Remember the end goal of the win-win; you get the great exciting new career challenge you wanted, and your recruiter partner closes the deal!