Job Seekers Advice: Working with a Recruiter 101

March 1, 2008 at 6:48 pm 4 comments

Okay, so I must speak out!

I’ve been reading A LOT of posts that are less than favorable to the
recruiting industry as a whole. Let’s give YOU a promotion. This
post is called “Working with a Recruiter 101”. This may help those
job seekers find the right partners in your search for the “dream”
job. Please note the “with” part.

1. Jason Alba speaks about the importance of your own
professional identity. Define who YOU are in the process – become
CEO of Me Inc. Yep, look at your job/career search as its own
professional entity, enterprise or corporation. After all, looking
for a job “is” a full time job and YOU need be the owner and manage
it. Who knows “YOU” better than you?

2. If you take item #1 seriously, you will then understand the
role of the Recruiter, Resume Writer, Career Coach, etc. They are
your “partners” in your career search. YOU, the CEO of Me Inc. will
still run the show and take control of YOUR job search.
You want interview each of your team members to ensure YOU are hiring
the appropriate staff to HELP you with YOUR search. Yes, YOU will
interview those Recruiters, Resume Writers, Career Coaches, etc.
Just as they will interview YOU. YOU are entitled to ask them
questions before YOU “hire” them.

3. During your interview/selection process, make sure YOU
appropriately pre-qualify YOUR new team. Ask them questions that
will help YOU select a good one. Here are examples of what you may
want to ask right off the bat:

• “What locations do you recruit in?” Silicon Valley, New
York, Utah, Europe, etc.? If you want to work in Florida, you will
want to select a recruiter that recruits for positions in Florida.

• “What types of positions do you recruit for?” Staffing,
Technical, Medical, Finance, Sales, etc. For a career in staffing,
in Silicon Valley, call me. I wouldn’t be much of a resource for
someone wanting a medical job in Utah.

• “What company(s) or types of company(s) do you recruit for?”
You may be looking for something in High Tech, Bio-Tech, Public
Sector, etc. If you are looking at working in the Education space,
there are recruiters that specialize in this area as well.

Remember, I WANT the job as YOUR recruiter. If I’m a good recruiter,
I will WANT to “partner” with you and make sure it’s a good
professional match. Gosh, if I’m asking you to complete some
paperwork, give me some one too! This will only help us both
formulate a working partnership – yep, you heard me, I’ll complete an
application for consideration to be YOUR recruiter. I will also be
happy to “provide you with professional references upon request”!

4. DEFINE your career search. A lot of people are in career
transition now. It is important that YOU define what it is that you
are looking for. As CEO of ME inc. you are leading and managing the
effort. The CEO doesn’t ask the Exec Admin what the business should
be or to define the company’s Value Proposition. This is the CEO’s
job. The CEO communicates the company vision to the rest of the team.

5. TAKE Control of YOUR career search and keep the roles of YOUR
team in perspective. YES a recruiter can get you into doors that you
may have difficulty getting into, but ultimately they are only a part
of your search team, not your entire search. Once YOU have the
interview, it’s up to YOU to sell yourself into the job, not the

6. As a recruiter, I maintain LONG TERM relationships with my
candidates. I don’t always have an immediate position for them, but
by golly, if I know who YOU are professionally and know what
YOUR “dream” job is, when the time comes, and a position appears on
my desk, I’m going to call YOU. If you have prescreened ME, you will
know this and stay with me for the long haul.

Good recruiters and career advocates know that in the future YOU will
be the hiring manager. YOU will take your CEO status and run
companies. I know that you deserve the same level of customer
service one expects from Nordstrom.

I talk with folks all the time that do not meet any criteria of my
recruiting areas. I won’t waste their time by having them complete
unnecessarily paperwork, etc. if they are looking for a position
outside of Silicon Valley, not in the staffing industry, I will give
them alternative resource such as a recruiter near them, a career
coach or resume writer. I still want to maintain a professional
relationship with these job seekers; you just never know where I
might recruit next. BUT, I won’t be rude or unhelpful if a job
seeker is receptive and/or asks for my assistance or advice.

Job seekers who interview their perspective recruiters you will be
able to see immediately by whether a recruiter is a good one to work
with or not. If a recruiter is rude and doesn’t wish to participate
with your prescreening – RUN! RUN, fast. Don’t waste your time.
Take YOUR business elsewhere! This is a FREE trade market and you
only want to hire professionals that are going to PARTNER and
compliment your own efforts, not work against you or waste YOUR time.

As a professional recruiter, I’m always up for professional
networking and partnerships. I am sure that to some, I’m an awful
recruiter – you can’t please everyone. But more importantly, to
those I partner with, it’s a match made for the life of their career
(s). It’s a marriage. It’s a developing friendship. “It’s a good


Heather Gardner
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Entry filed under: Recruiters 101. Tags: , , .

Getting Socially “Networked” in Today’s Recruiting World A Facebook For The Seven-Figure Set

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jason Rakowski  |  March 1, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Jason Rakowski

  • […] heathergardner put up a good read today.Here’s a quick excerpt:“What types of positions do you recruit for?” Staffing, Technical, Medical, Finance, Sales, etc. For a career in staffing, in Silicon Valley, call me. I wouldn’t be much of a resource for someone wanting a medical job in Utah. … […]

  • 3. Medical Sales Recruiter  |  April 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Great information! I really liked what you wrote. I am a medical sales recruiter. Please check out my website at Thanks!

  • 4. Women of Twitter 2009 Edition « Work Life Balance  |  December 25, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    […] adventures in work / family balance while bringing a personal touch to the 2.0 world. Her “Working With a Recruiter 101” post should be required reading for […]


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