Have you been searching for jobs online, sending out résumés and not hearing anything back from anyone? Do you feel that your résumés are disappearing into a black hole? Have all your leads, introductions and referrals ended up in dead-ends? Are you starting to get concerned as to why you are not gaining any traction in your job search?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, it might be time for you to seek out the assistance of a recruiter who specializes in your field.
It could be a daunting task to find the right recruiter for your specific needs. Don’t worry; here is a quick checklist to help you seek out the best, most-appropriate recruiter for your job search.
1. Start by asking current colleagues and former co-workers with similar backgrounds as yourself who they would recommend. It is always a little tricky, as you don’t want too many people at work to know that you are thinking about finding a new job.
2. In addition to the referrals, search LinkedIn to find recruiters that specialize in placing people in your field. Send an introduction and invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Once connected, see if you share any common connections. If you recognize some familiar faces, contact them and ask about their experiences with the recruiter.
3. Look at the recruiter’s activity on LinkedIn. See if they posted jobs that are in line with the types of jobs that you are seeking out. Review any negative or positive comments posted about the recruiter.
4. Check if the recruiter has been with the same firm for a reasonable amount of time or if they seem to jump around a lot. If you see a lot of movement, it could be a warning sign. The constant job changes could suggest that they are moving around to find the next, hot area and really don’t care about building long-term relationships with candidates. Excessive jumps could mean that they are staying one step ahead, as they may have burned bridges with corporate clients and candidates at the prior search firms. It could also demonstrate that they may be smooth talkers, get hired, but really aren’t that good and quickly move on to another place.
5. Is the recruiter an expert in one or two areas and have they been doing it for a long time? It is preferable to find a recruiter who specializes, so that they really know an area well. If they have longevity, it is fair to say that they will have many contacts and clients that could help you in your search.
6. Are they connected with a fair amount of human resources and high-level professionals in your area of expertise? If so, that is good sign they have many connections to help you.
7. Search to find out if the recruiter has a website and how many relevant jobs they have on it. If there are a large number of current jobs that match-up with your skills, it is a good sign.
8. Check out all the job boards and search for opportunities in your space. Are there a few recruiters who consistently post jobs that are relevant to you? If so, bounce the names off of your work associates. Also, Google search them, check out their LinkedIn profiles and visit their website.
9. Email a résumé to the recruiter and judge their response. Is the recruiter interested in speaking and meeting with you? In the meeting, are they sincerely interested in building a long-term relationship or only looking for a quick placement? Do they listen to your needs, goals and desires? Do they try to force you into roles that you are not interested in? Does the recruiter have their pulse on the job market? Does it look like a shady organization or a well-established firm?
10. Does this person have a proven track record of success?
The key is to find an experienced recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise and has a long history of successful placements. Also, once you find the person, make sure you are comfortable partnering with them.
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