Working With Recruiters
Many people work with recruiters. However, sometimes they simply utilize a recruiter to obtain job offers that they can subsequently leverage to negotiate a higher salary or a promotion from their current employer. While this may achieve the desired short-term results, forcing your present employer to provide something in response to a threat to leave is generally not a good idea. The most effective way to work with a recruiter is in a very open, direct, and honest fashion. You should expect the recruiter to respond in the same way with you.
Most of the basic information about what you do and what you've managed to accomplish is communicated to potential employers through your resume. However, in order to represent you in the most professional manner, a recruiter will need to know much more. You should be prepared to clearly communicate the following:
- Current position
- Motivation (Reasons for wanting to make a change)
- Salary (Current and expected)
- Relocation parameters
- Significant quantifiable accomplishments
- Specific companies of interest
- Current status of your search
- Critical timing factors
- Special needs (Housing, schools, spouse employment, etc.)
As you work with the recruiter, you should see a mutual sense of trust and confidence developing. If you don't, you should find another recruiter! Be sure that you establish some baseline rules for this relationship. As an example, a good recruiter will always discuss a position with you before submitting your resume to one of their clients. You will not want your resume being distributed indiscriminately.
An effective recruiter will provide you with consultative support. They won't simply tell you about outstanding job opportunities. They will also provide you with very valuable advice on interviewing techniques, they will help you to negotiate the best possible job offer (compensation, benefits and relocation) and they will act as an objective "sounding board" during times that can be very emotional since you will likely be considering major life changes. You will need to listen carefully and utilize this information to help you through the process. Keep in mind that the recruiter deals with these issues every day. If you've been performing your job to the best of your ability, you probably haven't had to consider these issues very often.
Finally, maintain regular communication with the recruiter. If you are actively searching, you should be talking at least weekly. While interviewing, and during negotiations, you may need to talk several times a day. Your continued communication and interaction will encourage and motivate the recruiter to do the best possible job for you.