Working with a recruiting firm can be a great way to explore new career opportunities. Good recruiting firms will have established relationships with a number of companies and can help you get past the HR “gatekeepers.”
As with any industry, some recruiting companies are more successful at their jobs than others, and some take ethical considerations more seriously than others. Here are some tips to help you determine if you are working with an effective, reputable recruiting firm.
A good recruiting firm should:
- Have a real knowledge of your industry. They will understand your expertise and how it fits into the marketplace. If you ask an industry-specific question and hear an answer that doesn’t sound right, or they don’t have an answer at all, you may want to politely terminate the conversation.
- Have real relationships with their client companies. They will know the company, the corporate culture, and the decision makers. They will also spend time getting to know you, both professionally and personally, to determine which positions and clients would be the best fit for you.
- Not be “promiscuous” with your resume. You don’t want a recruiter to present your resume for every open position they are working, regardless of whether it’s a good fit for your background and skills. A good recruiting firm will have a more targeted approach that will not waste your time or their clients’ time on positions that are clearly not a good fit. And, they will respect you and your confidentiality by not submitting your resume to a company without your prior knowledge and consent.
You may or may not decide to work with a recruiter during your job search. If you are approached by a recruiter, ask a few questions and make an informed decision:
Do you specialize in my industry?
What is your relationship with the employer?
What kind of relationship do you have with the decision maker(s)?
Will you submit my resume to any employer without first notifying me?
What can I expect as far as communication?
Will you prepare me for my interview?
Will you let me know the result, even if it’s no?