Recruiters are often the gateway to an awesome company and a high-paying tech job. But to get a recruiter’s help, IT professionals sometimes have to put up with some annoying habits.
No. 1: They Bombard You With Unsuitable Positions
“The first time a recruiter offers you an unsuitable position, firmly and clearly restate your criteria,” advised Scott Love, a recruiting industry trainer and speaker based in Washington D.C.
Being clear about your goals from the outset and partnering with a handful of experienced recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise can limit the number of calls you receive for mismatched jobs, he added.
Scrubbing irrelevant keywords and experience from your resume, adding a very specific objective and updating your online profile can also reduce off-the-mark solicitations. If you’re bombarded by calls and emails from recruiters in the same firm, request a single point of contact and agree to touch base each day at a specified time. This strategy increases accountability, limits the number of calls you receive and fosters familiarity: the cornerstone of an effective partnership between recruiters and candidates.
No. 2: They Don’t Understand Technology
Your recruiter may not know C++ or how to develop a database, but he or she probably knows how to bond with elusive tech managers. Recruiters can even advise you on how to best win over that testy manager during an interview.
“View it as a challenge and offer to exchange information with your recruiter,” suggested Carmen Hudson, principal consultant for Recruiting Toolbox, a provider of training and tools for the recruiting industry based in Redmond, Wash. “Staying up with technology is a challenge, so keep plying your recruiter with information.”
Another option is to work with a former IT professional-turned-recruiter instead of someone with a general sales background. Or look for a recruiting firm that employs technical evaluators or advisors. These specialized experts work in the background and assist with the selection and matching process; they can serve as a valuable go-between if you’re having a hard time conveying your technical expertise or your ideal role to your recruiter.
No. 3: They Misrepresent the Company, Salary or the Job Duties
An occasional misfire should be expected, as job requirements and budgets sometimes change on a dime. But a spate of “interview surprises” may point to an inexperienced or poorly trained recruiter.
“Make sure you’re clear on all the key points before you agree to the interview,” Hudson said.
A competent recruiter should provide copious data and insights about the culture, the requirements and the manager’s hot buttons to help you prepare for the interview.
If you’re having problems, ask to see a written job description or a copy of the requisition that spells out the salary range, level and job title before you agree to the interview. If you do that and the opportunity still doesn’t pan out, review your high points with the IT manager and ask about more suitable openings. When recruiters give you lemons, make lemonade. (Or find another recruiter.)
No. 4: They Use You to Get Referrals
Don’t share the names of colleagues or references until a recruiter offers you a specific job or explains his motives. For instance, some employers require reference checks before they will even look at a candidate’s resume. Referrals reflect your confidence and satisfaction with a recruiter and the quality of his work. Let your recruiter know that you will be happy to recommend him to your network after you’ve worked together for a while.
No. 5: They Leave You Hanging
Ask about the hiring manager’s modus operandi before you accept an interview. A recruiter should be able to describe the company’s hiring process and typical timeline if he’s assisted the manager with other searches.
“A good recruiter will set the expectations with the hiring manager from the outset so the hiring process doesn’t linger,” Love said. “But to make sure you aren’t left hanging, I would leave each conversation knowing when you will hear back and what will happen next.”
“No news usually means there’s no news from the client,” he added. “But a recruiter should let you know the status even when he’s waiting to hear back from the client.”
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