The Power of Headhunters
By Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan
When seeking jobs, having the support of a headhunter or recruiting firm can be an asset. Although most jobs nowadays are sourced through networking, recruiters are the second most important source for companies to find valuable employees.
What can a recruiter do for you and for your job search? When we think of the effects of networking, and how they affect job search, a recruiter presents similarities with a different edge. Establishing relationships with people and connecting one-on-one has been demonstrated as an important step to find opportunities. In that same manner, a headhunter will focus on learning all regarding your profile, and when identifying a fit with the position, will become a promoter of your candidacy within a firm. There is a lot to say about someone marketing your services. It is a great advantage to have someone on your side, talking well about your skills, career progress and how you can become an asset for a firm.
Well-established recruiters manage relationships on a daily basis. When becoming respected professionals, their endorsement is a great tool to count with. Thus, it is important for candidates to understand that the image projected to a recruiter is as important as the one projected for an employer.
Another important aspect to take under consideration is differentiation. A recruiter deals with hundreds or even thousands of candidates. How will you differentiate yourself so as to stay in the top of the recruiter’s mind? Calling the recruiter every day is certainly not the strategy… Making sure your resume has impact and presenting yourself in a professional manner, can get you a long way. Although daily calls will most surely have a negative effect, calling monthly and sending an updated resume every two months (or even an alternate version of your old one) will be refreshing and might help you gain positive visibility.
What should you not expect from a recruiter? A recruiter might provide pointers on how to enhance your professional marketing; however, they are not career coaches or expert resume writers. If you need career advice, help with resume writing or job search techniques; seek professionals in these specialized fields to receive expert support. Recruiters are hired by companies, not by candidates, thus, they fill positions needed with candidates – and not the opposite – they don’t look for jobs for a specific candidate. When they do this last practice, it is called reversal recruiting and in 99% of the opportunities, it is a scam. Beware of recruiters that charge you to help you find a job.
With that said, recruiters have specific positions with specific candidate needs. Finding a recruiter that has a position that fits your exact profile is sometimes hard, but worth the search. Seek recruiters that specialize in your career or industry – in this way, you will increase the probability of them sourcing a position that matches you.
Find recruiting firm directories and search for firms in your geographic area and also devoted to your industry, network with them and build long-lasting relationships. Some job seekers do this very well; they keep the connection with the recruiter who in turn, will follow their career and every few years, present opportunities to the benefit of their firm and their professional growth.
When used as an alternative job search techniques, Headhunters can become great assets for job seekers. Establish a plan and use this source to achieve endorsement and take the next step in your job search with success.