When you think of a recruiter, what do you think of? Largely negative, am I right?
We’ve all heard the stories... LinkedIn is plastered with them! A recruiter contacts someone about a role that is 11 years too junior for them, or a recruiter contacts you about a role in a completely different sector! (This one has happened to me before, FYI, recruiting accountancy professionals and being a qualified accountant are two entirely different things!) Or, the one I’ve most recently read about, a recruiter contacts you about a job but keeps all the details a secret and has barely any information. Instead, it seems they’re more concerned with acquiring the direct contact details for your current Manager.
I could go on...
Allow me to prove to you that, if you find a good recruiter, we are worth using. Honestly, we can make finding a new role a heck of a lot simpler!
Here are 10 reasons why you should use a recruiter…
1. Hidden Roles - There are so many scenarios where companies and firms are looking for new staff but haven’t yet advertised the role. This can be due to many reasons, such as:
Whatever the reason, employers often rely on the discretion of a recruiter to informally and discreetly search for the ideal candidate. If you’re job searching and not speaking to any recruiters, then you’re missing out on all the exciting roles that are not yet advertised openly.
2. Insider Information - Not only do we know about roles that aren’t ready to be released yet, we also know about roles in the pipeline. Remember that we engage with our clients regularly. There may not be a suitable role for a Corporate Tax Senior in Southampton in a top 10 firm at the moment, but what I know is that one of my clients will be looking for someone just like you in 7 months time as Jane, their longstanding and reliable employee, is relocating to Australia.
Simply scouring company pages and job boards, will not tell you they’re slowly putting the wheels in motion for that dream job.
3. All the Right Contacts - We all know what it’s like to submit your CV online. You want to make it personal, you want to stand out, you want to be different, yet their online portal just isn’t going to let you do that. You press submit and your application ends up in a black hole, being 1 of 204 emails in the HR Manager’s inbox.
I’m sure you’ll get a response…eventually. Or, alternatively, find a recruiter to manage the process for you. We have a long chat with you, talk through your situation and why this role appeals to you. Then, we give the HR Manager a call, email the CV whilst we’re on the phone, and talk through all the reasons why you’re absolutely great for this opening. We then suggest checking the Partner’s calendar and scheduling an interview for Monday. Ok, so sometimes it’s not quite that fast, but the main difference is that we ensure your CV will be seen and doesn’t go to the bottom of the pile.
4. Chasing for Feedback - Chasing. Several of my friends have asked me this one. How many times is it acceptable to call a company to make sure they received your CV? As a candidate, you can be so worried about being pushy and creating a bad impression, that you don’t want to chase too many times. Well, what if you had someone that could do that for you? *Cue recruiter!* We know our clients, It’s our job to find a balance and not cross the line but we believe that candidate feedback is massively important! The client knows that, and we don’t get penalised for chasing up on CV submissions or interview feedback. Any good recruiter will not let it rest until they’ve had substantial feedback to pass on to you.
Imagine if your CV is being chased and the other 10 in the process are just being left, which candidate is going to stick in the employer's mind the most?
5. Keeping In Touch - Often when we speak to candidates, they aren’t looking for a new role. I mean, what are the chances that when we call, you just happen to have had a long day and an argument with your boss? It’s slim to none! You may be looking and that’s great (we get all excited)! But here at Harvey John we understand that slow and steady wins the race. As consultants, our job is to consult and advise to ensure we come to the right conclusions. That enables us long term to ensure that we are getting you at least one step closer to your end goal. Most of the placements I have made over the past year have been candidates that I’ve been speaking with for over 6 months. It’s not about pigeon holing someone into a role that mostly fits your experience, it’s about finding you your dream opportunity!
We’ll wait, and work with you and our clients to find you your perfect next step. Remember it doesn’t benefit anyone if you leave your new job after a month because it’s not right, it’s a waste of time for you and certainly not good for us! It’s well worth my time to ensure that you’re in a role that you love, a role that you just know is a great move and not just a step into more of the same. When I call, I’m not looking for you to move this week, I simply want to build a picture of what could interest you in the future.
6. Expertise - Recently I was having a chat with a candidate who was considering a move but felt she wouldn’t get her salary anywhere else. She explained that she is well paid and knows it’ll be hard to move. Once she shared her salary, I explained that she should be on at least £5k more. She was paid significantly less than market rate and didn’t even realise!
Any good recruiter won’t mind if you just want to give us a call and ask a question. There is no commitment, we are just here to help! In the same way that my candidates know everything there is to know about audit, tax and online accounting (and I sometimes have to go to them with questions), I like to think I could do the same with public practice recruitment. I literally look at thousands of profiles and CV’s every week and have over 120 jobs live right now. Multiply this by everyone in the HJ office, that’s a substantial amount of expertise waiting at the other end of the phone!
7. Interview Preparation - Some people are shocking at interviews. I’m sorry but it’s true. And that goes for both clients and candidates.
Time and time again, I see that the majority of people just don’t know how to sell themselves. And it’s a two way street - we expect our clients to sell the firm, just as much as you need to sell yourself.
Using a recruiter helps to ensure that you portray yourself in the best possible way. Very often, we’ve met our clients so we can brief you on what to expect and their interview style. We’ll also probably already know the typical questions they ask and how formal / informal they are. Therefore you can prepare yourself properly for their way of thinking and how you need to behave. We also know what previous candidates have said that has come across well and not so well, so we can give you a heads up on the do’s and don’ts!
8. Salary Negotiations - This can be such an awkward topic for many candidates. Whilst we try to avoid salary negotiations and get you the salary you are looking for, sometimes they are just inevitable. When you’re going through a process directly, it can sometimes be nerve-wracking to sell yourself to a potential employer and explain why you think you deserve a £6k increase or why the figure they have offered just isn’t enough. What might be an awkward topic for you, really isn’t for us. We have these conversations every day and our job is to get you the highest salary possible, or let you know from the start if you’d be wasting your time with this vacancy. I always try to manage expectations and be realistic with you from the start, but when some clients start playing around and trying to offer lower than you’re worth, I am straight on it.
Did you know that any good recruiter will know your minimum before the offer comes through and will negotiate on your behalf before you’ve even heard the offer? We want you to be blown away by that offer when it comes in, allow us to do the hard work and get you what you deserve.
9. A Permanent ‘Friend’ - When I use the word friend, everyone in the office laughs at me, but what I really mean is a corporate friend. If we get you a new role or work closely with you on your job search, we will always remember you. If you have a quick question, need some advice on market salaries or you’re not sure your career is progressing the way it should, we are more than happy to chat.
I have a candidate that I meet regularly for a drink, I probably won’t place him any time soon but I am building that relationship and we ask each other’s advice when we need it. It is a networking opportunity more than anything, but he knows he can rely on me for any of his recruitment needs because we’ve worked with each other before.
10. Same End Goal - Recruiters are accused of all sorts of different motivations for the way we work, but the thing to remember is that we have the same end goal as you. You want a new role, in a good environment where you can progress and stay for years to come.
Do you know what? We want that too. If you’re happy, then you stay there and if you progress on up, then maybe one day you’ll be responsible for recruitment and use us for future hires! Yes, the motivations can be different, but ultimately, we want it to work out just as much as you do. Remember, contingent recruiters don’t get paid until you start that job and, if you leave, we have to return that money. There is no benefit to us in making you start a role that just isn’t right. Let us help you find your dream role.
So there you have it, those are my top 10 reasons to use a recruiter. Granted, all recruiters are different but when you find a great one, hold on to them, we can save you so much time. And remember, next time you get an email come through, even if you’re not looking, perhaps it is worth pinging back a quick sentence on what you might be interested to hear about and where you see yourself long term. They may know just the route to get you there.
David Waddell is Managing Director at Harvey John.
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