Have you had a poor experience using recruitment consultants to find a new job? Unfortunately, like all industries, there are incompetent individuals who may leave you questioning the point of using a recruitment agency as part of your job search strategy. However it’s worth persevering to find the right recruitment consultant, who you feel comfortable working with and can promote your strengths and expertise to potential employers.
The recruitment consultant’s role is to match suitable candidates to job opportunities. Successfully placing a candidate in a position generates a fee for the recruitment consultant from the employing company. Generally they have a large number of potential candidates on a database, which can be sources when positions arise, and they usually have a number of positions ‘on the go’.
Don’t assume that once you have registered they will automatically remember you or contact you regarding suitable positions. If you see them advertising a job that you think is suitable for you – be proactive and give them a call.
How to find the right recruitment consultant to target
It depends on the type of position and industry you are seeking to enter. You may choose to target a generalist firm or agencies that specialise in finding candidates for a particular field. For example, Glide Recruitment specialises in accounting. It sends job alerts when suitable positions are added to the national database and your resume will be available for search by recruitment consultants throughout Australia.
Target at least three recruitment agencies to gain a feel for the market and validate the salary range being offered. Different firms get different results. You may have to experiment to find the right result.
Getting in front of a consultant
Have a clearly thought-out strategy and convince the consultant you are worth seeing. Remember, their role is to service their clients’ needs, not find you a job.
The best approach is a telephone presentation, briefly explaining your situation but primarily focusing on your strengths and the kind of opportunity to which you can contribute. Hopefully this will lead to a meeting in person.
After meeting the consultant, you may be invited to maintain a level of contact. If you are not invited, do it anyway – persistence pays. It is your responsibility to ensure you stay ‘top of mind’ with the consultant.
If the chemistry is right, attempt to develop a relationship with the consultant over a period of time, even after you gain employment. Becoming part of each other’s network can bring benefits to you both.
Why isn’t the recruitment consultant interested in me?
Most recruitment firms are paid only if the person they introduce is actually hired. There is no fee to cover costs of advertising, file searches or time spent by the consultant if the person is not hired. Consequently consultants will devote little time to you if they perceive you to be difficult to place or you seem uncertain about where you are going.
Consultants often meet a large number of people so don’t rely on them to remember you. Contact them and let them know if your situation changes.
What about executive search firms?
Executive search firms only operate at the executive end of the market. Unless you fit their typical client base profile, they most likely will not be interested in you. Normally they will be dealing with clients to fill positions with salary packages of $100,000 plus.
However executive search firms are constantly on the lookout to expand their contact and client list. They may see you as a person who could be useful to them in the future.