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About Those Recruiters…. July 13, 2006 presentation to the IT Careers SIG
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina2 What is a recruiter? Two kinds: Corporate, Third Party –Corporate recruiters - usually part of an employer's HR staff. –Third Party recruiters - belong to a company whose major business is finding employees for other companies.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina3 Third party recruiters Two kinds of third party recruiters –Retained –Contingency
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina4 Retained recruiters Typically have an exclusive with the company for a particular opening, or for all openings. Are often paid a portion of their fee upfront, and the balance when the search ends. Are often paid whether or not they find qualified candidates. Real Life Experience: my positive experiences with Futurestep.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina5 Contingency recruiters Typically do not have an exclusive relationship with a company. Usually paid only if the company hires a candidate presented to them by the recruiter. Recruiters present candidates to multiple organizations, and the organizations usually use more than one recruiter to help them find candidates. Real Life Experience: my positive experiences with Action Management Services.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina6 Retained firms, Contingency firms and the Job seeker If an employer uses a contingency firm, there is usually more than one such firm trying to fill that position. You may be competing with a larger number of applicants. However, if an employer uses a retained firm, you may be facing as few as 3 to 5 competitors - IF you make it through. It is in therefore in your best interest to find out if the recruiter is working on a contingency or retained basis.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina7 Retained firms, Contingency firms and the Job seeker (cont'd) Paying the recruiters –Recruiters generally receive about 25% - 35% of starting salary of the new hire, plus expenses. –This should be paid to the recruiter as per their relationship to the employer (retained v. contingency), not through any payment from the new hire. Study any agreement carefully. According to Kennedy Information (a partner of CareerJournal.com), there are about –5,500 search firms in North America –2,650 work on a retainer basis (48%) –2,850 work on a contingency basis (52%)
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina8 The focus of this presentation This presentation will focus on third-party recruiters, which are typically what people mean when they refer to recruiters. Recruiters that charge you fees are NOT dealt with in this presentation. I recommend that you avoid those firms. There are plenty of firms that will seek to place you free of charge to you.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina9 What are some advantages of working with recruiters? Recruiters often possess job openings that aren't otherwise advertised. They often have information and contacts that you don't, and some may even specialize in your particular industry. An applicant submitted by a recruiter often has an advantage over other applicants because the recruiter prequalifies them.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina10 What are the disadvantages of working with recruiters? Remember that when it comes to recruiters, you are not their customer, you are their product. If this fact disturbs you, then consider avoiding recruiters. If you are seeking an entry level position, a recruiter may not be interested in you (unless they posted an opening for such a position.) A recruiter often adds little value in filling such a position.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina11 What are the disadvantages of working with recruiters? (cont'd) If you come to an employer through a contingency recruiter, it costs more to hire you than if you had come to their attention through another route. Retained recruiters usually submit a candidate's resume to one potential employer at a time. This limits your opportunities. You lose some control over how you are presented to others. Real Life Example: Experience embellishment and BP
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina12 Finding good information about recruiters Much advice about dealing with recruiters is written by recruiters. Unsurprisingly, it is geared toward getting you to behave in a manner best suited to their needs. The needs of job-seekers and recruiters are not identical. Get advice about recruiters from non-recruiters as well.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina13 Finding a good recruiter Before you work with them –Check with the BBB: 216-241-7678 or www.bbb.org –Referrals from friends - IT Careers SIG After you work with them –How attentive are they to your concerns? –Do they send you to the kinds of employers you want? –Do you feel pressured to act against your best interests? –Consider asking for references.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina14 Tips on working with recruiters Recruiters do not work for you. Understand the consequences of that fact: –They are not at your beck and call. –They do not have time to return all the calls and/or e-mails they receive. If you fit a job they are recruiting for, you can be confident they will contact you. –A recruiter is NOT a career adviser. Since recruiters have an incentive to place you, any advice they give you can be biased. –Real Life Example: Barb A. from Florida re: BCBSO
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina15 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Even though the recruiter does not work for you, your relationship with the recruiter must advance your own interests. There MUST be a proper value exchange. If it does not, then gracefully exit the relationship. –Real Life Example: The recruiter who wanted me to be able to go on an interview with couple hours notice. –This was an unreasonable request. In addition, an employer who is that unconcerned with individual circumstances at the time they want to woo candidates is unlikely to care once they become the candidate's employer.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina16 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Find out if the recruiter is working on a contingency or retained basis. –This gives you a better idea of how close the recruiter is to the employer, as well as the number of competitors you could be facing.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina17 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Contact a recruiter only when you see an open position whose requirements match your skills. –This can be a position posted to a job site (e.g., Monster.com) or on the recruiting firm's own web site. –Exception: see "Keep in touch", below.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina18 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Think outside the region –Even if you're seeking employment where you currently live, keep in mind that some of the recruiters seeking to fill jobs in your area live and work elsewhere.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina19 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) If a recruiter contacts you, speak to them even if you are not actively searching for a job –Speak to any recruiter who calls, and return their calls if they ask you to. –Possible Exception: If you have reason to believe that a relationship with that particular recruiter would not be beneficial. –WARNING: Be sure that the recruiter is who he/she says they are. –Real Life Example: Barb was contacted by an independent recruiter who wanted to meet her in person. She did not go because she never heard of this man.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina20 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) If a recruiter contacts you, speak to them even if you are not actively searching for a job (cont'd) –Do not think you are being disloyal in to your current employer. For all you know, your current employer could be giving you a pinkslip tomorrow morning. –It is in your best interests to include recruiters in your career planning network. You could face downsizing, reorganization resulting in a difficult manager, relocation, etc. –A good relationship with a good recruiter is a good investment in your future.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina22 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Conduct your own job search along with your recruiter. –Keep track of where your resume has been sent, by either you or the recruiter. –Keep track of the employers to whom you have been presented. –Potential problem: when your resume (sent by you) gets to an employer before your resume sent by the recruiter gets there. –To eliminate that possibility…
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina23 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Don't give permission to publish your resume or send it out without your specific approval –Real Life Experience: Barb A. from Florida sent my resume to William M. Mercer when I had already sent it there. I was 3 years out of college, she was an experienced recruiter, but we both should have known better.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina24 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Consider engaging more than one recruiter. –Why not have more people working to help you find a position? –Different recruiters know about different openings. This is especially true with retained recruiters. –Inform each recruiter with whom you are involved that you are pursuing other job leads, and some of those involve working with other recruiters. Use judgment in giving more details.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina25 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Consider engaging more than one recruiter (cont'd). –If a recruiter asks for an exclusive (i.e., the recruiter represents you for a fixed period of time and you agree not to work with other recruiters during that time), make sure you understand how you gain from this arrangement. –WARNING: This is when you must make absolutely sure that your resume is not sent without your approval. –If two firms present you to the same employer, you look disorganized. Even worse, the employer may avoid you because it does not want to get involved in a dispute between two firms over who found you first.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina26 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Approach an interview with a recruiter as if it were with a potential employer –Don't treat recruiters as second best. The employer's first impression of you will more often than not come from the recruiter. –Prepare as you would for an interview with a hiring manager.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina27 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Approach an interview with a recruiter as if it were with a potential employer (cont'd) –Even though the recruiter does not work for you, in some cases you can be more open with the recruiter than you would be with an employer without the adverse consequences. For example: specifying a number of job search parameters (maximum commute time, salary range, benefits, etc.) may be considered presumptive or premature when interviewing with an employer, but much less so with a recruiter.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina28 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) If you aren't interested in a position, let the recruiter know. –They may drop you if it happens more than once, but you'll probably be better off. –Why should they keep wasting your time sending you to positions you don't like? –Real Life Example: CP and the opening at E&Y.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina29 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Keep in touch –Keep the recruiters in your network informed when you change jobs, get promoted, etc. Consider sending an updated resume. –This works best with recruiters with whom you have already established a relationship (e.g., if they previously placed you.)
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina30 Tips on working with recruiters (cont'd) Understand any and all obligations –You should be able to leave the position into which you were placed at any time without financial consequences if you believe it is a bad fit.
7/13/06Copyright © 2006 by Michael Mina31 Conclusion Good recruiters belong in your career planning network. Network with your friends to find good recruiters, and use the BBB. Recruiters can be an effective part of your job search, but you should continue an active search on your own. You own your job search. Be honest and professional with recruiters, and expect the same from them. If your relationship with a recruiter is unproductive, gracefully exit. It's your career.
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