If you are looking for a job, or even if you aren’t, chances are you will encounter recruiters at some point. You may have received some unsolicited LinkedIn messages, and wonder what exactly it is that they do, and why they are contacting you in the first place. How is dealing with a recruiter different from a hiring manager when starting out on a new job?
A modern recruiter likely does not fit the stereotypes of a HR professional you may have. A recruiter makes it their business to understand trends and changes in the work force, and is often very outspoken. Recruiting was once considered a process, but for many, it has become a lifestyle. A good recruiter is always expanding their network, looking for new talent, and having conversations.
As recruiters will often have resume screeners to do the sifting through papers, their role has shifted to something akin to a sales consultant or brand ambassador for a company as a whole. They tend to spend very little time reading a resume, focusing instead on speaking with candidates to determine if they are a good cultural fit for the organization. Conversations are a key tool recruiters use to judge candidates and those within the organization for new roles. Showing a genuine interest in the business, understanding the vision of a company, and being a brand ambassador are ways to stand out as a great candidate when dealing with a recruiter. While they are looking to fill a role, they are also seeking to find someone who will grow with the business. Recruiters help shape public opinion at a grassroots level when talking to candidates and expanding their networks; they deliver a message about the company while selling a role and making an organization look attractive to outside talent.
Recruiters have to have a strong understanding of the business they work for so they can collect research for internal hiring managers. Part of their job entails being able to see if a candidate would be a better fit for anther department. If you deal with a recruiter when looking for a job, and feel good about the conversation but don’t make it past the hiring managers, the recruiter may keep you in mind for other job openings in the future. Relationship building is key to what a recruiter does, so if you feel a great connection with a recruiter but don’t get the job that time, keep in touch on appropriate social networks. Engaging with the status updates they post is appropriate to keep yourself top of mind (but be careful not to come on too strong – they key is a subtle reminder, not to have your name popping up on their notifications like clockwork). Being sociable and expanding their network are part of the job, so having accessible social media is par for the course for recruiters, but, understand which networks are appropriate for networking (Twitter and LinkedIn are generally expected, Facebook is not appropriate for many).
Do you want to be a recruiter? Our recruitment specialist tells us to screen resumes quickly, checking mainly for skills and red flags. Follow up with quick, standardized emails asking for a 15 minute chat with everyone who makes the cut. Think of 2-3 questions that would help you understand whether or not they could do the job, and benchmark in a high volume way. A conversation can tell you much more than a standard interview, so when screening, email everyone, and look at personality fits; checking off requirement boxes may lead you to overlook some great candiates.