I came across a post about three weeks ago that talks about the relationship between a job seeker and a recruiter. I’ve blogged a few times on developing a relationship with some recruiters (whether you are looking for a job now or not), and most recently on understanding recruiters.
In this specific post veteran recruiter Rob Merrill talks about a tough week he had when either job seekers (aka, candidates) or the hiring HR basically didn’t work within the system – he was left out and lost money. He put in lots of work, did his job and facilitated meetings, but some shady things happened behind his back, which is uncool.
SO WHAT, you might ask, HE’S A RECRUITER AND HE’LL MAKE BANK FROM SOMEONE ELSE! Well, Rob is a nice guy (I know him personally, just saw him a few nights ago). If he feels that you have done something unethical, he is not going to be there for you next time. Whether you are HR or a job seeker, the trust is lost, and he isn’t going to work for you! You might not care now, but there will be a time when you need him (trust me ;))!
It is critical that you understand what recruiters are, how they work, what motivates them, etc. You may not need them now, but if you ever get in a serious job search you’ll want them in your corner, actively helping you.
In the first month that I was laid off I say that I developed relationships with 29 recuiters. Let me go into a little more detail. I sent my resume to and called 29 recruiters. I had, on my spreadsheet (pre-JibberJobber, of course) notes to follow up with them each week, or every two weeks.
Want to know the results? They stank. I was “just another guy” who was looking for a job. Even though I had a super-high sense of urgency to get a job, they didn’t have a high sense-of-urgency to help me. In fact, they had no sense of urgency for “Jason Alba,” and most didn’t even call or e-mail back. I don’t blame them for being lame, I just didn’t understand how it works.
You know that if I had a few that I had relationships with, they would have been hunting for a job for me on the day I called them. But that is based on developing those relationships!
Do me a favor… no, do yourself a favor. Go to recruiting.com and browse the posts there. Look for a recruiter that might fit you industry, or your personality. Or, google for a recruiter in your area. The time to begin this relationship is NOW, not when you need it! I’ve seen this relationship really pay off, but it was established before the job was lost.