Interview with Volt Recruiter Heather Gardner (Part I)

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Heather Gardner's profile picture from LinkedInI met Heather Gardner online, at the MyLinkedInPowerForum Yahoo! Group. We picked up a discussion outside of MLPF and have begun networking and nurturing a professional relationship. I’ll warn you now, Heather is different. She is not the typical headhunter that you hear about (the one that everyone complains about). I’m not sure how many recruiters would respond the way she has, but this is clearly an example of the type of recruiter you want in your corner.

What bugs you about candidates?

As a professional recruiter, I am nothing without my candidates. Candidates NEVER bug me. I would not be successful in my job without good solid candidates.

What do you wish candidates knew about your job?

Recently I’ve had a few candidates say to me “just send my resume over and see what happens.” I am not in the business of resume pushing. My primary focus is to develop a professional relationship with my candidate so that I know more about their career ambitions, job requirements and what will motivate then in their next position.

The flip side of this is making sure that I send the “perfect’” candidate to my client for their open position, not just a resume. Sometimes candidates may not realize that it’s my job to keep in contact with them over the life of their career. Even if I was not the recruiter to place them at their current company. Just because their job search is over for now, doesn’t mean my job as their recruiter is. I always want to be able to contact you with a great career opportunity in the future regardless of where you are. Building long term professional relationships is my focus.

What do you wish candidates understood better about the job search process?

Searching for that “perfect” job can be time consuming. An active job search is a full time job in itself! Depending on the candidate’s working status, it can be a frustrating experience for them. It’s far too easy to get discouraged and impatient at times.

For the unemployed job seeker it can be an anxious process of finding that needed job. Working with a full service staffing company actually expands a candidate’s search efforts, without having to do much more than they are already doing in their job search process, giving their resume more visibility. With locations throughout the US. I can refer such candidates to a local branch to better assist with ready opportunities while they continue to search for the right long term position. I have had several candidates start on a contract assignment through a branch for one of our clients and then end up getting hired on by the company. It’s a win for everyone!

I also want to encourage job seekers to have patience with the job search process. There are so many new job search tools. JibberJobber is one of the latest tools out there that can really help out the active job seeker.

I understand your client is the company that has a position open. Can you help me, as a candidate, understand where I fit in?

As the candidate you are also my client. Just as I would qualify the needs of the company with the open position, I need to qualify you as the candidate. I need to know what you are looking for in your next position and see if it’s in line with what the hiring manager is looking for. I’m like a professional match maker.

Often times, you as my former candidate, become the hiring manager with an open position for me to fill. I can’t tell you how many times it cycles like that. As long as I’ve done my job well as a recruiter, you will call me first with your open headcount needs.

I’ve heard tons of horror stories about recruiters who forget their customer service manners and mistreat the candidate. That’s a foolish, short sighted approach. I would not be nearly as successful if I didn’t treat my candidates as clients and provide you with the same level of good customer service.

Different, right? Part II is tomorrow… stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “Interview with Volt Recruiter Heather Gardner (Part I)”

  1. NOV 2008: I contacted a recruiter from Volt, regarding a position that I was interested in on a popular job board. A recruiter “Mike G” contacted me and confessed that my resume was the most promising amongst the others that were submitted for this particular position. He said that he thought his customer would be very interested in my and therefore would immediately submitting my resume to them. I was pleased. Numerous days passed without a single word from Mike. I contacted Mike, to ask for a status update. He proceeded to tell me that the customer, after reviewing my resume, thought I was more suited for a different, broader position. He didn’t say whether that other position was at the proposed customer .. or just a general “not interested” statement. Regardless, I clarified by saying that I was interested in the specific opportunity for which I was applying, despite my current employment position. All I received back was a one line reply, stating that the opportunity was no longer an option. Nothing else said .. not even in regard to future opportunities.

    In my experience working with recruiters over the years, this first-time experience with Volt (namely, Mike G) was completely pathetic. His lack of follow-through with me coupled with his apparent inability to convince the customer to – at the very least – have me come in to meet them makes this the worst recruiter experience I’ve had in many years.

    Clearly, this man is not about building a relationship with his clientele but, more so, about earning a quick buck and moving on. I will not be working with this agency ever again; that much is certain.

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