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By Colette Brown. Posted in Blog

How to work with a recruiter.

I tend to ask most of the questions when I have a chat with someone. To be fair it’s because I hardly draw breath in order for them to get a word in, but I also think it must be the recruiter in me, and I just can’t help it. Perhaps I’m just very nosey. Or a mix-up of all those things. Either way, for me, I’m in the perfect job.

But last week when I had a long conversation with someone, they asked me about ‘recruitment’ & I found myself on the opposite side of the table, answering the questions rather than asking them. About why people would use a recruiter, what the benefits are and quite surprising to me, why some people are hesitant because they believe they may not be the right ‘sort of candidate’.

So, on the back of that conversation, I noted a quick & dirty summary of what we actually do and can do for any prospective candidate. Most of which you will know, but perhaps some, you may not.

Why and how to use a recruiter.

We need to be honest; we aren’t the most loved profession. Some sadly, wouldn’t even grace us with the use of that noun. But we are misunderstood. All in, if you find a good recruiter and work with them, we can be pretty instrumental in helping you land your next career defining role.

This is how:

We can save you time. Let’s face it, it’s something we are all short of. And when you’re in a full time PR role, that in itself is full on. By the time you log off and go downstairs to start your evening (assuming you’re still working from home) the last thing you probably want to do, is turn your head to start thinking about job applications. It’s where we can help. Being a specialist, we have eyes on a host of roles, (some of which are unposted) so can speak with you about multiple vacancies if appropriate, not just one at a time. Did you even know there is a ‘Hidden Job Market’? Research highlights that around 60% of live roles don’t ever make it to a job board which also includes Linkedin, so working with us can mean you may see things that others don’t and never will.

We can network on a larger scale. Undoubtedly you will have your own strong network particularly if you have been in the industry a while. Owing to what we do, how many candidates & clients we work with and how many candidates become clients, it means our network is pretty extensive. In addition, we have offices overseas, so our reach is beyond the UK. And back to the ‘hidden job market’; our network means we can be proactive on your behalf and approach clients on a more speculative basis if appropriate.

We can help you through the process. Your CV is your own personal, legal document but there are formats which make it easier for the reader to navigate and ways which you can make it a little more stand out. We can help you highlight your relevant experience for each role and having seen just a few CVs by now, we are in a good position to advise what works best for the PR market. Not only that but when introducing you for a role, we would send accompanying notes and thoughts from our meeting which can be really useful in supporting your application.

We can offer interview prep and strategy, help around salary expectations and if you have a brief to answer, we can be an extra pair of eyes on that too. While you’re the PR expert, we’ll have seen people through the interview process (& likely that very brief) on numerous occasions plus taken feedback, so we can share what was a winner and what wasn’t.

We are the conduit between you and the potential employer. It means we are able to take and receive feedback in an honest way. If something hadn’t quite gone to plan, we can step in and give a perspective to the client. We negotiate on your behalf be it around salary, flexible working, or general employment terms. We can ask some of the more difficult questions that you may not want too directly. We may have a sense of other candidates in the process; how many, how far along they are and how you stack up against them.

We stand a good chance of finding you a great role. But for us to do that, we need a little help. For a start, you need to feel comfortable working with us, trust that we’re on your side and will do all we can to help you land the job. After that, all that’s needed is just some common-or-garden communication and straight talking.

Don’t be coy about sharing your salary details – we need to understand your basic and your package. Rest assured we will get the best we can for you.

Do tell us where your CV has already been sent or where you’ve previously interviewed. It saves us all some embarrassment when we end up with duplicate applications. Be open about your feedback and what you want from a job. It helps us to understand exactly which roles would suit you best as we go along.

Please – don’t ghost us. If you no longer need our help, we get it, we really do. All we ask is that you let us know. No doubt there will be another time down the line when you may need our help and advice again & it would be great to be excited to give it.

In summary, working with a recruiter who knows your market and has good connections can be a positive experience and hopefully provide you with your desired outcome. The key is finding someone you feel you can work with, trust to give you honest counsel and can support you in your quest for landing that next job.