Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help organizations acquire top talent, while helping professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
Welcome, Stacy, to today’s podcast.
Stacy: Hello, I’m glad to be here today.
Sharita: Today’s topic is actually an extension of something you’ve addressed before on this podcast. Can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: I sure can. In a previous podcast, we talked about why organizations use search consultants to fill their open positions and why job seekers use recruiters to help them find new employment opportunities. We also identified the best time to build a relationship with a recruiter and what type of relationship is the most productive.
In today’s podcast, we’re going to continue our discussion of how job seekers should work with recruiters. Specifically, we’re going to provide some tips for helping a recruiter find a great new job for you.
Sharita: It sounds as though there’s a right way and a wrong way to work with a recruiter.
Stacy: That’s certainly the case, and I’ve worked in both kinds of situations. I’ve worked with job seekers who did things the right way, and I’ve worked with job seekers who did things the wrong way. In my 20 plus years as a search consultant, I’ve noticed distinct patterns working with both groups of people.
Sharita: So when it comes to working with a recruiter the right way, where do we begin?
Stacy: Today, we’re going to address this topic by going through the search process on the job seeker side and the hiring process on the employer side. That way, we can discuss how to help a recruiter find a great new job for you on a step-by-step basis.
Sharita: The first step is sending your resume, is that correct?
Stacy: That’s right, and we talked about that in our previous podcast. When you contact or are contacted by a recruiter, send a resume and other requested information. Do that even if you make it clear that you are not interested in a current opportunity.
That’s because having your resume on file will make it more likely that the recruiter will call you again, and when they do, you might be interested in the opportunity they present at that time. And if you are interested in being considered for new job opportunities, you shouldn’t be afraid to send your resume. After all, the whole point of using a recruiter is to gain access to opportunities you would miss on your own.
Sharita: Something else we talked about last time was being dishonest on your resume.
Stacy: That’s correct. Don’t EVER lie on your resume. In fact, don’t lie at all during your job search for any reason. You’re not only risking the job you’re trying to get, but also potentially your career.
Sharita: Let’s say somebody has officially made the decision that they want to pursue other employment opportunities. What should they do beforehand to prepare?
Stacy: First of all, they should discuss their decision with their spouse, partner, or significant other. Then they must decide which areas of the country they would be willing to consider. They should also consider other factors, such as pay expectations and the job title and responsibilities. Nothing is more aggravating to a recruiter than to have a candidate back out of a position because they changed their mind on one or more of these crucial points at the last minute. Make sure you know what you want ahead of time and stick to it!
When you make decisions regarding all of this information, then you must share that information with your recruiter. Knowing what is important to you helps us to find you a suitable combination of position, company, and location.
Sharita: Any information that you share with a recruiter will be kept confidential, is that true?
Stacy: That is absolutely true! However, job seekers should keep in mind that any information the recruiter shares with them is also confidential. Candidates and employers depend upon a recruiter’s ability to keep information safe.
Your friends and family may ask about your job search, so be careful what you tell them. It’s especially important not to share details about compensation and other sensitive matters with anyone except your recruiter and your spouse.
Sharita: It often takes a while for a recruiter to help a job seeker find a suitable position. What should job seekers do if that’s the case?
Stacy: There are two things. The first is to be stay patient. Recruiters may intend to get back to you, but in the recruiting world, whatever is most pressing gets done first. If a recruiter doesn’t get back to a candidate, there’s nothing to talk about because the recruiter doesn’t have an appropriate position available.
The second thing is to stay in touch. Occasionally call and/or send resume updates so that the recruiter is aware of your continued interest. That doesn’t mean daily phone calls or a flood of paper, though. Your placement is important, but it does take time.
Sharita: Now sometimes a recruiter will contact a job seeker about a position, but the job seeker decides that the position is not for them. What should they do in that situation?
Stacy: If a recruiter calls about a position that is not right for you, be kind enough to pass along the names of potential candidates or other people who might know potential candidates. Your participation will be kept confidential, and not only that, but the recruiter will also remember that you helped them.
Sharita: Okay, let’s move further along the process. Let’s say that a job seeker is interested in a position that their recruiter presents to them and they enter the hiring process. What then?
Stacy: You should listen to what your recruiter has to say and follow their directions. Your recruiter often knows more than you do about the client, the hiring manager, and the interview process.
Be sure to listen closely to the recruiter’s interview tips and instructions. Also, it’s important that you always do what you say you will do. When your recruiter asks you to call them after the interview, be sure that you do. There are two reasons for this.
First, when you call as soon as possible, everything is fresh in your mind. A recruiter prefers to have your input before calling the client company to follow up, and they want to have the most accurate information. Second, if you say that you will call after the interview and you don’t call, the recruiter may take it as a sign you are not interested or are unprofessional. That’s not the way you want to brand yourself when you’re looking for a new job.
Sharita: How about the other side of the coin? Do job seekers sometimes contact recruiters too much during the process?
Stacy: They do, and it can be counter-productive. As we just discussed, give your recruiter feedback after telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews. However, don’t continue to contact them unless you have a reason. Sometimes job seekers become overly zealous because they’re excited about a job opportunity. While it’s good to express that excitement to your recruiter, don’t hound them because you’re apprehensive or worried about the next steps. They’re prepared to help you through all stages of the process, and it’s in their best interests to position you well so that you’re considered a candidate for the position.
Sharita: I imagine that sometimes, even if a job seeker is excited about a position, they ultimately don’t receive an offer of employment. That can be disappointing, to say the least. What’s the best way for them to handle it?
Stacy: Once again, there are two things. First of all, try not to take it personally. Of 200 candidates uncovered during an initial search, perhaps 50 of them will make the first cut, five will be finalists, and one will get the job. The search process aims for a perfect fit, and if you’re not chosen, it’s probably in your best interests, anyway, although I know it’s tough for some people to view it that way.
The second thing is to not “burn bridges.” Even if you didn’t get the job and you didn’t like what the recruiter had to say, be professional and polite. You must remember that the same recruiter might be the one to hand you your next job on a silver platter. If you “burn bridges” with your recruiter, though, they’re probably not going to hand you anything, on a silver platter or otherwise.
Sharita: What about if the candidate does receive an offer? That would be good news for the candidate, of course, but how should they handle that, especially in regards to their recruiter?
Stacy: The first thing I want to discuss when it comes to the offer stage is the possibility of receiving more than one offer. This does happen, especially with top candidates. If that’s the case, it’s generally best to let your recruiter and all potential employers know. If handled properly, disclosing interest from other parties can certainly work to your advantage.
The second thing I want to say about the offer stage is to not take too long to think about the offer. The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think that you’re not committed. And if they think that, then they’ll think that perhaps they’ve made a wrong decision in extending the offer to you. We have even seen cases where, because of delays, employers have retracted offers of employment.
Sharita: Well, we’re just about out of time for today, but this has been a lot of information. Clearly, there is much that job seekers can do to help recruiters find a great new job for them. The more they do things the right way, the closer they’ll be to finding and landing the job they’ve always wanted.
Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.
Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!