Many of us, either as part of a company or as candidates ourselves, have had contact with a recruiter. Some of us may be working with one currently, but for candidates and companies alike, truly knowing your recruiter is crucial to your success. The most valuable recruiters offer their keen discernment in selecting and matching a well-suited candidate to the appropriate company, for the success and interest of both parties. While the recruiter will ultimately do the legwork for each side, it is worth the effort on your part as the company or candidate to get to know your recruiter before investing in their services.
Given that this is a crucial segue to establishing a successful future, Electrical Search Group reviews essential information both companies and candidates should know and expect of their recruiters.
Companies: Have You Ever Interviewed Your Recruiters?
Enlisting the right recruiter is an important investment for your company, and the screening process can be quite similar to hiring an employee to work directly within your business. A great recruiter is a valuable asset to your company and can ultimately contribute to its growth and success. Consider the following when choosing a recruiter:
Is your recruiter industry and location specific?
While a ‘generic’ recruiter is good at filtering out basic candidates, an industry-specific recruiter will have a more comprehensive understanding of the trends and demands relevant to your company. This translates to selecting better candidates with the skills and disposition best suited for your company’s open positions. Further, if they are also location specific, their familiarity with the area will also contribute to their knowledge of the overall direction the region is headed with regards to your industry.
What is your recruiter saying to potential candidates about your organization? What’s their sales pitch?
Is your recruiter making an effort to know your business and the kind of candidate your company desires? The recruiter should learn everything they can about your company, including its goals, philosophy, culture and the direction it desires to move. While industry-specific recruiters have a better grasp of the skill sets required from candidates, don’t assume that they know the vision of your brand and the image your company wants to convey. Be sure to discuss these details with your recruiter so they can effectively communicate this to potential candidates. In most cases, recruiters only have one chance to sell your situation to each individual. Not only will this help select qualified candidates, but it helps find those who align best with your company’s culture and mission.
Additionally, the recruiter should be highlighting the perks and/or benefits of working for your company to entice passive candidates as well; those who are not actively seeking work, but may be highly qualified and open to new opportunities.
What is the recruiter’s process in locating potential candidates?
Find out how the recruiter screens potential candidates, and also the estimated length of time it may take to refer a qualified candidate. A 4-6 week time period to introduce a gainfully employed qualified candidate is not uncommon. Additionally, another 2 weeks at minimum may be necessary for the accepting candidate to give formal notice to their current employer, assuming they are gainfully employed.
If your company has already enlisted the help of a recruiter or multiple recruiters, consider the work they have done for you already. Are the resumes they’ve referred a good fit? Do the candidates seem qualified and well-rounded? Or does it seem the recruiter has little discretion in what they send your way and each resume received just wastes your time and delays the hiring of a qualified candidate? If the latter question resonates more with you, then you may need to either have an in-depth discussion with your recruiter about your expectations, or find a different recruiter. Don’t be ok with recruiters that don’t bring you any value. This can/will be detrimental to your company and its reputation in the industry.
Candidates: Why Put Your Career At Risk With Just Any Old Recruiter That Calls You?
Candidates also have similar issues to consider when selecting or evaluating their recruiter. A great recruiter will have a smart balance between their dedication to the companies they serve, and their responsibility to potential candidates.
Is your recruiter industry and location specific?
Establishing a relationship with an industry and location specific recruiter is already a step in the right direction. These recruiters are more likely to have stronger connections to many more companies aligned with your interests, versus a broad range of companies largely irrelevant to you.
What is their success rate? Which companies are they representing?
When choosing an industry-specific recruiter, find out more about their history. How long have they been serving the area you’re interested in? How long has their company been in business? How long has that recruiter been working in that territory? More importantly, what is their success rate in placing candidates within the area? Remember, their rapport, establishment, and success in the local industry will ultimately translate to your own success.
Another point to consider is which companies does this industry-specific recruiter represent. Do they have direct access to the decision maker? Do they discuss the name of the company or companies with you prior to disclosing your personal information? Do their clients offer attractive benefits and career advancement opportunities? If you’re not familiar with these companies, the recruiter should be able to share detailed information about their clients. Not only should this include their clients’ benefits, advancement opportunities and other incentives, but information about their clients’ vision, mission, and company culture as well.
How well do they know YOU?
What a recruiter knows about you should not just come from your resume or CV. Clearly, those are just a snapshot of highlights from your professional experience, a timeline per se. A good recruiter will take the time to get to know you and your context. This includes understanding your current situation; are you actively seeking work, or are you currently employed but open to new opportunities? What are your goals for your career, and how does that factor into your personal goals (e.g., family, lifestyle, etc.)? What are your expectations and/or requirements of your workplace? A good recruiter will learn which companies pique your interest and which companies do not, to save everyone valuable time and effort. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, they should have a complete breakdown of your current and expected compensation packages.
Be honest with your recruiter; don’t tell them information you think they want to hear. The more candid and detailed you are about your needs, the more likely it is the recruiter will find positions that truly suit your interests. On the other hand, do allow for some flexibility and have an open mind. Your recruiter may find an opportunity that may not initially sound appealing, but could lead to greater things ahead. See our previous blog, Why Not Be More Professionally Open-Minded? for more information.
The more details the recruiter has about you and your context, the better they will be at representing you. However, be sure that they are first asking your permission to disclose any confidential information with their client companies. A good recruiter will respect a candidate’s privacy and remain transparent about with whom they are sharing your information. With ESG, it’s not a numbers game. It’s always quality over quantity.
For both companies and candidates alike, it is important to know and trust your recruiter. Don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions, or even for statistics or references they can provide you to vouch for their own success rate. Why trust your career or company reputation to someone you haven’t taken the time to get to know and trust?
Electrical Search Group and You
Electrical Search Group is an industry-specific recruiter specializing in connecting electrical construction candidates with the top commercial and industrial contractors. ESG’s comprehensive knowledge and ‘territory system’ provide expert area managers that serve specific regions throughout the United States. We uphold high ethical standards, and are committed to the privacy of our partners and potential candidates.