From the outside looking in they often seem cryptic, crazy, or an enigma.
As a candidate you may have been contacted by one. Or they’re working on a job opportunity for you but have gone radio silent. And you wonder if they’ve forgotten you or just haven’t heard back from the client.
In a prior post How Recruiters Think…Why Your Phone Isn’t Ringing…And Why It Might Not Be You I give you some of my insights into the recruiter world and how you might navigate it effectively.
In this post I take an article I read – Top 17 Songs Every Recruiter Can Relate to – and analyze each of the 17 “Songs” to give you an extra sense of what you’re dealing with. And for recruiters reading this, you can probably recognize many of these situations. I won’t cover all the 17 but pick out some highlights.
Inside the Secret Lives of Recruiters
#3 – Going directly to the hiring manager behind the back of HR (or the proper recruiting channels).
The best recruiters know that the deal is made with the hiring manager, not HR. HR (or the designed recruiting process) is what is in place to make sure HR is kept in the loop and can make sense of things. It is not for the benefit of the recruiter, or for that matter the candidate.
HR generally has way too many applications to process. But the hiring manager is often not adept and doing effective screenings. So if you’r ea good recruiter you satisfy the HR person and at the same time do what you can to develop a connection with the hiring manager so your candidate moves to the top of the list.
As a job candidate working with a recruiter, having someone who is good at what they do, and is getting in front of hiring managers, can improve your chances from 1 in 50 to 1 in 3 (by eliminating the competition other than the other 2 candidates your recruiter supplied to the hiring manager).
#5 – Sifting through rubbish applications.
Dealing with sucky resumes and job applications. And often the insane follow up expectations that candidates have (twice-a-day follow up is too much). Recruiting is often a volume game. But that volume can at times be overwhelming. And sorting through bad resumes can seem like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.
This is where a good resume writer can be worth their weight in gold. Get a resume that is well written and you jump from #80 of 200 to #5 or #10. And if you can not annoy the hell out of your recruiter, they’ll do their best to put you at the front of the line.
#7 – Everyone’s replaceable.
Recruiters love it when they find the “perfect match”. But often that perfection is a smokescreen for dysfunctional, unrealistic prima donnas. And if the “perfect one” falls through, they often find another gem.
As a candidate you need to make sure you don’t oversell yourself. If you’re remaining in the same industry and working with the same people you have in the past. And assuming you did an awesome job. You will likely be able to find yourself at the top of the candidate list. And if the numbers work, you’re often in.
But what if you’re looking in a new industry? Or looking to work for someone who doesn’t know you or your great reputation? Well like someone selling their house, you view yourself higher than someone with no experience with you would. For them you’re a scary unknown, not a must have hire. So recognize that when you’re making your pitch.
#9 – The Pile of new requisitions to work.
This can be perfect timing for the candidate. You’re in demand. More opportunities than people to fill them. But be careful with this situation too. The mass hire to fill the team for a new project often means they hire many undesirables…people who are unemployed for a reason. Basically they were let go from other companies due to incompetence or drama.
So before you say yes to an opportunity that was way too easy to land, know it just might be that way for a reason. So that is the time to evaluate it a second time.
So given the insights already mentioned, what’s one thing I can do to boost my chances (assuming I have a solid resume and there’s an available position the recruiter would be placing me in)?
Recognize that recruiters are people too (check out the rest of the “Songs” to get a sense of what they deal with on a daily basis. It may give you a new perspective and allow you to connect with recruiters better and develop a good rapport. And by doing that the recruiter will often work harder on your behalf than they would if you were a pain in their butt.