There it is. You open your inbox and find a note from a recruiter who wants to discuss a great job opportunity. Should you reply and see what it’s about? Why bother, recruiters are jerks anyway, right? Wrong; Recruiters are your friends!

Every day on LinkedIn, I see another post about how recruiters are all horrible people who don’t care about anyone, basically screw things up, and add nothing to the process. They say much worse, but you get the idea. Recruiters are the scum of the earth and all that.

Sure, there are bad recruiters out there – just as there are bad plumbers, bad doctors and bad lawyers. There are also great recruiters, great plumbers, great doctors and great lawyers all around us, and most professionals do their best to be pretty good at what they do. Yes, even recruiters!

recruiters are your friends

Let’s get this out there right up front: Recruiters are on your side! We can help! Help us help you!

Hey, if you’re the right candidate for the position, you’re interested in the position, the client company and the career path they can provide, we want to help you to get the job – it’s our purpose, our calling, our mission in life, every single day. We’re not the enemy, we’re your partner in the process.

Understand that we are hired and paid by our clients to find the most talented, best fit person for the job that they’ve hired us to fill. We aren’t technically working for candidates – we partner with candidates on a particular job search and do everything we can to help top candidates along the way. But wait, there’s more.

We also build positive relationships with everyone we meet throughout the process so that we can follow up with you on a new opportunity if this one isn’t right for you (very cool when it works out!) and we’ll check back in when you move into the corner office and need some talent for your new team.

That’s the full cycle for recruiters – relationships, my friend, are the key. Candidates become clients, clients become candidates, and guess who’s there each time: That good recruiter who reached out to you about a job with a company you’ve never heard of, back in the day.

Recruiting is a two-way street

There are two sides to every partnership, and yes, there are bad candidates out there, just like there are bad recruiters. May need another blog to get into that one…

Once more, for emphasis: We’re on your side! Help us help you! How? Glad you asked!

  • We’re on your side! (OK, last time). We want you to get the job, our business depends on it!
  • We are in direct contact with the hiring manager for the position, we know what they are looking for in a top candidate, background about the company and the position, and more. Think about that – it’s better to have that contact and information than not, am I right?
  • We can get you in, like really in. Past the key-word scan, past the Applicant Tracking System game “spend 45 minutes keying stuff in”, past everyone and everything – straight to the hiring manager.
  • Once we get to know you, your background, skill set and where you want to go, we can advocate for you with the hiring manager. Like an agent for a pro ball player – except the team pays us.
  • You’re getting ready for an interview, stressed about what they’ll ask, what to focus on, what is the hiring manager going to key on about evaluating me? Wouldn’t it be awesome to know that before your meeting, and to have some insight on how to approach those questions? Yeah, we know stuff.
  • When the offer for your dream job comes rolling in, we’re there to help. To work through the details, to go back to the hiring manager on your behalf, to smooth out anything that pops up, we’re there.

Those are just a few good examples – there are certainly more. Need more examples? Just ask.

It starts with the very first call

As in all strong partnerships, working with a recruiter is a two-way street. We’re glad to help you – but you’ve got to help us help you, and it starts from the very first call. Here’s how:

  • Be open and forthright about who you are, what you’ve done, what you can do, what you want in your next job, and why. Honesty may be the most important thing in all partnerships, and that’s certainly true in this relationship, too.
  • Do your part. Provide information when requested, make yourself available for calls with us and for calls or meetings with our clients. Review the information we provide, research the company and the position and the people you’ll be meeting at the company along the way. This is critical, friends.
  • Then communicate some more. We’re your partner in this. Let us know if you get a call from the client, tell us how you felt about the interview, ask us to get answers for you – we will.
  • Listen to our guidance. If we tell you that your resume should stress X or omit Y, there’s a reason. If we encourage you to research something, there’s a reason. If we ask you for more information about a huge project you completed or what you overcame in a situation, there’s a reason. Listen.
  • Think long-term. If this job’s not the one for you, no worries. Build the relationship anyway. If we’re recruiting in your business sector or area of expertise, we’ll be learning about new jobs every single week – and the new one much better for you that this one. Call us, take our calls. It works.

So, what should you do with that InMail you just received? Respond to it. Work with us. Build a real partnership. Learn, share, repeat. Take the interview, get the offer, take the job!

Then take our calls when we reach out to you to hire someone new for your team, Ms. Vice-President.