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Building a Relationship with your Recruiter

November 16, 2018

When one is looking for a new job, establishing relationships become the most important piece of the puzzle. How one manages their interactions with people at work has a direct impact on their work output and the overall work ambience. This logic holds true for recruiters as well. All relationships are a two-way street including the one between job seekers and staffing recruiters. While a staffing professional is there to provide expertise, industry contacts and job leads, they can also provide tips to improves one’s chances and efforts to achieve promising job opportunities that will help one boost their career. Thus, in order to take full advantage of all their resources, it becomes important to do one’s own share of work to help them too. 

Listed are few ways to help build a strong, collaborative relationship with recruiting professionals: 

  • Asking the right questions

Just like any other relationships which inevitably begins with courtship where the two parties get to know each other. Similarly, when deciding on a staffing agency (or search firm), it is important to be sure that they are a good fit for you and vice versa. 

When it comes to one’s career, there should be no scope for compromise. We have listed few questions that can help you assess whether a recruiter will represent you well: 

    • How often do you deal with staff roles requiring the skill sets in my background?
    • What types of roles will I be allowed to perform right away as soon as I join?
    • What types of companies and industries will I be placed in with my given background of skill sets?
    • What experience do you have in the industry that enables you to relate to both clients and candidates? 
    • Do you proactively market your candidates? 
  • Staying in touch (but do not pester)

Recruitment agencies tend to stay up-to date with the progress of their job seekers. Therefore, it is important to call or write with questions to simply let them know that you’re still an eager and willing job candidate. These communications are also excellent opportunities to display interpersonal skills such as diplomacy, active listening and willingness to hear different perspectives. The last thing you want is to disappear. However, it is unwise to keep pestering your recruiter as well. A balance needs to be struck. Checking-in every week or two is the common industry practice but, if you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask how often your particular recruiter likes to be in touch and also what form of communication he or she prefers. Overall, this helps the recruiter feel confident while sending you to any job interview.

  • Being honest and open when working with a recruiter 

Being upfront about what one is looking for in terms of salary and position is the best way to let a staffing professional find the best possible job for you. Similarly, being straightforward about one’s salary history, the responsibilities one has held at previous positions and the reasons for leaving past roles is equally important. It is absolutely fine to also look for work on your own, but it needs to be promptly informed to the agency if you have a job lead in the pipeline. The same goes for any personal or familial obligations that might impact your availability. Overall, first impressions set the tone for relationships and being forthcoming demonstrates a trustworthy character. 

  • Asking for guidance

Having a insider’s perspective, recruiters can provide valuable tips to improve one’s chances of landing a job. Ask for a candid assessment of your overall strengths, from your salary expectations to interviewing skills and professional appearance as a prospective candidate. If they are really good in their job, they will provide you with an unvarnished feedback. It is upto you to listen without being defensive. There also needs to be a willingness to capitalize on their tips and guidance otherwise it becomes redundant.

  • Don’t be shy when it comes to money

There are no reasons to withhold information about one’s salary expectations or the history of what one has been paid by past employers. One very important function of any recruiter is to suggest a rate that is fair to both parties.  

However, one shouldn’t be surprised if their recruiter suggests positions that don’t perfectly match their desired location, hourly rate or type of job as they want to provide as many viable options as possible so that you can start working as soon as possible. Holding out for that dream job can leave you waiting forever. 

  • Staying in touch even after landing an assignment

Many recruiters tend provide guidance while you are on an assignment- especially if you are a new hire. Thus, approaching your recruiter first about any issues one might experience with a client company further strengthens the trust between the recruiter and the job seeker.

  • Spreading the good news.

When you find a staffing agency you enjoy working with, recommend it to friends and colleagues. Having great referrals help raise your profile and may even inspire recruiters to think of you more often when they come across any new job opportunities. 

All-in-all, it can be concluded that no matter where you are in the process of seeking a job, honesty, responsiveness and grace provide a great foundation for a solid relationship with any recruiter.


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