Elite Executive column: How to build an effective relationship with a recruiter

The title “Recruiter” tends to have both positive and negative connotations depending on whom you are speaking with.

Some people would consider recruiters unhelpful whilst others swear by them. As a recruiter, I come across both of these attitudes when meeting with clients and candidates alike, mainly because of past experiences or because of what people have heard.

Either way, there is good and bad in every industry and whether you are just commencing the search for your next role or looking to find a leader for your business, I would like to give you a few tips to help you build a good, strong relationship with a recruiter.

• Do your research. Find a recruitment company and then an individual recruiter that specialises in your field or industry. Speak with a few of them and then decide who you are confident will professionally advise you and represent you.

• Keep the communication lines open. A recruiter will speak with many, many people in a given week and will not always remember everyone that they have spoken with, so keep in contact at a frequency recommended by your recruiter.

• Take on board feedback: A recruiter knows the market, what your market value is and how best to promote your skills. Listen to the feedback, ask questions and understand that we want to give you the best possible chance to gain the offer you desire.

• When meeting with a recruiter, be clear about your career goals and aspirations. Also what you can offer your next employer. Be honest and upfront. We want to help you find employment you will both enjoy and excel at but if we feel you are withholding information then a recruiter won’t take the risk of representing you.

• We understand that it can be hard to place your career into someone else’s hands, but trust us; we know what we’re doing. Allow the recruiter to do what they do best. When a recruiter has initiated a client referral for you do not contact the client directly without the recruiter’s permission or knowledge and most importantly, leave the salary negotiation up to us. Trust me, we have the best chance of getting you what you are looking for, or better.

• Be cordial and professional at all times, especially when receiving disappointing news. We endeavour to do our best to keep you in the loop and do not enjoy the calls to advise you that you were unsuccessful with an application. It is as hard on us as it is on you. Take the call gracefully and listen to the feedback you receive.

Use us for advice, call us when you see opportunities advertised, we may know the company or hiring manager and can give you some ‘inside’ information if they are recruiting directly.

We are here to help and sincerely love finding jobs for our candidates and amazing leaders for our clients. If you are looking for your next opportunity (or next leader!) please call me for a confidential discussion.