It always pays to have really good relationships with one or two Recruiters you really trust

July 8, 2013

The Benefits of really effective Agency Representation IN ACTION

A really good relationship with a reputable Recruiter in one’s specific career field is an invaluable connection in anyone’s network – if you don’t have one get one, or two and cultivate them. One never knows when one is going to need those relationships – for business intelligence, competitive salary advice, career strategy, a place to refer friends and colleagues, somewhere to find great talent should you be hiring or just to keep an educated ear to the ground for you should that really special gem of a job which might just tempt you into that next career move.

Having a really good Recruiter in your corner is like always having someone promoting you and running interference for you in a very crowded auditorium where everyone is screaming for attention and when you don’t necessarily have time to play the game because you already have a job which keeps you more than busy. Traditionally, Recruiters don’t have the time to hunt specifically for you for roles which they have not been already mandated to recruit on, (although sometimes high-level executive candidates can find themselves in good relationships with their Recruiters who will take the time on spec to market their skills to companies especially if the senior executive comes to the recruiter with a job in mind). But if a recruiter has identified you as a good candidate for a position they’re sourcing on behalf of their client, it goes without saying that you have a leg up over someone applying on their own for the role. Many times, companies will go to search firms like us when they’ve exhausted their own internal efforts in a search and they need to bring in a heavy hitter who, if the hiring company is smart, will be a very specialised networker in that Recruiting space.  Very narrowly focused Recruiters like an Argentus – with a very narrow focus in Supply Chain Management for high level Contract & Permanent Search –  are known for their very highly developed understanding of their market and their broad and deep talent network which facilitates finding the best candidates in a very tough talent market. So, the advantage for the candidate is that when their resume crosses a hiring executive’s desk with a Recruiter’s endorsement, that resume is by and large taken a lot more seriously. Applying to a position via a job board continues to be a ‘black cyber hole of doom’ for many.

The other real benefit of working with a Recruiter (if they are experienced) is that they are usually able to provide the right information for you to better represent yourself for a role. Because the Recruiter has the advantage of the feedback from the client directly as a search proceeds as well as the information of other candidates who have also interviewed, that business intelligence can all be used to the one’s benefit. a strong recruiter will look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of her/his candidates for a role and should be able to give specific guidance and feedback about what needs to be augmented in a resume which otherwise might be lacking. This increases that candidate’s chances of a more favourable result. Additionally, they can clear up any potential confusion which the Recruiter might perceive the client might have with the candidate. They make sure that the resume doesn’t get passed over just because certain important points were not emphasized or the right aspects of one’s skills were just not fleshed out in enough detail. This advice and feedback can be incredibly valuable from the Recruiter to the candidate and can often be the difference between clinching the interview vs. getting passed over.

We had a great example of this happen just the other day here at Argentus.

We were pursuing an extremely well qualified Director-level candidate for a contract manufacturing role in Consumer Packaged Goods. After an initial discussion about this individual, the client specifically wanted to see candidates who have worked with co-packers (companies that manufacture food and consumer goods for other brands on spec), among other specifications. We had conducted a thorough screen of the candidate to make sure he was absolutely right for the role before submitting him. But, as it happens so often, his resume was not as detailed to the role we were considering him for. The client’s first inclination was to reject the meeting because they had reviewed the LinkedIn profile first before speaking with us. Not surprisingly, as is so very often the case, the LinkedIn profile was incredibly lacking in very important professional detail.

Fortunately our Recruiter was able to investigate by probing the client and find out the details they wanted to know. This was a case where a good Recruiter had picked up on a skill deficit and had bridged the gap by introducing the additional information the client needed to make an informed decision about meeting with the candidate.

So as Recruiters we were able to determine the potentially deadly grey areas that could have killed this.  We had the candidate respond with on-the-spot answers via email.

  • The client wanted to know which co-packers the candidate had worked with: he mentioned the specific companies in his follow up.
  • His resume mentioned that he had conduced supplier compliance. They wanted to know which suppliers, and whether they were co-packers. He was able to fill in the details.
  • His resume also mentioned that he had identified new sourcing opportunities. They wanted to know where they were, and his follow-up described some opportunities he had developed in Asia.
  • Finally, his follow-up went into detail about a supplier risk management plan he had developed, from the initial assumptions and assessment right through to the contact he had made with suppliers to determine risk.

There’s a lesson here: We are constantly harping on about the importance of specificity when crafting a good relevant resume. Companies want quantifiable facts, achievements and very specific details so as to understand how and what you do. The gloss many people give their resumes so as to appear concise oftentimes obscures the specific experience that makes them a good fit for a job.

But the other takeaway is this: we were fortunate to be able to push forward someone’s candidacy in a way that just wouldn’t be possible had they made an independent application. This candidate would have submitted his resume and never heard from the client. Instead, he moved forward, because we were able to get him a second at-bat if you will.

It’s food for thought. Might I suggest if interested you refer to our previous blog posts where we offer concrete suggestions about how to improve one’s resume.

Over and Out

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