I remember my first interactions with recruiters while I was searching for a job a year or so before I was to graduate from college. Prior to that, I seemed to just go into a business; fill out an application; someone would talk to me; be offered job and begin work. The concept of having someone whose sole job was to bring in talent was foreign to me.
The career fairs held on the college campus at Texas A&M were my first real interactions with recruiters. I remember thinking how these recruiters seemed to have made it: “if I could only get to where they are”. They were working for great firms and were my first hurdle to clear before getting a job that I truly wanted; at least they seemed to be a hurdle. It never dawned on me how important the recruiting function is to a company.
The recruiting organization serves the rest of the company by bringing in new team members. It is critical for a recruiter to know and understand the company which they are representing. They need to be able to clearly articulate the mission and value proposition of the company. They also need to be able to explain the benefits and the culture of the organization. At the same time, they must assess candidates for their fit to the job, the company and the team for which they will be serving.
In addition to a match in skills, there are obviously other factors that must be considered in selecting people to work for your firm: work ethic, culture match, etc. After the recruiting organization identifies talent, they must work their magic to sell their candidate internally as well as sell the candidate on the company.
I remember the relationship I built with the recruiter for the firm in Amarillo (Pantex Plant) that I ultimately accepted an offer from and began work. He and I kept in touch and spoke regularly after the offer was made prior to my start date. He was doing his job of ensuring that I was still interested and committed. I was also ensuring that things were all still a ‘go’ from my end.
The job of a recruiter is not near the ‘Cush’ position that I had envisioned. It is rewarding, for sure. However, the stress of managing the expectations and demands of the internal hiring managers as well as HR leadership is challenging. In addition, the delicacy of finding and selling talent on joining the organization is also quite tricky.
Recruiters often get a bad rap when an opportunity isn’t offered to a candidate. And of course, the recruiter is the communication point with the candidate.
What you should expect from a recruiter:
- Responsive, frequent and honest.
- A good recruiter is almost always on. After hours are prime time for recruiting communication.
- How well does the recruiter as well as the hiring team (if applicable) think you fit into the role, company, team, etc..
- The recruiter should be seeking information from you on compensation expectations, travel, cultures match, your availability, your interest in the position and company, getting insight from you on any other opportunities you are considering, etc.
I wish you success in your job search.