The job search process can be overwhelming, with plenty of things to think about. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get inside the mind of a recruiter?
When I tell people my profession, they sometimes admittedly think I just find a warm body to fill a “job”. Actually, recruiting involves so much more when it comes to filling an open position.
Understanding the many roles recruiters play can help you not only secure a crucial first interview, but it can also guide you to ask the right questions during the process.
Balancing it all
First, we consider the needs of the company. When filling a position, we’re seeking a specific skill set, experience and possibly a niche area of expertise. Maybe the business is seeking a person that is creative, innovative, technology driven—or all the above.
We also consider your needs. Would your personality mesh well with the company culture, with the manager and the team you’ll be working with? Will this role provide you with the work/life balance you desire, meet your salary expectations and provide the career growth you’re seeking?
To balance it all, recruiters are savvy and multi-professional. In fact, we’re many roles in one. Here’s how we connect exceptional people with exceptional opportunities:
Hunters. We find talent in both usual and unusual places. To find that infamous “purple unicorn”, we let all creative juices flow. We use many resources, from applications, databases and job board resources to networking. For example, we may scour LinkedIn Recruiter to find profiles similar to other “rising star” candidates recently hired and/or promoted. And when looking for niche skills such as a process engineer, we search Google Chrome extensions to find direct, updated contact info. We also network with previous hires.
Think like a recruiter: Post your resume in all the right places. Keep your LinkedIn profile current and include keywords that show niche and specialty skills. Connect with colleagues working in places and positions you desire, and don’t be afraid to ask them for a referral.
Career Counselors. It’s important that we understand your depth of skills and experience for certain roles by recognizing your strengths and aligning to open positions. We may ask probing questions and look for a segue to the perfect question that will round out the interview and allow us to share how you’re a fit for the role.
Think like a recruiter: When we probe for more information about your professional experience, don’t be shy. Share! You never know where the conversation may lead you. We just might find that you are a better fit for a similar role at a different level.
Schedulers. There are many administrative aspects to recruitment. Coordinating with multiple schedules and conflicts and various personal and professional calendars can be a challenge.
Think like a recruiter: Be flexible and patient during the interview process. We recognize the process can be frustrating, but we have your best interests in mind.
Salespeople. Recruiters sit on both sides of the “sales” desk. Not only do we highlight company opportunities (including benefits, perks and career growth potential), we also promote right-fit candidates to the hiring team.
Think like a recruiter: Be prepared and do your homework. Reread the job description, research the company website and read public white papers. Tell us why you think you’re right for the role. It’s also important to keep an open mind about the big picture and the company’s total benefits package.
Researchers. We are up-to-speed with the latest technologies and know what’s going on in the industry. We stay current with hiring trends and consistently review industry, market and competitor data.
Think like a recruiter: Do some investigative research of your own. Keep up with the latest job search apps and hiring trends in your industry of choice. And don’t be surprised if the recruiter knows more about your industry or company than the average HR personnel.
Mediators. As recruiters, we are the go-between person, buffer or middleman. We run salary negotiations and balance emotions as offers are presented.
Think like a recruiter: Stay patient and practical during the negotiation process. Remember, we are an advocate for both you and the company.
HR representatives. It’s vital to the success of the recruitment process that we know all aspects of human resources policies and procedures. We keep up-to-date with salaries, benefits and even governmental mandates, regulations and laws.
Think like a recruiter: Bring all your questions to the table during the interview process. Knowing that you’re interacting with a true human resources professional can ease the entire experience.
Recruiters want the process to flow smoothly for all parties. By understanding the many roles we play, you can better prepare yourself to succeed during your job search and interview process—and position yourself as that purple unicorn.
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