I have lost count, of the number of times I have held a discussion with a candidate who shares with me their disappointment, in their lack of success in securing job opportunities, via direct applications to employers.
Let me share with you some thoughts on the matter.
Once you have made a direct application to a company for an advertised opportunity or a speculative introduction for a future opportunity, you immediately alienate yourself from your recruiter. They are no longer entitled to represent/introduce you and ultimately earn themselves a fee from that company!
My advice to you, would be to partner with your recruitment agency. Share with them details of companies you would like to work with. Opportunities you have seen advertised or heard of. Get them on your side, and working to secure what you want.
"…You would say that…." I hear you say - well here are my reasons below and why recruitment agencies work hard, to earn their fee and get you, your dream job.
Your recruitment agency;
- Should know you and your capabilities. They will present you professionally. Help shape your CV and application, to be most relevant to each opportunity.
- Should know the assignment and whether you are a good match. They will prevent you from discrediting yourself by applying for something you would not be considered for. Some employers will not put in writing, some criteria that they are using for selection processes, which you will not know, but your recruiter will.
- Should, in some cases, know the client well enough to get you to interview stage on the strength of their recommendation. Brief and prepare you for the interview process. Possibly share insights on the company/Interviewer’s style.
- May have already filled assignments with the employer, and thus have an established relationship, giving you more credibility, over someone coming from a non head-hunter/recruiter source.
- Should know the market rates and the packages that the client provides, and your likely chance of achieving your desired remuneration.
- Will act as a go between, keeping all parties in harmony together for a successful outcome. Will also assist later with the formalities to obtain visa’s if required etc.
- Should know their clients well and their future plans. Many roles are not advertised by clients but are given to recruiters, unofficially or in strict confidence.
- Should work for a specialist recruitment agency to your industry and be a specialist from your industry themselves. Therefore knowing how to interpret your value and experience and introduce you to people who want to meet you. Sometimes even creating roles for the right candidate.
- Should keep you well informed of everything that is happening, good news or bad. They should be controlling the whole process on your behalf.
- Should always be discreet and keep all your details highly confidential and coordinate with you regarding which opportunities you wish to be considered for.
Think of your head-hunter as your career adviser. They won’t encourage you to work for companies that have high staff turn over or that they have market intelligence, indicating it would not be a good move for you. They will partner with you and should gain an understanding of your current points of dissatisfaction and then seek to ensure that your new job ticks as many of the boxes on your wish list as possible.
So, how do you start the process?
Firstly, you should log into your account on your recruitment agencies CRM system and check that all your details are current and correct.
- The name of past and present employers
- Correct employment dates
- Preferences of where you would like to work
- Industry specialism
- Desired salary package.
You should set up your automatic vacancy alerts and make sure you are following all their social media channels. In this way, not only do they now have all your details and preferences, they also have a method of communicating with you automatically, just as your dream job arises. Present yourself as the ideal candidate; include all your great skills and experience that will put your application above the competition.
About the Author
Marcus Doo is a Managing Partner of Mood Group. A specialist head-hunting and recruitment practice to the Printing, Packaging and Industrial Processing sectors.