5 Tips for Candidates to Work Effectively With Recruiters
As the U.S. unemployment rate has decreased over the past year, candidates are finding themselves in the driver’s seat due to a greater number of available opportunities to choose from than in the past, and the pressing need for talent across industries. It is especially noticeable in the life sciences space as candidates are being pursued and pulled in different directions on a daily basis with LinkedIn messages, emails, calls, and texts from recruiters.
Everyone’s job search differs depending on many factors: types of roles, passive versus active search, looking for career growth, etc. Therefore, there can be various kinds of conversations in the market between candidates and recruiters, from brief and surface level to extensive and ongoing connections. At GForce, it is our mission to deliver the highest level of advice and service to our candidates and clients, and always engage in meaningful conversations in this tight labor market. Below are a few tips which can be useful to enhance chances of successful interactions between candidates and recruiters:
1. Taking time to listen and understand
When the recruiter is introducing themselves, engage in active listening so you can catch helpful information and understand their recruitment focus. By asking clarifying questions you can understand how relevant it will be for you specifically, as far as the typical roles and the clients a recruiter partners with.
If they are an in-house recruiter, they will be responsible for filling the roles at a specific organization and will have extensive info about the overall culture and needs of the company they work for. When you are speaking with an external recruiter, they are hired by companies to find the right talent and may have more than one relevant position for you, as well as multiple connections in the industry. As a rule of thumb, if you had a positive conversation with any kind of recruiter, send them a LinkedIn request to stay connected for the future.
2. Being honest
When communicating with a recruiter, be transparent when it comes to your job search, motivation for another role, and ongoing interviews. A good recruiter will want to be your best advocate when representing your candidacy to the client and negotiating on your behalf. By providing real information on those subjects you allow the recruiter to better understand your current situation, provide you with more relevant job opportunities, and communicate effectively with the client.
Additionally, it protects your professional reputation and improves the chances of future collaboration with both the recruiter and the company they represent. Be open about your preferences in the job search, desired compensation, deal breakers, ongoing processes, pending offers and any changes, and you will help the recruiter to provide the best possible service for you.
3. Following up in a timely manner
By providing timely follow up in communication with recruiters you are doing everyone a service, especially yourself. Certain positions may move quickly and be competitive, especially when it is a role with a reputable company, which offers great perks. It is also not recommended to ghost recruiters, especially after having a conversation. If you are not interested in the role or staying in touch, it is better to be direct and provide a reason.
When a recruiter needs information from you for application, provide it as soon as you can, whether it is a copy of your resume, responding to hiring manager’s inquiries, availability for an interview, etc. This way the whole process can be smoother and go by faster. It can be frustrating to miss out on a great opportunity when the role gets filled by another candidate because you were too slow to provide information and follow up.
4. Asking questions to gain feedback and information
It is helpful to ask a recruiter to provide feedback on your resume and identify any areas of improvement, especially for more junior candidates. By being receptive to tips, and modifying your resume to highlight experiences for a specific position if necessary, you can increase your chances of landing an interview.
If a recruiter offers you an interview preparation call, always accept it if your schedule allows you to. This way you can learn something new and helpful, whether it's generic interviewing tips or more specific information about the company, the hiring manager, etc. Do not be afraid to ask questions if something is not clear. The worst that can happen is the recruiter will not have the information and will try to find out for you.
5. Being prepared and doing research
Do not underestimate the importance of interactions with recruiters. While they do not often make hiring decisions themselves, recruiters typically are the gatekeepers for the hiring managers. It is important to make a good first impression during the call and to be on time and prepared to speak knowledgeably about your experience.
If a conversation is targeted for a specific role, doing proper research about the opportunity and being enthusiastic can go a long way with a recruiter. If a call with a recruiter is more generic, be clear about your preferences for the next position as far as the title, location, desired compensation, any companies you are targeting, or anything else that matters. This will help the recruiter with identifying the right opportunities and will save both of you time down the road.
In conclusion, to maximize the value from your interactions with recruiters - be a good listener, be honest, always follow up, ask questions, and be prepared.