Having worked in recruiting for 15 years, I’ve become passionate about helping people find their ideal role, and helping companies create amazing teams. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are six things I love about my work.
1. I help people achieve their goals and make life changing decisions. Changing jobs is one of the most important choices a person makes. The reasons people want to change jobs varies: sometimes people are actively looking and really need a job, while others are stuck in their comfort zone, and wouldn’t make a move if it weren’t for the little nudge from a recruiter. Whatever the reason, moving on to something better often helps people thrive, and I find that helping people tap into their talents and get that dream job is very rewarding.
2. I help companies build awesome teams. It’s also very rewarding when you can see how your work has helped a company grow. While I might them hire the first PR Manager, it often blossoms into a long-lasting relationship, and sometimes I get the fun of staffing out an entire agency team for a new group.
3. I get to learn the ins and outs about a business, its industry, and its management team. One of the things I truly love about my work is seeing what makes a successful employee at a given company, and helping both the new hire and the company grow. Without a recruiter on its side, the company may have a very limited reach to find the best candidate for the job. I pride myself on making great connections.
4. It’s different every day. Some people call recruiting a roller coaster, and there are days and months that it certainly is just that. Every person has his individual idiosyncrasies, so it’s challenging because there is not a single recipe for dealing with every situation. Every placement is a celebration for me, because it was hard work to get there.
5. I meet new people every day. And this leads to lifelong networks, friendships, and career development. Every conversation I have is an opportunity to learn something new. As a respected recruiter, candidates and hiring managers trust my judgment and come to me for career advice. But helping is a two-way street, because I learn something from every person I’m in contact with, and that helps me do better – professionally and personally. Some candidates become personal friends over time, our kids have played together, we share sewing tips, we’ve turned our conversations into new business partners and rolled around product/service ideas.
6. Recruiting satisfies my need to fix things. I’ve always liked to fix things. I’m the person in the house who can install a new electrical outlet or hem a pair of jeans. In recruiting, both parties have something that needs to be fixed. The company has a problem to solved: they have a position that needs to be filled so they can operate at full steam ahead. I’m fixing something for the candidate too – helping them find a better career opportunity, career advancement, a better work environment. And when it all works out, everyone is happy and their problems are solved.
This Valentine’s Day I’m considering this a professional love letter to what I enjoy most: recruiting! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Times are still tough, but the good news is hiring has picked up tremendously in the PR field in the past year. More employers are finding it difficult to source the right candidates for the job and are turning to recruiters to support their open positions. And as probably many agency PR professionals could attest, recruiter inquiries about making a job change are increasing at an alarming rate – especially for Sr. Account Executives, Account Supervisors, and Account Director levels.
If you are thinking about making a change, any edge you can use to get ahead in the job hunt is one well worth taking. And sometimes, even though hiring activity is increasing in the PR field, finding the perfect job isn’t so easy on your own. More job hunters are turning to recruiters now, because they have their finger on the pulse of the industry, and they often know about jobs you won’t find anywhere else.
Why do employers give recruiters secret access to jobs? Usually they want to fill a position quickly and keep the flood of applications from hitting the desk of the hiring manager who just doesn’t have the time to review every application. It could also be a case of a confidential replacement. The employer wants to be presented with the top few candidates who can fill the need, preselected and interested. This is a benefit to the candidate because you know the candidate pool is smaller and you are one of a few candidates being presented.
How to Find a Recruiter
Finding the right recruiter for your job hunt may take a little time up front, but it will be well worth it. Recruiters are either generalists or specialists, and they may focus on different geographical regions, so take that into consideration when searching.
Ask others in your industry (discreetly, if you’re not making it public that you’re looking to change jobs), and check Twitter to see other PR professionals’ recommendations or which agencies are posting interesting opportunities. LinkedIn is a good place to look up potential resources, too. Look for other people who have worked with a particular recruiter, and always ask their opinion. It’s a good idea to develop a relationship in advance – before you start looking for a job.
Building a Relationship
Consider the relationship with a recruiter part of your networking circle. Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, stay in touch, and make sure to update your information (contact info, job skills, etc) so that you stay on her radar when you’re ready to change jobs.
The key to getting help from recruiters is to be a good job candidate. Treat them the way you would a potential employer, and be open, up-front, responsive, and stick to your word. If your recruiter gives you advice, such as tweaking your resume or advice before an interview, listen. She knows what her client is looking for better than you do – it’s invaluable insight into the process.
Recruiters can give you a leg up during your job search, but they can’t help you if you’re not qualified for the position or cooperate during the process. Accept the responsibility of making sure you are an attractive job candidate, and the rest will be a breeze.
A guest post by Jonathan Rick.
In the current edition of her e-newsletter, Claire Kittle, who runs the Talent Market staffing agency, recounts an anecdote that immediately rang true for me. With Claire’s permission, I’m reprinting the story, which I’ve edited slightly.
“I get dozens of applications every day, and you would be amazed to see how many seemingly intelligent candidates do not follow instructions. If I had to put a number on it, I’d estimate that 50% of applicants fail to send me what my clients request.
I used to give all candidates the benefit of the doubt. I would follow-up with them and ask for the information they neglected to send the first time. But I learned that those same candidates often still fail to follow instructions on the second (and third!) attempts, and worse—they frequently get belligerent about being asked for more information!
Here’s a sample scenario:
Me: “Are you free for a phone interview Friday at noon? If so, what’s the best number where I can call you?”
Candidate: “Yes, that will work!”
Sigh. Now I’ll only throw the life preserver to candidates with very strong resumes, but I still file away the fact they didn’t send the right information off the bat.
All this prompts the question: If a candidate can’t follow instructions for a job application, how will that person perform on the job? Will he take direction? Will his work be sloppy? How will he treat your customers? It’s hard to say for sure, but the initial data points don’t bode well for his future as an employee.”
Indeed, although I don’t work in HR, I encounter this bugbear routinely. A recent example:
Vendor: “Please provide profile details.”
Me: “Can you let me know if you can’t get this info from the document I sent this morning?”
The vendor’s response? Silence. Apparently, she could; it was just easier to ask someone than to find a previous e-mail herself.
I learned this passive-aggressive technique from an old boss. Rather than explicitly point out a mistake I had made, he would take the mistake to its logical conclusion. For example, if I wrote that a campaign would run from April-March (rather than March-April), he might reply, “When did our month-long budget get extended to a year?” While my first reaction was, Huh?, upon reflection I appreciated the humor—and gentle guidance.
So, what can we do to minimize these miscommunications? While people will always and forever be lazy, the principles of Web writing suggest separating out anything crucial from the body text. To wit: Any questions or requests should be put in (1) list (2) format, or at least be bolded or highlighted. The extra time this takes upfront will save you from wasting time down the road.
Jonathan Rick is a social media strategist living in Arlington, VA. He blogs at No Straw Men and tweets at @jrick.
Several times in the past few months during a recruiting calls I’ve been asked if I would offer a referral fee. By no means is this new. Back in my recruiting hard-to-find semiconductor engineers days, this question came up all the time. And still, every time, without fail, I hang up the phone a bit more annoyed than the last time.
I question the person’s professionalism. I feel bad that the referral might not have the opportunity to hear about a career changing opportunity because his friend wants to make some cash off his name. And then I wonder if the referrer did get a recruiter to pay him for a referral if he would ever tell his friend he only recommended him for the job because he got some cash out of it. It just feels dirty.
I don’t ask the doctor, the design firm, the accountant, the babysitter, or any other professional service provider to slip me a cash bonus when I refer someone to them. I’m not their hired sales agent. I make a referral because the service provider has earned my confidence and my friend trusts that I have his best interest in mind.
I know that plenty of recruiters out there pay referral fees and that the business model works for them. I also know in 13 years of agency recruiting, I have never paid out a referral fee and a majority of our placements are candidates who have been referred to us directly or indirectly.
Maybe I’m missing something completely…
After reading through all those bland and boring job ads, this round-up of creative and funny recruitment ads is refreshing to see.
See them all on Jacob Share's JobMob - 117 Funniest Creative Job and Recruitment Ads
This is a guest post by Heather Huhman.
Generation Y, Millennials, The Internet Generation"”it doesn′t matter what you call them; they are the future of the workforce. If you speak to any seasoned recruiter about this generation, you may be surprised to learn that while this generation may be the most intelligent generation to join the workforce, they are also considered to be lazy and difficult to retain.
While these two characteristics often cast Gen Y in a negative light, thanks to this generation, recruiting has changed drastically and will continue to evolve. Three key factors make for major differences between Millennials and their predecessors when it comes to engaging and retaining this generation:
- Technology: Gen Y has grown up with technology and its members are referred to as "digital natives." This skill puts this generation at an advantage because they are able to integrate technology into all aspects of their work. Recruiters have noticed this trend and have begun to reach out to potential employees through online means other than job boards. It is very easy to build relationships with (and learn a lot about) future employees through networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If your company is not using social media or other technologies to entice candidates, you are missing out on top talent.
- Parents: Parents of Gen Y children are often called "helicopter parents," thanks in part to their constant hovering and super-involvement in their children′s lives. Never before have parents played such a big role in all aspects of their children′s lives, and these parents don′t just float away when their children head into the workforce. Hiring managers are reporting some parents are going so far as to accompanying their children to interviews and calling companies to inquire about the status of their children′s résumés.
- While this practice should by no means be encouraged, helicopter parents are hard to ignore. Rather than completely brush them off (as much as you may want to), a better practice is to keep them in the loop through blast e-newsletters. As always, remind them that it is their child applying for the job, not the parent and they are not helping their child′s case by hovering too closely.
- Higher Education: Gen Y is graduating from college with more knowledge than any generation before them. They have been told that they are invaluable to the companies that seek them. While they will bring a new breadth of knowledge to your workforce, there is one key aspect they have not been schooled on: how to behave in a professional environment with both superiors and peers.
Reports have shown that Gen Y has a strong sense of entitlement and feel as though they shouldn′t have to work to earn their superior′s respect and rewards. This is often off-putting to recruiters and puts these sorts of candidates at a disadvantage. The best way to mitigate behaviors such as this is to emphasize the way employees at your organization earn respect and move up the organizational ladder.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.
Craigslist postings always crack me up, but this one makes me really ponder why some people think the way they do. Marketing Explosion? Trade shows, press releases, and growth in the same sentence?
Let's be honest, most job descriptions suck. They are written to eliminate candidates from the process, not to attract them. But this tells me a couple of things about the company or recruiter posting the job.
1. They don't care about the type of talent they attract.
2. They are lazy and it probably shows in the rest of their work.
3. They have no idea what they are actually looking for.
4. It's a scam.
If you are going to go through the hassle of posting the job, it must contain a few key ingredients.
Include the basics: We need to know where the job is located , job responsibilities, and requirements.
Even better: Tell the potential applicant what the company does, provide details about the work environment, and explain how the role plays into the company's objectives. People want to feel what they do matters, so show them how it is an important role in the company to achieve its goals. If the applicant needs specific training or education in an area, be sure to clearly state it.
I understand not wanting to give away too many details on an internet posting. In the recruiting business, it could mean losing a hire. But there is never an excuse to be as lazy as the example above.