Why You Must Get to Know Recruiters

The recent CareerXroads Source of Hire survey had people in the HR space talking this week, and the survey results seem to point to an interesting trend: Are we seeing the return of the recruiter?

While the employee referral is still the number one source of external hire, employers’ use of recruiters—both direct source (corporate recruiters) and third party—nearly doubled in 2013. In 2012, employers reported that just 6.8 percent of their external hires came from direct-source recruiting. Tha number was 12.1 percent in 2013. Use of third party recruiters increased to 5.9 percent.

Since it appears that employers are increasingly turning to recruiters to fill open positions, it makes sense to know who they are, what they do, and how you can connect with them.

Types of Recruiters

  • Corporate recruiters

Corporate recruiters work directly (and only) for the hiring company. The best way to engage a corporate recruiter is to register online with the company job board even if no positions are open. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn and ask for an informational interview.

The advantage of connecting with corporate recruiters is that they have direct access to hiring managers and roles within the companies for which they work, and know in advance about job board postings for in-demand, full-time positions that will be opening. Of course, that also means that you’ll be competing for their attention since full-time positions at hot companies are very desirable.

  • Third-party recruiters

These recruiters are better known as “head hunters.” They are a third-party, contracted as the only company to submit candidates for consideration for a position. The best way to engage a third party recruiter is to get a recommendation or referral from colleagues. The next best way is to reach out to them on LinkedIn. Some also have web sites where you can submit a resume.

The advantage of working with a third-party recruiter is exclusive access to senior-level roles and an established relationship with the hiring company. However, they tend to engage and respond only when you are a qualified candidate for one of their openings, so if you don’t hear something back from them it means you are likely not a fit.

Working with Recruiters

A few things to keep in mind once you do get in touch with a recruiter:

Don’t Stereotype: While some people may have had bad experiences with a recruiter, many others have had very positive experiences. Find a variety of contacts with whom to work, and develop solid relationships with those you like. As with all other aspects of your job search, success can be attributed to your activity levels.

Be Patient: Recruiters are extremely busy and there will be times where you hear nothing back from them. But, if they have something for you, they will likely reach out. It is OK to check in with agencies and headhunters every few weeks, especially if you to provide them with an updated resume with new professional development and credentials.

Give to Get: Follow recruiters and their companies on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), engage with them, and provide candidate referrals for their posted openings whenever you can. It will help them to remember you and keep you in mind for other opportunities.

Will we see greater numbers of hires made through recruiters in next year’s CareerXroads survey? It may, in part, be due to your own efforts that the numbers climb.

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