Peter K. Studner Associates, Inc.
Copyrighted © Peter K. Studner 1989-2006
Dealing with Recruiters!
When they call!
1 . Find out if they are working on a retained or contingency assignment. This is important and concerns whether they have an exclusivity on the search or are one of many recruiters. Contingency firms do not have an exclusivity on a given search and may be one of several firms requested to look for a candidate. They are only paid when they fill the position. Retained firms are paid a fee to conduct a search on an exclusive basis. They get paid a higher fee and usually accept positions with $100,000 plus salaries.
2 . If contingency - control the distribution of your resume. Get them to give you the name of who they want to send it to. Not vice versa. You do not want recruiters doing a global mailing of your resume to their list of prospects. You just might already be talking to one of them, and it could be awkward having the recruiter intervening.
3 . Find out if the search is old or new. If it is old, have they proposed candidates that were unacceptable? Get details. The older searches mean that either the company has not decided fully on the specifications or the recruiter has not been able to satisfy the company’s needs.
4 . Ask for a job description in writing. You need to know exactly what the company is looking for so you can match your skills against the company's requirements. If you do not match all the primary requirements, your chances for success will be reduced.
5 . Request the name of the company and location. Working in the blind does not help you with your decision to go forward with any introduction.
6 . Reveal your total salary package (to recruiters only). Recruiters try to match candidates that meet requirements of the company and fall within their salary range.
7 . Ask for salary range, but do not give an opinion. If you are within their range, use your skills to sell yourself to their higher number. For more on Salary Negotiations, consult Super•Job•Search.
8 . If they request another resume, e-mail it to the recruiter followed by a fax or mailed hardcopy and a cover letter.
9 . Ask about the next step. Can they arrange for you to meet the client? How long should this take? Try to get a meeting with the recruiter. Retained recruiters will go out of their way to meet you if their client expresses an interest in you.
10 . Get the name of the decider inside the company – usually the person who you would be working for. Do your homework, look up the company and the decider in advance to learn as much about them as possible. Begin with a Google search. You can learn a lot, which will help you align your skills with the company's products or services. Avoid speaking to the company without doing your research.
11. If this recruiter was not on your original mailing list, be sure to verify if they charge anything for their services. Sometimes recruiters pass resumes to non-recruiting firms who try to sell services to candidates. This is rare, but we have seen this happen. When in doubt ASK, especially if they want to charge you to "revise your resume to the client's needs," which is a sure sign this is not a real recruiter.
12. Remember, recruiters are paid by the recruiting company to find the most qualified candidate, and will do all they can to keep you an interested candidate, provided you are a finalist.
For more information on dealing with recruiters, consult Super•Job•Search and Peter's Blogs.