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What Recruiters Want

August 20 2010 - A recent study from leading North American recruitment firm Rosenzweig & Company highlights how potential employees can best respond to increased use of recruiters as the economy recovers.

Jay Rosenzweig, managing partner said:

"It's been a long while since many people have been in these interviewing situations making it even more important than ever to have a firm grasp of the process well before the interview begins."

The report offers key advice for individuals recruited for a job opportunity:

  • The headhunter works for the employer, but can also be your friend - The report points out that recruiters can provide general advice and be used as a sounding board. The recruiter can act as an intermediary between candidates and potential employers, responding to comments or concerns before direct contact takes place.
  • Retainer v. contingency - Clarify the basis on which recruiters are being employed. Retainer-based contracts where payment is assured tend to be less focused on quick results and commission, reducing the risk of inappropriate placements.
  • Sell yourself - Convey your skills, experience and career plans without overstating your accomplishments. Provide recruiters with sufficient information to promote your candidacy to a potential employer.
  • Be yourself - Recruiters and potential employers can detect insincerity. Trying to redefine your background or personality in an attempt to fit a specific role is unlikely to be successful.
  • Do your homework - Research your prospective employers including recent financial and operational developments. However, do not present yourself as an expert on the organization.
  • Try to relax - Attempting to anticipate questions and preparing answers is likely to be counter-productive. Candidates may be unsuccessful if over-eagerness is interpreted as desperation.
  • Be honest about any other opportunities you are considering - Both recruiters and potential employers will understand that you may be considering other options but will not appreciate being misled.
  • Come clean - Be honest with the recruiter about any past issues that could affect the attitude of a prospective employer. It is better to volunteer potentially negative information than risk it emerging at a later date.
  • Accept constructive criticism - If recruiters or potential employers provide constructive criticism, use it as a learning opportunity.

Jay Rosenzweig commented:

"Job seekers have had lean years and very little movement on the jobs front, including at the higher levels. Some people who've survived the recession with their job intact may think they hold all the cards if a company or recruiter calls. But now, more than ever, the best advice is to check your ego at the door and understand the 'buy and sell' process when presented with dream job opportunities. One of the most fundamental rules in this business is to know when to talk and know when to listen."

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