Building an Effective Relationship With Recruiters

Building a great working relationship with the right recruiter is an essential element of a successful job search. Many of my coaching clients complain that they do not hear back from headhunters after meetings with them or their client. Drawing on my own experience as a recruiter in the City, this is fundamentally because recruiters have become busier and busier and have little time to follow up with potential candidates they have calculated will not earn them any money.

So, how does a job candidate become a great prospect in the eyes of recruiters? How does one create a working relationship that will work for both you and the recruiter? How do you identify and find the right recruiter for you and your job search?

Here are some ideas which might be helpful:

  • There are likely to be a handful of recruiters who focus on your target area. You will be able to find who these people are by asking your network. You may also be able to find them via LinkedIn.
  • Think through the criteria that will make a recruiter a good match for you and your job search. This might include how up-to-speed they are with the state of the job market; whether they work on mandated searches; the strength of their network amongst the leadership in your target houses, etc.
  • The recruiter needs to know that there is a very strong chance of placing you and therefore getting their fee. Therefore, you need to be able to articulate clearly the value that you can offer. Convince the recruiter that you are a motivated candidate and have clear reasons for wanting to move or for leaving your last firm. Let the client know that you will only work with two recruiters. The other will be someone whose clients do not overlap so there will be no blue on blue.
  • In addition to being a strong candidate, add to your perceived value in the eyes of the recruiter by being open to sharing what market intelligence you have. This obviously should not include any proprietary or sensitive information.
  • If you have the opportunity to do so, agree with the recruiter the preferred method and timing of all communication. For example, how soon after an interview you will call the recruiter to give them your feedback, and when you will get feedback from them.

Any questions on how to build a great working relationship with recruiters? Feel free to get in touch at