Tips for recruiters

In my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with many recruiters.  Quite frankly, some are better than others.  Let me start by saying that I have the highest respect for anyone that chooses to spend their days helping people like me find work.  Being a recruiter is not easy.  These folks have to be able to have high level conversations with job seekers and employers on a very wide range of technical topics.  There is a lot of anxiety involved in job searches (from both sides of the table).  It’s a game of risk, nerve and sometimes one or both sides of the conversation are bluffing.  This is not an easy gig.

Having said all that … here are some tips that I think some of the recruiters I’ve worked with could benefit from.

  • Ask me what I love about my work.  Find out what excites me about what I do, find out why I still want to do this job.  Hint:  The money is great, but I need more than a great rate to be happy in any gig I take on.
  • Ask me what I hate about my work.  Knowing my pain points will help you avoid placing me somewhere with a lot of sharp edges.  I’ve done this long enough that I’ve learned to be upfront about the things that get in my way.  I can’t always see those sharp edges in your job description, but I count on you to know the terrain before you send me in.
  • Ask me what I’m learning now.  This is an important question to me.  My resume tells you where I’ve been, this question will give you an idea where I’m going.
  • Read my resume.   I wrote it to start a conversation about my work.  If you call me and have no questions about my resume I’ll know you didn’t read it.  If I can’t count on you to read my resume I can’t count on you.
  • I want to know the salary range for the jobs we discuss.  I don’t want to share the details of compensation of my current/previous jobs.   In my mind, one has nothing to do with the other.  I negotiate compensation for each job on it’s merits.  While I prefer not to talk compensation details of previous jobs, I have no problem sharing my compensation goals during each job search, I think that’s fair and it’s something you need to know.

If you are a job seeker in the DFW area, Taylor Tassos (at Partnership Employment) and Emma Haskins (at Tek Systems) have my enthusiastic endorsement.

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