Choosing a Recruiter
So, you've decided that there is something missing in your current situation, you've painted a picture of what the ideal opportunity would look like, you've prepared a dynamite resume that will market your skills effectively, you've written an awesome cover letter that describes your personal attributes and have your career transition priority checklist prepared. Now you need to find a good recruiter to assist you in your efforts, but how do you go about choosing one?
Step 1: Find someone who specializes in the same industry and technology that you do. Ask some friends or associates, do some research on the internet and you should be able to come up with a short list of possibilities.
Step 2: Prepare a questionaire that will enable you to narrow down the list. Some possible questions you may want to consider would be:
- How long have you been in the business? (Try to find someone who has at least 1 - 2 years experience)
- What is your process? (Look for an in depth process ie: Do they do prescreens, interviews and cover all important areas to get to know you and your desires and wishes? Do they work on specific assignments or take a "resume spamming" approach?)
- Tell me about a situation you've encountered where your hiring authority really wanted you to pursue someone and was counting on you to deliver them, but it was not in the best interest of your candidate. What did you do and why? (Here we're looking for ethics. Are they more interested in a "right fit" or a quick fix?)
- If you were working on an assignmment where both parties were interested in pursuing an offer, and at the last minute, you tuned up some information that could possibly trash the deal, what would you do and why? (Here again, we're trying to gain an insight into the persons character.)
Step 3: Try to find someone you feel comfortable with. You are going to spend some time together, sharing a lot of personal information and going through some stressful situations. Make sure it is with someone you can trust.
Step 4: Once you've made a selection, be sure to share all of your parameters, wishes and concerns with them. The service they can provide for you, is only as good as the information you provide to them.
Step 5: Keep the communication channels open! A lot of people have a tendency to stay in close touch until an offer is generated. They then retreat into a shell until their decision is made. If you have done your homework and selected someone whom you can trust, don't shut them out for fear they'll try to close you. A good recruiter will understand the situation and if it's not a "win-win" opportunity, will suggest dropping it and moving on.
Step 6: Make as many decisions as possible on the "front end". Once your into the heat of
the battle is not the time to be making decisions. We all make decisions emotionally, then justify them with
logic. One of the most intense and sometimes overpowering emotion is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of
change, fear of loss, etc. Fear is also amplified by stress, so trying to make an important decision in
a stressful situation, (like deciding on a job change, relocating,etc.; once the offer has been made) is a no
win scenario. Your fears will most certainly guide your decisions. Be proactive, not reactive and you will find
the decision process is much easier to deal with. Also, keep in mind what fear actually is:
Prepare Yourself in Advance
I hope this has been beneficial to you in some way. If you only take a couple of things away from this, I hope they are steps 4 and 5. Communication, like time, can make or break any deal and holding all of your decisions until the offer is made is an exercise in futility.
Meet each new opportunity head-on, with the attitude, "Anticipate nothing but expect anything", and you will be amazed how much "in-contol" you really are. Always assume the frontal position. The ancient Samarai's had a saying that best illustrates this point: "When stepping onto the battlefield, test your armour, but only test the front."
In contrast, the chinese character for "coward" is composed of two symbols. One meaning "many", and the other meaning "minds." In other words, one who thinks too much, or one who over-analyzes things. The choice is yours as to which role you decide to play. Best of wishes to you.