Here at FreshMinds Select, we pride ourselves on having a collaborative approach to recruitment, trying to match up candidates to the right roles, and offering an advisory service to ensure that candidates take the right step in their career. However, it is worth noting that there are certain things we expect from our candidates in return. I thought it would be useful to share some ideas with you on how you can make the most of your candidate experience in order to get the best opportunity to be placed in the right job, and what we, as recruiters, will expect from you!
Sell! Sell! I think it is important to mention that the candidate/recruitment consultant relationship is a two way thing. You should always view your initial screening interview as an important part of your recruitment journey. Recruitment agency screening interviews are never just a ‘formality’ or another ‘hoop to jump through’. This is the chance for the consultant to decide whether they would be confident in representing, promoting and placing you with their clients. There is of course an equal onus on the consultant to sell their services, but remember that representation isn’t automatic, rather based on calibre and ability. I felt it was worth reiterating the importance of making a great first impression.
Know your strengths. It is really important that you are aware of where your skills and strengths lie. Wanting a career change is perfectly acceptable, but it might not be possible to achieve your dream career in one move. Be realistic about your next steps and make a plan – if your career to date is in marketing, then it is unlikely that you can make a move straight into strategic consulting. However, the smart candidate will understand what he / she has to offer and be open to strategic marketing roles, or consultancies with a marketing focus – it’s not the dream, but is a good step towards it.
Know what you DON’T want. It is OK to be unsure of exactly where you want to go in your career. The consultants in the Select team really enjoy meeting talented candidates who are open to a variety of opportunities and suggestions. However, it is important that you are clear on what you don’t want from a role. If you communicate this, then you won’t find yourself looking at frustrating briefs which could be wide of the mark in terms of your expectations.
Push back. If a role does not appeal, or you have concerns, always voice them. Never go along to an interview for practice or in the vague hope that the employer can change your mind about the role. You could very quickly find yourself caught up in the interview process, with an offer that you don’t actually want! An open and honest relationship between candidate and recruitment consultant is always best.
As we move into what is traditionally one of the busiest times in the recruiting calendar, I thought it might be useful to share some tips. Happy job hunting! Let me know if you have any thoughts to share.
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Rob heads up FreshMinds Select’s financial services offering