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How to use a recruiter

by Will Dawson August 30, 2011

​I met with a fantastic candidate today, who was looking to make their first job change having spent a number of years at a well respected strategy consultancy. As the conversation went on, we went on to discussing their experiences of the search so far. I was sadly unsurprised to hear that their experiences had been mixed. However, there are some fantastic and knowledgeable recruiters out there so I thought I would add my tips on how to use a recruiter.

  • Be yourself – every recruiter worth their salt will want to meet you face to face. This meeting is extremely important as it will be the foundation on which your relationship is based. Be professional and on game, but you need to be honest and express your genuine interests and motivators, not what you think they are looking for. This will also help you avoid being ‘boxed’ or ‘pigeonholed’ should you be keen to move function or industry.

  • Ask questions – PLEASE quiz your recruiter, it is our job to understand the requirements and the organisation. Of course there will be things we don’t know, but we can always try and find out. Expect an interview briefing that can help compliment your own research and preparation.

  • Be human – at FreshMinds we love that the major part of our job involves dealing with people. Good recruiters have seriously high levels of emotional intelligence, so don’t think we are only assessing you on the words that you say and what is written on your CV. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Consultants here enjoy catching up with the candidates they have helped - people who are polite, professional and appreciative will often find themselves at the top of a shortlist.

  • Be politely persistent, not a nag – we would like to help and place every candidate who applies for FreshMinds and who walks through our door. However, we work with some of the most exciting and respected organisations in the UK, so the bar it set high. Also most recruitment companies are search organisations which means that at any given time, there is never always the perfect role for everyone! I would recommend that a candidate who is actively pursuing roles to check with their recruiters every 10-15 days. We want to place you, so if we have the right role we will be in touch, but the odd nudge never harmed anyone.

Ultimately, recruiters are here to help you. Use them wisely and you will find your career will prosper – expect them to find you the perfect job without you needing to invest in the relationship, and perhaps you are not as commercially savvy as you thought…?

Will Dawson is a consultant on the Select team at FreshMinds Talent

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