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How to get the best out of your relationship with a recruiter

by Alex Anton July 04, 2019

Whether you’re fresh out of university or a seasoned professional in need of advice, the chances are that you might be new to dealing with recruiters and you’re not quite sure what to expect from this interaction. We have taken the time to reflect on what a great candidate-recruiter partnership looks like in our experience and is keen to share some insights which will help you reap real value from this connection.

  • Honest communication is so important.

Our approach at Freshminds is to be as consultative as possible and to deliver a personalised service, which we wouldn’t be able to do without fully understanding our candidates. When we ask about your experience, your areas of interest or about other interview processes that you’re currently in, it’s not because we’re looking for something to use as leverage against you. If we’re in the dark, we can’t help you to the best of our abilities! Remember that we are a bridge between you and the company that you’re interested in working for and we need to have a clear picture of your situation to be able to represent you adequately. Transparency on both sides helps to build trust and can lead to a fruitful collaboration.     

  • If you’re not keen on an idea that we’ve suggested, please let us know.

This is valuable feedback that we need to tailor our approach and contact you with opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. If you’re on the fence, we’re more than happy to clarify any points for you, so don’t be afraid to reach out. You might even be in the situation where you’re finding it difficult to decide between offers – our clients are often happy to answer further questions or meet again, just let us know, and we’ll do our best to make sure you’ve got all the information you need.  Alternatively, if you’re off the market and can give us a heads up, we’ll hold off reaching out with new things unless you choose to get back in touch!

  • During an interview process, it’s essential to be responsive and flexible. 

To allow you to focus on your preparation and take some of the stress out of the job hunt, we take the admin of organising interviews off your hands. If you’re able to provide us with your full availability and can be flexible to a reasonable degree, that will ensure that the interview process moves at pace – it goes without saying that this is in everyone’s best interest.

  • After you’ve met with our client, we’ll be interested to hear your impressions!

Was it what you expected? Do you have any concerns? Are there any aspects of the role that you need them to explain in more detail? How does this compare to other things you’re looking at? It’s all part of us trying to make sure that you are spending your time interviewing for the right role. If you’re having doubts but we’re not aware of them, there isn’t much that we can do to try and help the situation. We’d rather know your honest thoughts; regardless of what they are so that we can figure out what is the best way to move forward.

  • We can only negotiate on your behalf if we have all the information.

Salary negotiations, for example, can seem quite intimidating and awkward. Our experience and the relationship that we’ve built with the client position us well to negotiate a better offer for you, but during this discussion, we must rely on having up-to-date and accurate information regarding your expectations. The same goes for any contract or start date related queries, as well as things like pre-booked holidays which we need to flag to the client ahead of time. Even if you might think it’s not relevant to communicate something, it’s always better for us to have more information to avoid any bumps further down the road.

  • There’s a difference between recruiters and career consultants.

We aim to recommend opportunities that are a genuinely good fit for you, something that we can only do if you're open and sharing your expectations and concerns with us. We’re often able to flag exciting ideas which are otherwise difficult to come by during your independent search! However, it is worth making the distinction between a career consultant and a recruiter – before reaching out to the latter, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about what sort of role you’d ideally want, or at least what industry/type of company you’d most like to work in. Our main value-add is that we can identify the opportunities that match your skill set and aspirations and support you throughout that application process, but we do not offer career coaching services.   

In short, it may seem like an unnatural dynamic at first, but if you approach it in the right way, building a strong relationship with your recruiter can make the job search a lot easier. Your honesty helps us to reach out with things that are well-suited to you and to represent you in the best light to our clients, therefore making good use of your time — as such, being genuine and quick to respond has a positive impact on your professional reputation and make you a delight to work with from both the client’s and the recruitment consultant’s perspective

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