As a recruiting professional with over a dozen years experience, I’ve also had the opportunity to be on the other side of the fence. I can say with great certainty that trust is very important, and it’s a two way street.
A huge value of working with a recruiter is that they provide guidance by helping you navigate through the process of interviewing and negotiations.
- Be honest. My approach is always to be as transparent as possible. Providing a big picture of all of the moving parts, and admitting where I don’t know the answers has proven to be useful in building trust with candidates. Transparency provides everyone the information they need to make the best possible decisions.As a candidate, it’s important to also provide as much information as possible to your recruiter. Whether that recruiter is a third party person or working directly with the potential employer, they will be your advocate to be able to provide a mutually beneficial experience. While you may want to hold your cards close to your chest, it’s important for your recruiter to understand your motivators as well as your interest in the opportunity.The more information you can provide to your recruiter, the better they can advocate for your success.
- Understand your motivators. These are very important to recruiters. A big part of our work is matching up the right people to make “cultural fit” successful. This is a super challenge when candidates aren’t self aware at all and have no idea what they want in life. These are some sample questions to ask yourself so you can head into career transition in a positive manner with a recruiter. What is important to you in a company culture? What part of your work gets you most excited? What do you dislike about your current role? What are your career goals? Why are you open for a new career opportunity?
- Always be kind. The most successful executives that I engage with always understand the value of being professional and kind. They may not be interested in career moves, but they always take my call and almost always offer some sort of referral. They know that whilst they aren’t on the job market now, there may be a time where a connection with another professional will lead to greater things.On this same note, recruiters have a personality characteristic of wanting to help others. Our favorite thing is making that perfect match. We hate giving rejection feedback. Try to remember that we’re doing our best to share the most useful feedback with you. We don’t always get information, so we’re not blowing you off by telling you simply that you aren’t getting the job.
- Share feedback. Throughout the experience, it’s helpful to understand your perspective of the company interview, the questions they ask, your thoughts about the people you’ve interviewed with, and if you can visualize yourself working in that role. Likewise, it’s also helpful for recruiters when you let us know if we’re hitting the mark for you as well. We try to provide feedback throughout the process, although it may be just as hard for us to squeeze water from a stone than get honest feedback from a hiring manager. When we do provide responses, please don’t punish us for not having the information you wanted.
- Don’t burn bridges. This is certainly related to #3 (always be kind), but it bears repeating. Recruiters are like elephants and remember everything. Example of destroying future opportunities with a recruiting professional may include a) ghosting them b) saying unkind things to them or c) lying to them. If you do these things to us, we anticipate that you would also act this way in your job. Instead, respond to your recruiter. It’s okay to reject an offer or tell us that you’re no longer interested. We can handle it. It’s okay for you to say that you were unhappy with the interview. It’s how you do it that counts.
- Stay connected. There’s always the future opportunity to work together. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch, and doesn’t take any further effort to hit that “connect” button.