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Shady Recruiters

shady-character-300x260I’ve been a headhunter for 16+ years. I’ve heard every kind of horror story about shady recruiters you can imagine. The average complaints about recruiters are common – they don’t call you back, they just fished for job leads, etc. The really shady recruiters are worse – they’ll alter your resume without your permission, they’ll send your resume to employers without your approval, and I even had one candidate tell me that their recruiter ended up having an affair with the candidate’s significant other! Talk about shady recruiters! While a good recruiter can be absolutely invaluable to your career, shady recruiters can be extremely costly. Here is some advice on how to sort out the good from the shady recruiters:

1) How the recruiter finds you – this can speak volumes as to their ability. Referrals are obviously best. A mutual acquaintance is unlikely to put you in touch with someone who isn’t great at what they do. Many recruiters now a day used LinkedIn to reach out to candidate prospects. That’s a totally acceptable way of doing things, but you want to scrutinize the recruiter’s approach. Shady recruiters will reach out with vague and unspecific emails because they are probably just fishing. A strong recruiter will be much more likely to send a very specific message to you about a very specific search, or area of expertise that they focus on that is well aligned with your experience.

2) How competent is the recruiter – a competent recruiter is one that does a few key things. First, they are going to take time to understand your experience and your career goals. Second, they’ll demonstrate a certain level of marketplace knowledge and expertise. Good recruiter’s will be knowledgeable about their clients and the jobs that they are pitching to you. They’ll also only present jobs where there is a fairly strong alignment between your background and skills. Good recruiters will quickly establish credibility and you’ll get the sense that they know what they are talking about. Shady recruiters will often spend little to no time speaking with you, demand your resume, won’t tell you the names of clients, etc. If a recruiter tells you that the client is “confidential”, that is typically code for “I’m going to send your resume all over creation without your knowledge”.

3) Follow Up Skills – one of the biggest criticisms I hear about the staffing industry overall is that shady recruiters “don’t follow up”. A good recruiter is going to have strong follow up skills. As I tell my candidates, “even if the answer is ‘no’, I will always follow up with you so you know”. Good recruiters realize that their candidates are also future clients, and vice versa, so the good recruiters are going to be good about following up.

By |January 18th, 2016|job search|0 Comments

Job Search Mistakes

  1. Having Only One Resume – There are no one-size-fits-all resumes. If you use a single resume for your job search, you are making a big mistake! Resumes are usually glanced over very quickly to pick those candidates selected for interviews. It is critically important for you to target your resume to the specific company/job. A bit of minor tweaking can often make the difference between getting the interview, or not. Refer to my earlier post on how to target your resume here.
  2. Applying Online – this is a classic job search mistake to avoid. The main reason is because it is what everybody else is doing! It is very easy to get lost in flood of applicants who apply indiscriminately online. Second, many recruiters hold the belief that top-notch candidates don’t apply online. Top candidates are either sought out, or come in through other methods. Finally, applying online may hurt your chances of getting an interview or proper consideration at a company. You are far better off being evaluated as an employee referral, represented by a recruiter, or recommended by someone known to the company.
  3. Not Being Selective – whether you are actively or passively job searching, BE SELECTIVE. I generally advise people to take initial interviews liberally. Meeting the people and company face to face is the best way to see if there might be a fit. After an initial interview, I suggest people get much more selective. Don’t get deep into the interview process, or take things to the offer stage, if you can’t see yourself working at the company. You’ll not only be wasting your time, but you could leave a negative impression with the people who feel like you wasted theirs.
  4. Not Networking – this is the ultimate job search mistake. Study after study shows that the best jobs, and the best chances of landing your next job lies in networking. Friends, classmates, recruiters, alumni organizations, professional organizations, and former coworkers are just some of the categories of contacts you should tap into when considering a job change. Many people don’t do this because it involves more effort, but it is absolutely worth it!

David Staiti is the founder and Managing Partner of Virtus Recruiting, LLC. He has almost two decades of executive search and recruiting experience. He’s published numerous articles on job search and career management topics for The Wall Street Journal, CareerBuilder, and Forbes.com