Job Search Strategies: Build Relationships with Recruiters

It is common practice in today’s job market that many major corporations and small businesses use professional recruitment companies to source their talent.

If you want any chance of landing the perfect job, it’s vital you keep up good relationships with those recruitment companies. Sure, you can start with a good resume and LinkedIn profile, but in a land of opportunity it’s often who you know that can get your foot in the door faster.

3 quick ways to build relationships with recruiters

#1 Concentrate on those who specialise in your area of interest

Recruiters generally specialise in a particular industry or type of role. For example, you will find firms who recruit for sales and marketing roles and know nothing about IT. A firm might hire for the not-for-profit sector only. Determine which recruitment firms will focus on the areas of your interest before converging on relationship building.

#2 Unsolicited calls

Recruiters will scour online platforms like LinkedIn to find quality candidates. You are not obliged to launch into a Q&A session with a recruiter who calls you off the cuff. If you are not prepared for the call there is the chance you could do more harm for yourself by being under prepared. Instead ask a few questions to determine their relevance to you:

  • Are they a retained recruiter – recruiters who are paid to find quality candidates regardless of whether they are hired elsewhere. Retained recruiters usually work on more senior or executive roles and often are hired exclusively to that role.
  • Are they a contingent recruiter – only paid if their candidate is hired, not for actually sourcing the talent.
  • Is there a role they are trying to fill or is the call more about finding future talent?
  • What is their speciality or area of focus?

Once you have determined their relevance, head online. Take a look at the representative’s LinkedIn profile and pay attention to clients they work for, placements made, etc. Get as much detail as possible to establish whether they are worth more effort and a follow-up phone call to check in with them again later.

#3 Use your network

If you know a friend who was successful at gaining a job through a recruitment company, ask them to recommend you. Have your friend forward your resume as an introduction. Recruiters receive a lot of resumes and receiving one from someone they have successfully placed (and made some money from) will stand out more than one which arrives without introduction.

Recruiter relationships work just like any other networking function.

Give back what you take – recommend others if the question arises, return calls, be helpful and courteous. Jump into activities that will get you noticed, such as memberships to professional associations, attend industry networking events, and ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with keywords that will stand out.

When the time for an interview comes, prepare yourself with a professional resume and some effective interview tactics.

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