With an improving market and more opportunities it makes sense for candidates to enlist the support of consultants in identifying their next career move. As I discussed in my previous blog, what should your-recruitment consultant do for you , there are definite advantages and benefits of using consultants but the relationship needs to be nurtured and managed. In my opinion getting the best out of a consultant involves investing time in building a relationship. Part of this should be taking the time to meet up with the consultant not so they can evaluate you as a candidate but also for you evaluate them as a consultant. The challenge for many candidates is that you cannot necessarily afford either the time or the expense of meeting every single recruiter you wish to register with. Do you really need to meet them?
- Gateway to great roles – Firstly whilst many organisations have increased their capability to recruit directly during the recession, there is still a considerable percentage of roles that are accessed through external recruiters. Only by engaging and developing relationships with the leading consultants in your sector will you be in a position to fully access the market. Allowing the consultant to better understand you will ensure you are fully considered for relevant roles.
- Practise your interview skills – another great reason to meet with your recruiter is to polish up those interview skills. For some people it may have been some time since their last interview and therefore it is useful to get interview practice with some consultants before interviewing for your dream job. Good consultants will provide you with constructive feedback on your interview and will probably give you some tips on how you can improve your performance.
- Feedback from the consultant on CV – although some consultants may give you some advice and guidance over the phone, you are likely to have a more beneficial conversation face to face. Although CV’s are subjective it is worth getting input and advice from a few consultants to ensure you are maximising your chance of securing the right role. Please read our blog on how best to put together a CV (read here).
- Culture Fit – it is easy during your job search to waste time applying to and meeting organisations that may not necessarily fit with you from a cultural perspective. Recruiters can play a key role in identifying organisations where you fit in and this could not only speed up your job search but lead to a successful conclusion. Joining an organisation with a strong fit should ensure greater longevity in role and it will also be instrumental in developing a successful career.
- Broader Career advice – never forget that the advice from a consultant is free – although clearly you need to consider whether they have a hidden agenda, i.e. in terms of the role they are talking to you about. If they know what they doing their advice could be invaluable.
- Job search Advice – linked to this is the advice they can give you around how best to approach your job search. Read our blog on how to approach your job search Your Job Search – How to Create a Successful Campaign – See more here
- Insight into the market – the recruiter, if a specialist in their market is likely to have significant knowledge of what is happening in your sector/market. They should be able to guide and educate you about what is happening within your sector. Again whilst it is possible to illicit some of this information over the phone, you are likely to get more insightful and detailed feedback face to face.
- Market worth – a good consultant will also be able to guide you in terms of your salary parameters and help you evaluate your current package. It is difficult to know sometimes how to pitch yourself in the market and as the market conditions continue to change and improve you want to make sure you are positioning yourself correctly. For broader tips on establishing your market worth read our blog How to determine whether your salary is competitive in the market.
- Can you afford not to meet them?– Given that a consultant is representing you in the market and the potential issues around confidentiality can you really afford not to meet them? You are placing significant trust in them in handling your job move, package negotiation and protection of your own personal brand. It has always surprised me the extent to which candidates don’t protect their CV’s (and that includes posting on job boards – but that is a blog for another day).
It is worth mentioning that of course there will be occasions where the consultant has been retained by a particular client and is carrying out the shortlisting process and so if you wish to be considered for that role you have no choice but to meet up with them. As you can see there are numerous reasons why you should meet your recruiter but before getting to that point it is worth considering which consultants you should talk to in your market or sector in the first place. It is worth talking to people you trust in your own network to see who they have used and who they would recommend that you talk to. If you are serious about finding the right opportunity then you need to make sure you are serious about meeting the consultants who represent you.
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