Recruit Your Recruiter

Blood Distribution Organizational Chart

Blood Distribution Organizational Chart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Having the mindset that a recruiter is going to recognize your brilliance and find you that job instantly can be disastrous.  Try to approach the relationship as you would any other.  Be prepared, do your homework and respect the process.  You may find it rewarding.

OK.  So you have decided to seek help finding the next fit in your career puzzle.  Do you want to go in a new direction or simply want a change of pace with more money and/or better fringe benefits.  Provided you did not blindly stab a dart into the recruiters section of the local legal newpaper or, worse, the yellow pages, you have been somewhat deliberate and put some thought into the recruiter or search firm you want to align yourself with for the effort.  You will discover that the relationship between you and your chosen facilitator is at once a two-sided arrangement that requires mutual trust and professional respect.  Your approach to the union certainly influences the speed and outcome of the search process inasmuch as the recruiter’s application of his skills can certainly make or break even the best offer at the best firm for the best price. One of the most important factors is your understanding of the process and the integral part you play in it.  Often people approach recruiters and agencies with the wrong mindset—“here I am, I am super, now find me a job.”  This mindset can be disastrous for both you and the recruiter or agency you are trying . Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful:

Do your homework before meeting with the recruiter. Homework on the recruiter or search firm is very important.  Know who they are, how long they have been involved in helping people like you and how they are going to place you in line to succeed again.  Define your expectations for the right job—including a timetable.  Provide lots of information.  All to often people play too close to the vest and are selfish even in their own candor.  This only restricts what a recruiter or search firm can do for you.  Once opportunities have been presented, do your homework on potentials firms—with your recruiter or search firm first.  Think through key organizational issues, together: what is the culture of the firm or company, how complex and fair is the matrix of reporting and working relationships; are you a fungible asset to the firm or do you as an asset really matter; what is the number of people along the reporting chain; what does it look like; will you manage or be managed alongside others; who will you work with most closely; what is the actual position, its function and potential for vertical growth.  Preparing completely for these issues go hand-in-hand with the key elements that define the job description, such as:

  • Position: title, function, and core competencies;
  • Objectives for individual, group or practice area and firm; overlapping circles;
  • Criteria for measuring performance;
  • Major issue that new hire will address immediately;
  • Organization charts;
  • How many and what kind of people will be managed;
  • Current budget of the department;
  • Salary, including bonus, incentive plans, benefits;
  • Career path opportunities.

Frankly be frank.  Provide any additional information your recruiter needs. Be explicit about the chemistry and corporate culture of your present company. Honestly, share the good and the bad of your experiences and your recruiter or search firm will share both good and bad, positive and negative aspects of the job –both should have no surprises waiting.  You will be coached on what to reveal and what to retain.




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