Building relationships with recruiters may expose you to career opportunities that you might not learn about otherwise. Most employers don’t advertise the positions they hire recruiters to help fill, which are typically a firm’s most senior and highest-paying. And search executives usually promote their services to employers, not job hunters.
Identifying and connecting with recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise can be very worthwhile — though candidates should remember that recruiters are paid by the employer, and will put that employer’s interests first. Such niche recruiters aren’t always easy to find, so job seekers might need to use creative tactics.
Here are some ways of identifying recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise.
Start by tapping your own network. Many senior executives work with recruiters at some point in their careers as a candidate or client. Ask the most experienced professionals in your network to refer you to the recruiters they know.
Other sources are people you know in your industry or at organizations that interest you. Find out which recruiting firms their employers use. Don’t be discouraged if the list you compile is short. In certain niche markets, there are recruiters who pretty much work with all big players, so you’ll typically hear the same name several times.
A good way to stay on a recruiter’s radar screen is to suggest names of prospects you know for jobs the recruiter is seeking to fill, but for which you don’t qualify. Be sure to offer quality referrals because inappropriate recommendations can reflect poorly on you.
Scan recruiter directories. Your local library may have these resources available at no charge.
RileyGuide.com, a free online job-search resource, has a listing of recruiter directories, some free to users online, such as Oya’s Directory of Recruiters, among others. Most fee-based directories are more up-to-date and offer better search options.
Kennedy Information Inc. publishes RecruiterRedbook.com, the online database version of its book “The Directory of Executive Recruiters 2007-2008.” Both cost $59.95 and list 16,500 recruiters at more than 5,700 search firms. The database comes as an annual subscription. Kennedy, based in Peterborough, N.H., also publishes SelectRecruiters.com, offering a downloadable spreadsheet, handy for mass mailing a resume to recruiters, for a one-time fee of $1 per spreadsheet and a minimum payment of $30. (Kennedy is a business partner of CareerJournal.com.)
BlueSteps.com, from the Association of Executive Search Consultants, includes a database of more than 4,000 recruiters from its member firms, along with other features. Access to the database costs $299 for two years, among other pricing options.
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