Working with recruiters should be an important part of your job search strategy, but how do you know who is good, and who’s not? How can you tell who will really try to match your skills to the job, and who is just trying to hit a monthly “interviews arranged” quota number for their office?
We’ve all heard the horror stories, and unfortunately, many are true! For every 25 bad recruiters out there, in reality there’s probably only 1 really good one. That’s not a good ratio, but I want to show you how to find the really good ones.
There is public information available to you that can be used as key indicators to compare one to another to determine who is better.
First, it’s important to understand that a recruiter’s job is to find people for jobs, NOT jobs for people. Employers pay fees to recruiters to find people, so their services are free to the job seeker, but that also means their goal is to find people to fill their jobs, not the other way around.
It’s all about timing. You could be the best candidate they have ever met, but if there isn’t a need for someone who does what you do within their list of clients, then they’re not going to be your favorite recruiter. So it’s important to have your name in with several good recruiters because they each have a different list of clients. Now you’re not just looking for that 1 out of 25, you’re looking for 3 or 4 out of 100. Other than asking for referrals from your personal network, which is always a good starting point, LinkedIn.com is where you need to look.
You will be looking for 2 key indicators: Connections and Recommendations. LinkedIn is a primary resource for recruiters, so their profiles are as important to them as your resume is to you. Obviously if their profile is loaded with typos and misspellings, that’s a concern. However, that’s such a given that I’m not even including it in my 2 key indicators.
The first indicator: How many connections do they have? If they have less than the 500+ maximum, they either haven’t been doing this very long, or they aren’t connected well enough for you. Either way, be cautious about that recruiter. There are certainly some talented recruiters who are new to the business, and if you feel that’s the case, your next step is to research their company in more detail.
The second indicator: Do they have any recommendations? If so, how many? Recruiters are in a very public business, and they should be doing a good enough job year after year to continue getting them. They should have at least 10, but I suggest that anything more than 20 or 25 is an indication they are talented.
When did they get those recommendations? Look at the dates on the recommendations. Did they get them all on the same day or all in one month? If so, chances are excellent that they had a contest in their office to get recommendations.
Are all of their recommendations from their co-workers? If so, you can just picture everyone in the office turning to each other and asking for recommendations to boost their profiles. Again, recruiters should do a good enough job for everyone they connect with to warrant a recommendation.
Any Endorsements? True, the content of these isn’t very relevant, but the amount is. If you use LinkedIn with any regularity, you’ve seen the prompts to endorse 4 people at a time for skills you probably don’t know if they have. Believe it or not, lots of people do it! So if they have very few endorsements (few meaning less than 10 categories with less than 99+ endorsements), that’s a bad sign.
The idea here is to find someone who has a following, which increases the odds that they’re reputable. It’s also to find someone who will do a good enough job to warrant getting a recommendation from you! Wouldn’t that be great to find a recruiter you can’t wait to recommend?
Bonus Tip: If you find a good recruiter, someone who genuinely helped you and did a good job for you in ANY capacity – helping you with market information or just giving you good info on the job search – recommend them on LinkedIn! That will actually help YOU in return, because people with lots of connections have lots of traffic to their pages. That traffic is looking to see who said what about that person and they can click directly on YOUR PROFILE! It’s like placing a good ad about yourself on a well trafficked page. As the old saying goes, what Peter says about Patrick, says more about Peter than it does about Patrick. Endorsements are good too, but not as effective for drawing attention to yourself like a written recommendation.
Who was the last recruiter you spoke to? Look them up on LinkedIn. How do they measure up? When you get a reply to any of the urgent positions posted on our Job Board, look those recruiters up and compare them. There are good recruiters out there, you just need to know where to look.
How does Paul compare? Go to www.linkedin.com/in/paulcameron and compare Paul to other headhunters you know, and to other job search coaches. Compare his numbers of recommendations, followers, and endorsements. Make contact with him and give him a reason to make YOU want to recommend him too!