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Six simple steps to improve your relations with recruiters

1) Only deal with experts

You must limit the amount of recruiters you work with and make sure the ones you choose are specialists in your field, says Scott Stacey, MD Australia, Marks Sattin. “Replace them if you’re not getting the advice or honesty that you need. Good recruiters focus on managing your expectations, which can lead to initial disappointment: you think you’re ready for that CEO role, but the recruiter reminds you that you’re still several steps away.”

2) Choose recruiters who know about upcoming vacancies

Avoid recruitment firms which only put you forward for existing vacancies because you will be constantly competing against multiple agencies and a larger number of candidates, says Neil Dyball, manager, Robert Walters financial Services division.

“Established regional networks allow the agency to deal with the real decision maker, who might be based offshore. This way they will often know about an opening before the local HR team is aware and once again can introduce you before the role goes live,” adds Dyball.

3) The more information, the better

When meeting your recruiter for the first time, be open and honest about your background, experience and career aspirations, says Stella Tang, division manager, financial services, Robert Half Singapore. “He or she needs to know as much about your professional life as possible to find the right position for you. What are your salary requirements? Do you prefer working for a large or small firm? Are you willing to travel?”

The information you provide may prompt your recruiter to suggest promising positions or career paths that you may not have previously considered. “You should also disclose to your recruiter any aspects of your work history that may generate concern from prospective employers, such as a long period of unemployment or a termination. The more upfront you are, the easier it will be for your recruiter to assist you,” adds Tang.

4) Agree regularity of contact in advance and stick to your plans!

“Often candidates can be unsure how often they should contact their recruitment consultant, which is why in all our face-to-face interviews we discuss and agree with them how often we will talk. In this way, expectations are set and met throughout the process,” advises Jane McNeill, senior regional director, Hays Banking.

But recruitment is a two-way street, she adds. “You should keep in contact too, at a minimum as you agreed in the initial interview, as well as any time you see a job that is of interest.”

5) Tell your recruiter where you stand with other vacancies

Be open about where you are at with other applications and interviews, recommends Warwick Peel, director, pb Human Capital. If you are not comfortable communicating the actual financial institution and the role, then simply state (for example): “I have a second interview for an investment analyst with a fund manager”. This will assist the recruiter in creating a sense of urgency with the employer they are dealing with, adds Peel.

6) Don’t ever, ever apply for the same job twice

“The best way for candidates to interact with their recruitment consultant is for them to be honest and upfront. In a number of cases, we will forward a candidate’s details to a hiring manager only to be told that he or she has applied already through another agency or come directly through the firm’s careers site,” says Jeremy Paterson, Alliance Recruitment.

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