author: Denisa Madalina Birau
Recently I had a conversation with a friend who’s looking for a job. Where she lives the recruitment market is not that strong, so she never even thought of talking to a recruiter. After suggesting this approach to her she asked, why she should do it?
From the point of view of someone who works for a recruitment agency, to me it seems obvious! Which is why I wanted to share some of the key reasons why me and my colleagues at Chroma Recruitment think it’s definitely worth your while to work with a recruiter when looking for new opportunities.
When there is a strong, trusting relationship between a recruitment agency and a company who are looking to hire, more often than not the hiring manager’s first port of call is their preferred Recruitment Consultant, who they’ll speak to about the vacancy before anyone else. That’s why a recruiter might be able to tell you about a job that is not on the company’s website.
Sometimes vacancies get filled so fast that companies don’t even have time to advertise the job on their website. For Chroma, there are times when we have filled our clients’ vacancies within 24 hours of speaking to them about the job.
We don’t just recruit based on skills, we also recruit based on culture, personalities and personal requirements: we want to make sure the people we place fit within the company not only in the short term but for the long haul. We want to find a company where you will stay because you love working there and are able to offer a unique contribution to the company’s current projects and future developments.
If you are on the phone with a recruiter and they suggest putting you forward for a certain company, trust them, because they not only took the time to get to know you, but also the company they have suggested.
Good recruiters will be able to tell you about the full interview process and what to expect. They will be able to tell you about who the company are, who you will meet, and the key things that they will be looking for (whether it’s skills-based or culture-based).
They will help you be your best self in the interview. And if you are working with the right people, they’ll be transparent in their feedback, and make sure you’re kept in the loop. Good recruiters don’t like ghosting people.
If you have any concerns or don’t know how to approach certain subjects, a recruiter can give objective advice, usually based on past experience. Chances are they’ll have been there before with another candidate.
Recruiters also take care of the salary side of things, so you don’t have to have any awkward conversations with the business you’re interviewing with before you start. Once the recruiter is clear on what salary you want or need in your next role, they’ll use this information to secure the best offer from the client without you having to lift a finger.
Clicking the “Apply Now” button and firing your application off to dozens of companies a day has never been easier. Companies now get so many direct applications that it can be hard for them to keep up, especially if those recruiting also have several other duties they’re doing every day. So unless your skills are a really obvious or direct match for the role (and even if they are!), there’s a chance your application could land in their Tracking System, and go straight down the rabbit hole.
But as recruiters, we look beyond the “keywords” on your CV and focus on your overall experience and the softer skills you can’t always list on a piece of paper. This means we can spot suitable jobs or companies for you, or see something in you that a busy Hiring Manager or HR department might miss. This leads us nicely on to…
If we see something in your CV or we find out something in our conversation that we know will be of interest to one of our clients, we’ll call them and highlight it, to make sure they know how well suited you are.
Or maybe you went in for an interview, and you don’t feel like you did yourself justice. Mindblanks happen, we know that! If we genuinely believe you’re right for the job, we can call our client afterwards and vouch for you, explain the situation, and advocate for you to get another chance. That’s because…
Remember, recruiters are often working directly with hiring managers so it’s easier for them to get your CV in front of the right person, get quick and honest feedback, keep the interview process moving, and ultimately (hopefully!) get you the job offer that you’re looking for.
People often wonder if their CV is good enough. Especially when they’ve sent it to numerous companies, and they don’t get an answer. But before we submit anyone’s CV for a job, we talk with them to make sure they have added all the important skills, especially the ones most relevant for this job. We might spot something that you don’t think is that interesting, but which could be the one thing that sets you apart from the competition.
Or it might be the other way. Some people overload their CV with every week of experience or every piece of extra information they can think of, which can make it hard to spot those really “stand out” skills or projects.
Recruiters are not Developers, Marketers, Mechanical Engineers, and so on, but that doesn’t stop them having a good level of understanding about what you do on a daily basis, what lingo you use and which other companies operate in your landscape.
Because specialised recruiters only focus on a niche area (for our consultants it’s Software Development in Manchester, Mechanical Design in the North West etc.) they can offer great insights into how those markets or industries are moving, who the new players are, who is growing, who is shrinking, and what benefits companies in that space are offering their staff.
That’s why we are in a strong position to advise on how your skill set compares with others in similar roles, what salary bracket you can be aiming for, which companies might best suit your style or rhythm of work, or whether (honestly) you are best off sticking with the company you’re in.
To give a couple of “Chroma” examples, a Senior Developer recently came into our office to give a mini-seminar to our IT Consultants about what technology is new/hot on the market, how different technologies work and what the roles of different developers within a team look like. This gave our team some unique insights into their space and the real lives of the people they work with, so they can continue doing what they do, but better! We also invest time as a business into running the NorthWestify podcast, where we speak to different leaders in the IT and Technology market in Manchester about their views and experiences, and where they think the industry is headed. (If you want to give it a listen, just click here.)
Job descriptions are great, and we’re not saying you should put them in the bin, but you should always remember that they don’t tell you everything (and there are some that will tell you next to nothing). We get a lot of people who ask us for a copy of the job description, give it a once over, and decide the job isn’t for them. But by doing this you risk missing out on a job or a company that could actually be amazing for you.
For example, JDs won’t always tell you what the growth of the company means in real terms for its staff or its future, what kind of investment the company received, what the bonus scheme really looks like, what the dynamic is on the team, what new technology they’re experimenting with, and so on…
But read that again. Recruiters are paid to place you at a company. It is their job, day in and day out, and it is their livelihood. Their salary is based on getting a role filled and making sure that person stays there. So you’d better be sure they are going to do a good job. Because they take pride in their work, and because they don’t want to starve.
Is that enough to convince you that you should give recruiters a chance?!