Need a job? Hire a headhunter. Right? Not exactly. Recruiting firms are hired by companies to find people to fill talent gaps in their organization. Notice how we mention “talent gap” instead of jobs. We’ll get to that later.
As a jobseeker hiring a recruiting firm can be invaluable, but not in the way people typically think. The common misconception is a recruiter goes out and finds you a job. Instead, a good recruiter is actively matching talent to their client’s needs. If XYZ manufacturing company hires Selective Staffing Solutions to find a production manager – we’re turning over every stone to find a great production manager for their team.
Now, what if you’re a candidate that doesn’t qualify for the positions the recruiting firm is working on? You’re not out of luck. A good firm with a major footprint in your market will have a strong client base. While the position you want might not exist today, the chance they might work on a position that is a fit in the future is fairly high. So, building a relationship for future opportunities has mutual benefit. Potential clients often look for firms that proactively build a network of exceptional talent, so great recruiters actively put this into practice.
What if you have a niche background where positions are only posted once in a lifetime? Here’s where the firm you choose really counts. A great recruiter is an expert at “skill marketing” – marketing you niche background to potential employers. Earlier we mentioned talent gaps, instead of jobs. If you have the potential to bring a great deal of value to client, or fill a void in their talent base recruiters will gladly market you to their clients.
What does that look like?
“Hi Mr. Hiring Manager,
I know last time we spoke you said you had that big project that was falling behind. Well, I happen to be working with an amazing project manager that has successfully completed a similar project and would be very interested in your company. Would you like to meet her? ”
Now, it’s usually a little more in depth than that. Still, you get the picture.
This is why it’s important to understand a recruiting firm’s network. If you have an IT background, you want a firm that has a strong network of IT hiring managers. Manufacturing background? Does the firm you’re working with regularly work on opportunities in manufacturing?
For the greatest chances of success in your job search, focus on finding recruiters with a network that is of high value to you.