How to Get the Most Out of Working With a Recruitment Consultant

Posted on 8/7/2016 by Katherine Memery

If you’ve just graduated or are thinking about taking the next step in your career, it can be extremely daunting seeing the hundreds of roles on offer when you begin your job search. In such a competitive market, it can be tricky to work out which jobs to apply for and how to negotiate the application process. Recruitment consultancies work as the middlemen between companies and jobseekers, helping companies fill roles by attracting and screening candidates before presenting the most competent applicants to their client.

Some companies work within a number of different sectors, while niche consultancies, like Realm, cater to a specific sector. Specialist firms have an in-depth knowledge of the industry they work in and, often, useful contacts within the sector, so are better able to match candidates to specific roles.

Recruitment consultancies might seem like the perfect tool to help you find your dream position. If you work with a recruiter effectively this can be true and can significantly help to progress your job hunt. However, it’s important that you work with a recruitment consultant in the correct way, to ensure you get the outcome you’re looking for.

Choose one or two consultancies

When you first start looking for jobs, it can be tempting to apply for every suitable role you find and register with every agency you come across. However, signing up with multiple agencies is one of the worst things you can do as part of your job hunt. If a recruiter discovers you’re registered with several agencies, they might take this as an indication that you don’t have much faith in their ability. As a result, they’ll be less likely to invest their time and effort in finding you a role.

On the other hand, from your perspective, it will be harder to manage relationships with multiple agencies and will over-complicate your search.

At the beginning of your job hunt, do your research and draw up a list of experienced consultancies that work in your industry and in the right location. Then, narrow down the potential companies, focusing on those that most closely match your experience and the type of job you’re looking for, before registering with one or two.

Build a relationship

Building rapport with your recruiter is crucial to ensuring the process is as smooth as possible so you have the best chance of finding a job. Recruiters are usually extremely busy, juggling the demands of their client with the needs of jobseekers. When you first speak to a recruiter, you need to immediately capture their interest and demonstrate how your skills and experience will bring real value to their clients.

Show an interest in your consultant and ask about the kind of work they do and the types of roles they most commonly recruit for. This will show that you have the right approach and are committed to exploring different opportunities. As a result, your recruiter will be more willing to work with you and help you find a suitable role. However, the process should be two-sided; at the same time, a good recruiter will ask you thoughtful questions so that they fully understand your needs.

In recent years, the workforce has become increasingly mobile, with employees not staying in the same role for as long as they used to. While you may not have thought that far ahead, developing a strong long-term relationship with a recruitment consultancy will be useful in the future when it’s time for you to make your next move.

Understand how they work

Many jobseekers are under the false impression that a recruiter works exclusively for them. While they can help you secure a role, a recruiter’s goal is twofold, in that they are also working to find and secure their client the right candidate. Because the client is the one paying for the service, any consultant will naturally have to work within the parameters they set and, ultimately, introduce to them only the candidates who meet their criteria.

Be up-front

To streamline the process, being open and truthful about your professional background is key. Tell your recruiter candidly about your skills and strengths, as well as your desired salary. Once they have a clear idea of your skillset, they can ensure you don’t go to interviews for roles you aren’t suitable for and can point out any areas that you may need to improve upon.

You should also be honest about the reason why you are looking to leave your current role or the circumstances in which you left your last job.

Ask for advice

Asking your recruiter for advice shows them that you value their opinion and expertise. Consultants are there to help with all aspects of the job search. In particular, they have a thorough understanding of exactly what their client is looking for, so they can help you format your CV and give advice on how to present yourself in order to appeal to that specific employer.

What’s more, a specialist recruiter will know their industry inside out, including salary levels, recent trends, which companies are recruiting and which might soon be recruiting. Utilising their expertise and tapping into their network of industry contacts can help to boost your position within the job market.

Keep in touch

Timely communication throughout the recruitment process is really important. When you first speak to your recruiter, it’s important to establish how often and in what way you will communicate. Never bombard your consultant with calls or emails; you should appear interested and eager, but not desperate. In addition, when you are put forward for a vacancy, you should be clear about how feedback will be provided.

When looking for a new job, working with an experienced recruitment consultant can really make a difference to your prospects. In such a fast-moving job market, your recruitment consultant can be a powerful ally, providing you with help and guidance you wouldn’t find elsewhere. It is, therefore, essential to build an effective relationship with them to give you the best chance of securing the role you’re looking for.  

Are you looking for an exciting new opportunity?

Take the next step in your legal career with Realm Recruit. Contact us today or check out our legal jobs page for opportunities across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

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