HI-5 the Headhunters

2. Recruiters 101 – Who are these people, and why should I care? (Transcript)

Now, this is not the first time the job market has been tough. I know that it’s very difficult right now with COVID-19. But this is not the first time it’s happened. These cycles tend to repeat themselves. And we’ve had a number of downturns over the years, we had the stock market crash of 1987. We had the.com bust of the late 1990s, the economic downturn after the 911 attacks. And we had the financial crisis in 2008. Now, this whole COVID-19 situation. So things have always been on a regular basis, unpredictable, unreliable. They’re changing workforce requirements, economic downturns and so forth. And there’s, there’s been stiff competition for good positions. And at times, opportunities can come out of nowhere, but sometimes it just doesn’t. So, the thing is, people like to hire people like them, and it’s been said that your network is your network. The problem is, what if you don’t have a network? What if you’re brand new to the workforce? Or what if you’re making a change from one industry to the next, it can be a problem.

So this is where recruiters can come in.

Recruiters are basically people who get paid to connect job candidates, that is you with opportunities. And they can sometimes get a bad rap. But they can be very valuable allies. They’re essentially people whose job it is to know the industry. They’re supposed to know the trends. They have a good sense of who’s hiring because those companies are reaching out to them. And they know what jobs are hiring for. They know what the market is paying, and they can point you in new directions when they see emerging trends happening. And they’re really people whose job it is to know all of this. So to keep in mind, even though recruiters can be your network, they really don’t work for you. They work for themselves or they work for the agencies which serve both employers and candidates. So they’re in the business of making sure that positions are filled at companies which compensate them. So that means that you don’t need to pay them. But at the same time, they can still help and they can also be a great way to get into the job market. Now, there are different types of recruiters you have independent ones who are solo, or they work in a small shop, and they contract with companies to fill their positions. There are agencies that have rooms full of recruiters or now since everybody’s working remotely, a whole bunch of recruiters working in different places who specialized in Certain things there are. There are recruiters that specialize in permanent full time jobs. There are those who specialize in contract positions or temporary gigs. And you also have in house recruiters who work for corporate HR departments. And then you have hiring managers who can sometimes reach out to you individually.

So they come in all different shapes and sizes.

The thing of it is you don’t necessarily always want to talk to them, or you may not think you do, if you’re not looking for a job, should you really even bother with them? Should you pay any attention to them? And if you’re in school, and you’ve already lined up a job for after you graduate, you’ve already been placed, or you’re even taking a gap year to volunteer or maybe you’re herding sheep in New Zealand, something like that. Should you bother with recruiters when they reach out to you? Because often they will.

And I think the answer is yes. Because not only is it a good idea to have a backup and have connections and to build your network just in case. But it’s also just good practice for talking to people and getting familiar with how to interact with folks. Because you may be talking to them again sometime in future. They may not place you now, but they may place you in the future. And you may as well get comfortable doing it and having those kinds of conversations with them. Now, I’ve been talking to recruiters for 32 years, and in that time, I have talked to literally hundreds of them. If I average just five recruiters a year for the last 32 years, that’s over 150. And I know that I’ve talked to more than five each year. In some cases, I’ve talked to five recruiters in one day. So I have talked to a lot of them.

And the interesting thing is that I noticed is that they all ask pretty much the same kinds of questions when they first talked to you. preseason professionals, they want to know if you’re employed They want to know where you’re working. They want to know how long you’ve been in the role. And also, are you available for a new position? Are you looking? And if you are looking, what sort of job are you looking for, you’re looking for contract or permanent work. And they also know if you’re looking, when can you start? There are other things that they need to know. But this is really the baseline.

Now, if you’re a newcomer to the workforce, those questions are a little bit different, but essentially, they are the same. They want to know if you’ve interned or worked in your field before, if you’ve done an internship during the summer, or if you’ve had a job during the summer working in your field in the area that you’re going into. They want to know where that is. They want to know if you have worked at a major multinational corporation at a small business at a medium sized business. They want to know what sort of organizational or company experience you’ve had. They also want to know what your role was and how long were you in that role. Were you there for one summer where you were there for multiple summers? Are you still working there part time? They also want to know if you’re available for a new position.Obviously, they want to know that. If that’s the case, are you looking for a contract or permanent work?

Those kinds of questions are going to determine how you work with them. Of course, they want to know when you can start. Now, the other thing that they need is the most recent copy of your resume.

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while your resume can sometimes look like this. I have had people contact me about jobs that fit a description of a job that I did 15 years before and literally the resume that they had on file was 10 to 15 years old. So obviously, they wanted an updated one. You have to get that to them. And we’ll get into the whys and wherefores of resume aging at a later point but Now, really the first point of reaching out to these recruiters and talking to them is to give them all the information that they need. Because guess what they do? A lot of how they collect information is through automation. They get the information about you through resumes that are scanned at the databases that they have. And then their applicant tracking systems or at SS are scanning those databases and looking for resumes that match the jobs that they have.

And they also send out emails from those ATMs as well sometimes. So the applicant search overall has become increasingly automated, especially over the last 10 to 15 years. Back in the day, you would actually talk to somebody they would reach out to you would have a conversation, then you would send them their your resume and they would look at it and they’d say, “Oh, well this is great.”

Nowadays, everything is so just automated And mechanized that they use email blasts to just send out to everybody in their contact list for certain jobs that fit them. And they’re also using these means to fill positions in other locations in other countries. I actually was connected with a job, a couple of towns over from where I live by somebody who was operating out of Canada. So they have these global databases, they have this information about people all over the world. And they end up reaching out to people who they do not know, with old information. And as we talked about before, they have to fill in all the blanks.

And that can be an extended process.

Everybody, even if they’re asking the same questions, they can ask them in different sequences in different order. Sometimes they don’t even ask them correctly. And if they don’t ask it all upfront, You can end up having a fairly extended interaction, multiple conversations over multiple days and multiple phone calls. And at the end of it if they get to a question that they should have asked earlier, but they didn’t? And the answer to that question is a no. If one of the main criteria that they have for the job, they didn’t ask about it early enough, you’ve now spent a whole bunch of time talking to them, also getting your hopes up, getting your hopes up, getting their hopes up.

It’s all for naught. Because they did not ask it at the right time, or it didn’t come up in conversation. They didn’t have it when they needed to know and so both of you have lost days, and also a whole lot of hope and motivation in trying to connect with the best opportunity opportunity for you and for them trying to find the best candidate for the job they’re trying to fill. At times, it can seem like the process takes forever. But if you get people the information that they need up front, then it can smooth things out a good deal.

The bottom line is, recruiting is increasingly automated. They use tools, they use applications, they use them different means to do their work in bulk. And if that’s the case for recruiters, it should be the case for you too.

The challenge in all of this is to overcome the problem that this clunky convoluted process wastes time and energy if it’s not done properly, and that can also cause you to miss out on a prime opportunities. The solution is really to have a recruiter response system that works for you so that you can have better calm conversations about what you really want. And you can avoid the situations that you don’t. And the point of the HI-5e system is to get the basic information to recruiters upfront automatically. So that when you do talk to them, you are talking about jobs that actually fit you and you’re having substantive conversations that will lead to something worthwhile for both of you.