The Recruitment Underground Blog

Career Skills, Training and Transitions

Throwing Darts At A Board

Posted by jamesseetoo on October 1, 2009


Some say that picking stocks is about as scientific as a monkey throwing darts at a board. Maybe I should try that, I might do better that way. At least it’s a system. Maybe I could have been a broker after all, get my Wall Street on. Greed is good and all that.

Recruiters do a lot of the same things that brokers do, cold calling people, trying to sell a job instead of a stock – and when you’ve got a good broker who really knows what she’s doing it can be a great partnership. The same is true with a recruiter.

Just like your broker, your recruiter should know not only the job market but at least something about the company he’s trying to get you to join. How many of you have had a recruiter call just trying to get you to send a resume but not really knowing anything about the job and worse, not even willing to take a half hour to get to know you and what you’re interested in doing?

It’s the old QAI (Qualified, Available, Interested) trick and while I can understand it from a time management standpoint, wouldn’t you rather work with someone who wants to take the time to get to know you and who is willing to direct you away from a job if it’s not the one that would be in your best interest? Like a broker trying to sell you a lousy stock for a commission, yes it’s true, there are some recruiters out there just to fill a job.

And it’s even worse if it’s an in-house recruiter who can’t tell you anything about an opportunity. Now I’m not saying that the recruiter should be a subject matter expert on a particular job (other than recruiting that is) but that recruiter should at least know the salary, relocation benefits if any, company culture – well you get the drift. I mean, if I was an expert engineer I probably would be doing engineering stuff rather than recruiting but if I call you please make sure you get at least the basic information about what kind of company I’m representing before moving forward. After all, you’re investing a lot more than money in this type of deal.

It’s important for the recruiter to develop a relationship with you as a candidate – I mean, I’ve recruited people for years before landing them the right position but it really was the right position for them and in that time you can develop a more than passing acquaintance. A recruiter who watches out for you can be a great resource when it comes time to looking for a new job or for advice on how to interview. At the same time, please be open to networking with your recruiter friends – like I always say, good people know good people.

So how do you know if the recruiter you’ve just started speaking with is someone you should work with? Make sure that you have a list of criteria that you want to cover before moving forward in the process. While everyone will have their own needs I would suggest that over and above all the other questions would be the following:

1) What’s the company culture? Is it matrixed, formal, informal? You know what you’re looking for.

2) What will my boss/team be like? Is he a micromanager? Will I be a one man band?

3) What are the near and long term expectations for this position? (30, 60, 90 day goals)

Even if the recruiter doesn’t know this off hand she should be willing to get back to you quickly with answers and you can set up a time where you can go over everything. Then you can get on to things like salary, relocation etc.

So hold your recruiter to a high standard, after all we’d like to have a better reputation than stock brokers but it’s great that we (recruiters and stock brokers) are still ahead of politicians on the popularity charts. After all, everyone needs someone to look down on. How do you think Jerry Springer got so popular?

Remember, your skills are your job security.

Best,
James Seetoo

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One Response to “Throwing Darts At A Board”

  1. Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work! 🙂

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