The complications of repeatedly scanning job boards and the newspaper for vacancies can be alleviated by establishing relationships with specialist recruiters in your market. So who should you talk to? Where should you start and how do you make sure your experience is a positive and useful step in your career search?
Working with a specialist recruitment consultant can help broker positive introductions and build beneficial professional relationships.
Step one is to identify the recruitment agencies that best suit your career search and are relevant within your industry. For example, there is little point in talking to a engineering recruitment specialist about securing a marketing or accounting role. Sometimes the best way to identify recruiters who are active in your market is to browse their website and advertised vacancies. If an agency is regularly advertising positions you might be interested in, it could be worth giving them a call to make contact, sending an email through their contact page, or connecting with them on LinkedIn.
Aston Carter has an unrivalled commitment to delivering first class service to our clients and candidates across professional disciplines, including accounting and finance; banking and financial services; audit, risk and compliance; strategy, change and transformation; operations, sales, marketing, communications and digital; human resources and business support.
No one person has every network or professional contact in town, so it is worth meeting a number of specialist consultants in your area to cover all bases. However, whilst you should build relationships with the recruiters who are actively working in your specialisation, there is little point in meeting with everyone who answers the phone. It is hard enough keeping up with multiple job applications, so rather than registering with every agency, spend time with relevant consultants who are interested in providing you with the best and most relevant advice for your search. It is especially important that you remain in control of your CV and know who is representing you and where, every time. Over-representation with multiple agencies sharing your CV without specific purpose and/or consent is a brand destroying exercise and often works to your detriment.
Why work with a recruiter? Professional recruitment consultants are experts in matching great people to great roles. As a result, recruitment consultants are an invaluable source of information about the market – who is hiring, when are they hiring and what are they looking for? Recruiters can provide advice on how to approach your preferred organisations, CV and interview tips and even provide proactive recommendations in areas that might not have occurred to you. A good recruiter will also take their recruiter's hat off and play the role of objective career advisor too – they can assist you with weighing up the pros and cons of different career paths. If you want the best out of your tax return you go to a professional accountant; to get the best out of your job search, you should consult a recruitment expert.
Aston Carter is your career advocate and as such, we meet with you to discuss individual skills, goals and interests. By taking the time to develop a deep understanding of your skills, motivations and prior experience, we only connect you with relevant job opportunities.
When you attend your recruiter interview, it is important you present as if you were going to a top job interview as this is indicative of how you will represent yourself with their clients. The better your agency interview, the more compelled your consultant will be to represent you on new opportunities. Be on time and prepared to discuss your experience in detail.
Your recruiter is meeting with you to clearly understand and define your goals and aspirations in order to a) help source your next opportunity, and b) provide you with advice, recommendations and referrals that will assist you in your search. It is important that you provide your recruiter with genuine information about what you do and don't want and openly discuss your motivations and career history. During your search, there's a possibility that your criteria might change. For example, you may have more flexibility on total remuneration or be happy to consider a 2IC role after only considering "Head of" roles. You may consider other geographies or be open to industries that were initially not of interest. Be sure to communicate these considerations honestly with your recruiter.
A good recruiter may meet and assist 10-20 potential candidates per week, all of whom have different requirements. Therefore, it is important to set communication expectations and agree on the best way to work together moving forward. To avoid feeling like your calls are not being returned or that you have slipped through the cracks, agree on timeframes and methods to touch base. It might be a call only when a great potential opportunity comes up, or an email check-in every fortnight. Discuss what works for you both.
By building relevant contacts, understanding mutual goals, and setting the ground rules with a recruitment agency, you can enhance your career journey and ultimately secure your next position. As an added benefit, once you're in your new role your recruiter can help you hire talent for your new team. They know you, your team and the company, so they are more likely to be able to find a good fit. In the event your preferred recruiter isn't fortunate enough to secure a role for you, make sure you stay in contact. A good recruiter will be there for you as your career progresses – for the long term.