Once you have decided it is time to enter the job market the next step can be a bit overwhelming. What do you do? Where do you turn to? How long will it take? Will my CV ever be picked up? People will also have varied advice to offer you: Don’t use a recruiter, use a trusted recruiter, etc. This can lead to even more confusion.
Your first step should definitely be reaching out to your connections and identifying a strong recruiter to work alongside you. Recruiters certainly have garnered a bad reputation in some areas and I often tell my candidates that this is because our industry is unfortunately not regulated and every Tom, Dick and Harry can open up their own recruitment agency in their own garage. Don’t let this deter you though as there is a reason recruiters are around and if you are careful with who you are trusting with your information, the assistance you gain is definitely greatly beneficial.
I would highly recommend using a specialist recruitment agency, where they focus on a specific sector, as this allows their knowledge in that field and their connections and reputation to be stronger. I believe that when the pool that a recruiter works in is limited and is essentially their ‘bread and butter’ they are very ethically driven and can be trusted a lot more. There are various reasons why you should then approach these trusted recruiters to assist you with a job search:
Strong recruiters will more than likely know the hiring manager directly and their opinion will be highly valued as the hiring manager is aware that the first step of processing has been conducted by this recruiter. So straight away your profile will be a lot stronger than the faceless stack of CVs on his or her desk which haven’t been highlighted and sold by a connection. Recruiters also help the hiring managers to connect the dots between your work experience and the role as well as promote your strengths and assets to the employer. Recruiters submit the applicants that they believe have a strong chance in securing the role, therefore definitely are strong cheerleaders in getting you over the first hurdle.
It is in the recruiter’s best interest to empower you with as much information as possible to further help you secure the role. Because you do not pay recruiters in South Africa to help you find a role, this is free and highly-important strategic career guidance. You will be provided with history on the company and insight into the job you are interviewing for, which if you had applied directly to the company would be information and insight you would be missing out on. This is because recruiters have one goal, and that is to get you hired. Therefore, it is in their best interest to prepare you and coach you through the whole hiring process.
This doesn’t apply to every case but often a specialised recruiter will have access to a job that has not been published yet. This is because, especially with senior roles, there are companies who prefer to keep this information confidential. Therefore, it is more than likely you will not have access to these jobs and your chances of securing a connection to it other than through the recruiter hired to assist the company is very low.
In this day and age companies have a lot more access to information and portals than in the past. There is a high possibility that if you are relying on job portals and social media to secure a new position, your current employer could come across your profile. Having your CV with a trusted recruiter ensures that your profile is only being viewed by companies you have approved.
This links with a recruiter being your biggest cheerleader. When a recruiter identifies your profile as matching the requirements of a specific job and submits your CV, you are automatically in a smaller pool of candidates. This definitely increases your chances compared to applying directly amongst several more applicants.
Trusted recruiters are able to save you from scouring job pages. Nowadays with the influx of larger generalist recruiters, a lot of the ads can be fake ads used to build their databases of candidates. This is not the case with many recruiters – remember to make sure you identify a trusted recruiter. In addition to saving you from scouring job pages, they will also save you time by you not having to apply to several different positions that have different application methods.
This relates to a recruiter’s database – more so if the recruiter is in a specialised agency. This is due to the fact that even though you get registered in one month you will often be looked at again throughout subsequent months and years and if you so choose, your profile gets ‘reignited’ if you decide to open yourself to the job market again. This is a benefit as you will often find yourself going through a career with a specific recruiter who you will form a strong rapport with.
So whilst there are many ways to tackle job searching, adding a valued and trusted recruiter into the mix certainly will benefit the process. Just make sure that you aren’t reaching out to too many recruiters and that you limit it to trusted and knowledgeable entities.
Written by Shelley Barker – Specialist Commercial Finance Recruiter – firstname.lastname@example.org