More often than not, a well accomplished and prosperous person will tell you, having a positive long term relationship with your recruiter will enhance your career. Your recruiter’s main responsibility is to support you in your job search through spotting suitable roles, seeking out companies they think you’d be a good fit for, interview preparation and providing you with expert advice whenever you need it.
It’s important to note in order for the above to work, you need to provide your recruiter with all the information they need from the get-go. At Hays, once our recruiters have an in-depth understanding of what you ideally want, they can work on matching you to the best opportunities available to you both now and in the future.
You’re probably asking yourself now ‘so what does my recruiter need to know about me?’ Below I take you through the top four areas.
1. Tell them why you are looking for a new job
Your reasons for wanting to leave a role could be anything; the culture, the lack of progression opportunities, your boss’s management style, the company size or aspects of the role itself. Whatever it is, I would advise that you relay this information in a positive and professional way. For example, instead of saying “I can’t stand my boss. They hover over me every second of the day and watch my every move” instead, you could say “I prefer to be given more autonomy in my role, and be trusted to get on with the task in hand.”
The recruiter will keep this information confidential, using it only to eliminate unsuitable roles that they may have otherwise offered to you.
2. Explain to them your ideal job description
Now, onto what you do want from your next opportunity. What you do on a daily basis largely impacts your personal and professional wellbeing. So what would your ideal job description look like? I would advise that you factor in the below:
Your key responsibilities
Write down the key responsibilities of your ideal role, based upon what you enjoy about your current role as well as in previous jobs. You should also let the recruiter know how much you want to progress within your perfect role, and how this fits with your wider career goals.
Your strengths and weaknesses
Next, be clear on what your unique selling points are, identifying the hard and soft skills which suit your hypothetical responsibilities, and the areas in which you may need to upskill. Your recruiter can advise you on how to bridge any skills gaps, and may know of opportunities that can support you in doing this.
3. What is your dream company to work for?
Everybody’s definition of a great place to work will differ, and yours will be unique. However, I advise that you consider the below when building your criteria for the ideal work environment:
Company size and scale
Perhaps you want to stay within a large global organisation where you communicate with businesses overseas, gradually working your way up the long corporate ladder. Maybe you like the idea of working for a start-up or an SME, where you will have a lot of responsibility and exposure to influential stakeholders almost straight away. As I explain in a previous blog, there are pros of working for companies of a different size and scale. You just have to figure out which is right for you.
Which industries have you previously enjoyed working in, or which could tie in with your passions, hobbies and interests? You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself based on your previous industry experience – plenty of hiring managers will welcome industry outsiders.
Which type of environment is your personality suited to? There’s no right or wrong answer here. If you are naturally talkative and outgoing, then explain that you need to be in a sociable lively workplace. If you are more introverted and prefer to keep yourself to yourself, that’s also fine – if this is the case, you may suit a quieter, more focused office environment. The key is to be true to yourself here, as poor cultural fit is one of the main reasons new hires don’t work out.
I’m talking about rewards, benefits, flexible working policies, location/minimum commuting times and salary. Have these clear in your mind and ready to relay during your job search. The great thing about using a recruiter is that they will have this information to hand, and can discuss on your behalf when negotiating a job offer.
Maybe you already have some companies in mind which you like the sound of working for? If not, do some research based on the above criteria, and take this list to your recruiter. They may be able to approach these companies speculatively and keep an eye out for suitable roles.
4. What are the ‘essentials’ and the ‘bonuses’ you are looking for?
Now that you have the above elements clear in your mind, separate the ‘essentials’ from the ‘nice-to-haves’. Be realistic, some roles won’t tick every box, but certain factors will be key to your workplace wellbeing and career goals. Highlight the parts you could compromise on so that your recruiter knows not to pass you up for a promising opportunity, just because it wasn’t 100% perfect.
Imagine jumping into a taxi and saying “take me anywhere please.” You’ll be taken for a ride and you may not like where you end up. Similarly, although we appreciate flexibility, if you don’t guide your recruiter then we can’t get you to the right destination.
Be honest, specific, and constructive. From the very first meeting onwards, ensure that you keep communication with your recruiter fluid and regular, updating them on your key criteria for the perfect opportunity. This is essential to building a relationship; ensuring that you are only put forward for the most suitable roles, not just now, but during every step of your career journey.
For more information on your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.