Dear Candidates: Help me help you!

Recently, I wrote about how important it is for our clients to be open and straightforward with their recruiter and this time, I would really like to focus on the candidate side.

When working with a recruiter, you must understand that certain things are necessary to have an open and productive relationship. The more open you are with your recruiter the better job we can do to represent you to our clients and help you throughout the entire process. Our job is to assist you in the following areas, make sure you put your best foot forward, educate you in communicating with the hiring manager, ensure that you are properly prepared for what to expect in the interview, and for the type of people you will work with. Here are four key things that are essential for you to be completely open and straightforward with your recruiter:

1.What are your career goals?

It is really imperative that you talk openly about this.  We will know if a particular company offers exactly what you are looking for in regards to career advancement, and how to best express your goals to the hiring manager in the interview.

2. Why are you looking to leave your current job?

Your motivation/reason for looking for a new position is very important to me (and my colleagues) as your recruiter, as well as, the multitude of factors related to your ability to start a new job.  Some things to keep in mind when we discuss your career objective include: Do you have a vacation planned soon?  Do you receive an annual bonus (will you jeopardize it, when you leave)?  How much vacation/personal time do you currently have?  What is your availability, can you start a new position in 2 weeks?  How will you handle a counter-offer from your current employer?  These questions are all necessary and important to discuss with me, as your recruiter, so I can work with you and the hiring manager and ensure a smooth transition when a job offer comes through.

3. What salary/compensation package are you prepared to accept?

This information is just as critical as what you are currently making for many reasons.  If you tell me you absolutely must make a $120,000 base salary to accept the position then my job as your recruiter is to make that happen.  I will negotiate your compensation to the level you tell me you must have.  However, if in reality you would have accepted $100,000 as a base salary, and I didn’t know that…you could miss out on your dream job simply because you weren’t honest with me.  We will always work as a team on the best way to present your salary requirements to the hiring manager; it will come up during the interview process and this will ensure that we are able to meet your salary goal.  This goes for your current compensation level as well.  This information will be critical at offer stage with the company and will provide your recruiter with the vital information to negotiate as best as he or she can on your behalf.  It benefits you and the recruiter to get you the best compensation package possible, so be sure you are open and honest about what you need, want, and will accept.

4. Do you have other interviews going on and how far into the process are you?

This is very important for many reasons.  If you have had three interviews with ABC Company and are expecting an offer by the end of the week, it is extremely important you convey this information to your recruiter. The main reason is so we can inform our clients, because if you’re the one they want to hire, they will need to make a quick decision or they will lose you to the competing company.  This could be the difference between a hiring manager emailing a document to HR to get signed (taking a couple days) or walking it down there personally and getting it done that day. 

Obviously, these are things that you will only want to share with a trusted recruiter that you feel confident has your career interests as his or her first priority.  Being open and straightforward with us really can make or break the deal for you.  In the end, you are the one that is the most important player here as it is your career on the line.  The experience can truly enhance your career search and ultimately provide a smooth career transition to your new position .