How to Work With Recruiters Effectively: Get Headhunters to Market You

是本好书, 学到不少

Title: How to Work With Recruiters Effectively: Get Headhunters to Market You
Authors: Peggy McKee, Carl Chapman
Edition: 1
Finished Date: 2017-05-15
Rating: 5
Language: English
Genres: Jobs
Level: Entry
Publishers: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication Date: 2014-02-14
Format: No
Pages: 102
Download: No

types of recruiters

What is a recruiter?

a recruiter: someone who finds or solicits individuals to fill a place (like a job position) in a group such as a team, a company, or a corporation

  • recruiter’s client: company or corporation

type of recruiters

2 basic groups of recruiters

  • internal recruiters: employees of the company they fill jobs for
  • external recruiters: independent entities with multiple clients who fill jobs in a 3rd-party broker relationship

types of external recruiters

  • executive search firms: specialize in executive personnel for any given industry
  • retained search firms: Higher-end executive search firms receive a retainer, or up-front fee, to perform a specific search for a high-level position such as

    • a CEO
    • Vice President
    • other senior executive spot.

      These are almost always positions that pay 6-figure salaries.

      Part of the overall search fee is paid up front, with the remainder due upon a successful hire.

      The firm keeps the initial retainer fee whether or not a candidate is placed/hired.

      Higher-end executive search firms也是retained search firms. 作者的分类不严密
  • contingency recruiter: search for employees on a contingency basis, i.e., he or she is paid upon a successful hire/placement.

    The recruiter

    • does the initial recruiting, screening and interviewing
    • when those are successful, arranges interviews with the candidates for the client/company.

      The company pays either a flat fee or a percentage of the first year’s salary. (Jobs filled by a contingency recruiter usually pay between $40,000 and $200,000.)

      The jobseeker pays nothing.

  • outplacement agency: works directly with jobseekers, providing job hunting assistance such as

    • resume help
    • interviewing help
    • career counseling, etc.

      Typically, they work with downsized or otherwise displaced individuals.

      Employers often hire outplacement companies to help their recently-downsized workforce find jobs.

  • staffing agency (temporary agency/contract agency): hire employees to fill a temporary need for a client company.

    The client company pays a premium hourly rate to the agency for the contract/temp employee, but the jobseeker is actually employed by the staffing agency, which pays all

    • wages
    • taxes
    • insurance
    • benefits to the employee.

      The job seeker pays nothing to be placed.

your take-away

  • If a Retained Recruiter contacts you, you can be certain that:

    • The hiring company is very serious about filling this position, because they have paid to retain the services of this recruiter.
    • The hiring company is not considering internal employees, and has not posted this job on job boards or their website.
    • The company has only secured the services of this firm. So, if you make it on the short list, you will be one of 5 or 6 candidates the recruiter will present to the client hiring company. These are nice odds.
  • If a Contingency Recruiter contacts you, you would know:

    • The client may be considering internal candidates. (It is okay to ask the recruiter about this.)
    • The client may change their mind about filling the position. (It is okay to ask the recruiter about his or her depth of experience with the client.)
    • The client may be working with other contingency recruiters. (It is okay to ask if the recruiter has an exclusive client arrangement.)
    • This job might be posted on the recruiter’s website or other industry news areas. (This is just good info that you need to know as you work this channel of your job search.)

How recruiters work with job seekers

The business of any recruiter

  1. provide good candidates to companies with open job positions.
  2. make money when the candidate they provide is hired by the client company.

    everyone wins

    • the recruiter gets a paycheck
    • the client gets an outstanding employee
    • the job-seeker gets a great job.


  1. The employer is the ‘customer,’ who’s looking to buy (hire) a solution for their company’s problem (task that needs to get done).
  2. The recruiter is the ‘sales rep’ or ‘broker’ (a little bit like a real estate agent).
  3. The job seeker is the ‘product’, or the commodity in the business transaction between the recruiter and the company.

the process

  1. the recruiter gets his or her marching orders from the company: They want someone with X, Y, and Z qualities or experience. That’s the only kind of person (or product, if you will) they will look at.
  2. If the recruiter can successfully deliver a candidate with X, Y, and Z (and even better, W—which would be a little something extra, like a skill or experience the company didn’t ask for but would benefit greatly from) and the company hires that candidate, then the recruiter gets paid.

Since the recruiter has his or her own rent to pay and groceries to buy, finding a candidate they can ‘sell’ to the company is the highest priority on the recruiter’s ‘To Do” list.

Please don’t take anything in this process personally. This is a business transaction. Don’t get your feelings hurt and certainly don’t assume that anything means you are not a worthy candidate for a job. Job searching is a numbers game.

what kind of candidate tends to attract the attention of a recruiter?

expensive because it was rare, not easy to find
: someone with qualities or experience that is more rare, or specialized, in their field. It’s a ‘special order’ candidate that the company can’t find easily on their own.

和Cal Newport的deep work的定义相吻合

If the recruiter doesn’t call you, it usually means that

  • they don’t have a job at that moment that you are a good fit for.
  • Or, to be more accurate, they don’t have a job at that moment for which they think they can ‘sell’ you to the company…

even if the recruiter can’t place you now, that could all change next week or next month or 6 months from now. It all depends on their clients (companies and corporations).

recruiter’s process:

  1. recruiters put all submitted resumes into their personal database
  2. a company hires them to find a candidate
  3. they go through this database first, searching ‘their’ candidates to see who might be a potential match.
  4. if they can’t find a candidate they think the company would love, they search other avenues…their networks, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

  5. Say I either have your resume already, or I contact you for it because I found you somewhere (maybe on LinkedIn).

  6. After I get your information, I follow up with a phone conversation both to gauge your interest and see if you will be a good fit.
  7. If that goes well, I have another conversation on a different day at a different time because in my experience, a candidate can be fantastic one day and terrible another

    I try to have 2-3 conversations on separate days to eliminate any surprises, and even sometimes get someone else in my office to interview the candidate, as well.

  8. If all the conversations go well, I check references, making sure I have everything together and again, that there are no surprises.

  9. Then I present them to the hiring manager. At this point, I know everything there is to know about the candidate. So when I speak to the manager, it’s as if I am that candidate. I know

    • their successes
    • why they want to move to another position
    • why the company ought to consider them for the position…all the good and the bad.

      By the time I present the candidate, I know you inside and out.

  10. The company begins their own round of interviews with you. At this point, I (as your recruiter) am an amazing resource for your success, because I’ve put a lot of work in you this far, and want the company to like you so they will hire you and I can get paid. So I am a big source of pre-interview research for you. 只有在这个阶段, recruiters是站在找工作的人这边的

  11. If the company hires you, I send a bill to the company and they write me a check as a satisfied customer.

  1. If the company chooses not to hire you, they’ll tell me and I have to deliver the bad news. Then I put you back in my database for the next time an appropriate opportunity comes along.

If I have had a pleasant, professional experience working with you, I will remember you every time I work with a company that could use your talent.

Occasionally, a recruiter will introduce a candidate to a company they work with regularly, even if there’s no specific job opening at that time

  • because they know the company would be interested in someone like you.
  • Some of the best jobs are actually created for great candidates.
  • So it’s always a good bet to make sure a recruiter in your space has your resume.

several reasons to go through a recruiter not go straight to the company

  1. If a company uses recruiters regularly, they tend to look at the recruiter’s candidates first. So not using a recruiter means you’re going to the back of the line.
  2. The recruiter has the relationship with that company that allows them to push for interviews, decisions, etc. and keep things moving

    i.e. 找工作的人 don’t get stuck in “We’ll call you” limbo.

  3. Because they know the company so well and what they like and don’t like, the recruiter is an amazing interview coach.

    • You can get tremendous insider tips, get mistakes corrected before you make them,
    • recruiters give you invaluable feedback after the interview.
  4. If you apply directly to the company and then find out a recruiter is trying to fill that spot also, you can’t go back to the recruiter and get them to help you. The company won’t pay them because they didn’t find you—so the recruiter has no incentive to help you get hired.

  5. recruiters have access to a bigger network

  6. recruiters have inside knowledge of job openings and give feedback 我看中feedback

The recruiter you’re working with is probably speaking on a regular basis with the CEO and/or various VPs of the company.

How to identify and approach a recruiter

  • If you have specialized skills or fall in the total compensation range of 100k or more: target both contingency and retained recruiters.
  • If you are not as specialized or not as highly paid: focus more on contingency recruiters. But try not to think of this as an “either/or” decision. It could be that you need to work with both types

how to find a good recruiter

  • Ask colleagues, friends and other professionals in your field for names and contact info for recruiters they know.
  • Find companies in your space with employees like you (similar background, experience, title, etc.) and find out from those people what recruiter placed them in that company, or who they would recommend for that field.

    (A great way to do this is to use LinkedIn or other online professional networks.)

  • Call the associations in your industry (speak to the officers of the organization) and ask them if they know any recruiters who specialize in your industry.

  • Go to trade shows or other important industry functions. Recruiters will often attend those functions so they can meet people.
  • If you know one recruiter in your field, ask them to refer you to others. They might, or they might not

    it depends on their attitude and on the scope of their recruiting firm. But it never hurts to try.

  • Run a Google search using keyword-specific terms:

    • industry: What industry are you in?


      • aerospace
      • automotive
      • medical
      • healthcare
      • financial
      • social media
      • sporting events
      • hospitality
      • chemical
      • manufacturing, etc.
    • function: What do you do?

      • sales
      • finance
      • marketing
      • engineering
      • project management
      • logistics
      • information technology
      • security, etc.
    • recruiter

      • “recruiter”
      • “executive search”
      • “search firm”
      • “headhunter”.
example: “medical, sales recruiter”

contact as many recruiters as possible

how to make your approach

  1. If you’ve found a recruiter through a personal contact
  2. ask that person to write a note introducing you

    1. then follow up with an email.
  3. If this isn’t possible

    1. send an email mentioning the name of the person who gave you the recruiter’s information:

      1. “My friend / colleague / former manager knows you, Mr. Recruiter, and the types of positions you work with. He/She thought it would be good for you and I to get to know each other.”

      2. Attach your resume and cover letter to this email.

      3. Or, submit your resume online to the recruiter’s website.
  4. then what happens

    • Ideally, the recruiter will have your dream job available and place you in it.

    • Most often, the recruiter will enter your resume in his or her Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

      As positions come open, they will search for candidates (using the keywords that are important for that position). The recruiter will then contact you for a get-to-know-you phone interview, and go from there.


  1. If you find the recruiter on LinkedIn, their email address will probably be available, so you can contact them directly that way.

    If not, you can message him or her there.

  2. If your LinkedIn profile represents you well, it is a real possibility that recruiters will contact you and say something like: “I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you are experienced in x, y and z. We need those types of skill sets… can we talk?”

Warning #1

  • When you send your resume to a recruiter, it must be as good as if you were sending it directly to the hiring company, i.e., it has to be as outstanding as you can make it, and geared toward the job you want.

  • If the recruiter has a job to submit you for, they might suggest a few changes to your resume. Make the changes.

    It will be in your best interests.

  • Always include a note in the text of the email (this is your cover letter), using direct, powerful language to describe you and what you are looking for.

  • Avoid long letters with long paragraphs, and consider using bullet points.

Warning #2

Never snail-mail your resume to a recruiter.

Maybe you could mail it to a hiring manager, if you’re trying to get their attention, but never to a recruiter. Always email it. A recruiter will think it’s archaic, and almost a negative by itself.

When you speak to a recruiter on the phone…

  1. Never call a recruiter as a first step.

    Make contact by getting an introduction or sending your resume, so we have a frame of reference for you.

  • Be careful when leaving voicemails—they can hurt you if you seem awkward or unprofessional.

    Practice delivering a confident, concise message, before you call the recruiter.


    • your name
    • a quick reminder of the position you are discussing
    • a phone number
    • the best time(s) to call you back.
  • Be prepared for the recruiter to call you. Try to have your resume and key points easily available. If it isn’t a good time or you are not in a quiet place, say so and ask when you can call back.

  • When you are speaking with a recruiter, ask questions. Some great questions to ask (in your own words) are:

    • Do you have a client who could utilize my skills in X, Y, and Z?
    • Do you anticipate having an open position that could use my experience/knowledge/contacts (or whatever makes you significant)?
    • Can you give me any advice about next steps in my job search?
    • If my experience isn’t a good fit for your clients, do you know someone who would find my experience attractive?
    • Can you give me their contact information, or pass my resume along?

Boost your odds of recruiter success

Job searching is a numbers game, and recruiters are just another one of your game plays.

Contact as many recruiters as you can to increase your exposure to the job market and boost your odds of success.

Increase your visibility to recruiters

  • Contact as many as you can directly (see above).
  • Build a great LinkedIn profile so they will find you—because, make no mistake, they are looking.
  • Use your Facebook page as a job search tool, too. 我决绝facebook作为job search tool
  • Attend conferences or trade shows in your industry.
  • Write articles for industry newsletters or blogs.
  • Be creative and think about how you can be seen in your space.

Stay on the recruiter’s radar

  • Call or e-mail the recruiter every so often to check in, especially if you

    • change jobs
    • move
    • change your phone number/e-mail address.
  • How often is appropriate to contact the recruiter?

    If you are currently in a job search, you can send an email once a week or so.

  • If you are not in a job search but want to keep your options open, send them an email every 3-6 months.

    • “Hey, how are you? I am still at XYZ, working on ABC.”
    • “I changed jobs/moved and wanted to give you my new contact information.”

      If you have any information the recruiter would be interested in, this is a great time to pass that along. End by inviting them to let you know if there’s anything you can do for them

  • A GREAT reason to contact a recruiter is to give them information.

    We appreciate referrals, which is letting us know about someone we should call, and we appreciate any ‘heads up’ you might have, like

    • knowing about a company that’s hiring
    • a company that’s got some great people about to be let go
    • a company where people are struggling, etc.

      We are always looking for potential new business.

我需要做的事情make a list of

prominent recruiters and industry leaders former supervisors and co-workers
start sending them an email every quarter, or at least every 6 months giving them a short update about you ask for a short update about them (if there’s anything you can do for them).
If you do this regularly, then when you do need their help, it won’t be as awkward to ask for it. They’ll know you more than they would have otherwise, and the help they give you will be stronger. So I really want to encourage you to start that relationship-building. This is a simple thing that doesn’t take long to do, so start that now.

## How to work with a recruiter

### respect confidentiality

You’ll notice that when a recruiter calls you about a job, they are vague about exactly where the job is and what company the job is for.
You learn more details as you move through the recruiter’s process and approach the interview.
They keep those details on a ‘need to know’ basis for a reason: it’s valuable, and their paycheck depends on it. Contingency recruiters work in an EXTREMELY competitive, even cutthroat arena. Even if they have a positive, productive relationship that spans years with a company, that relationship is probably not exclusive—which means that the fee for placing the right candidate is ‘first come, first served.’ With a bit of information, another recruiter could make a few phone calls, figure out the details, swoop in with another candidate, and walk off with the placement fee.

It would be very bad form for you to discover all the details of a job opening (company, position, hiring manager, etc.) and tell another recruiter, another candidate, or anyone who could use that information unethically and cut the recruiter out of his or her hard-earned fee. It can take months, or even years, for a recruiter to develop a relationship with a company to the point that they are receiving calls to recruit candidates for them. All that hard work would go down the drain if the recruiter loses out on this placement, and could even result in the recruiter losing multiple placements—that’s a loss of tens of thousands of dollars, at least.

Most of the time, the standard practice is that if you are not interested in a job, you can

1. inform the recruiter, wish them well, and be quiet about it
2. give the recruiter the name and contact information of someone you know who would be a better fit and let the recruiter contact that person.

a recruiter can’t work with you for a placement in a company that already has your resume. So if your resume has been submitted to a long list of companies, recruiters probably won’t spend much effort on your behalf. Knowing that, your natural temptation would be to cover that up, but please don’t. If they submit you to a company and then find out that your resume is already on file there, you will have severely damaged your relationship, and that will hurt you in the long run. 到底是去公司网站投还是不投呢?

be credible

Being credible: you stand behind your word, and you don’t abuse the recruiter’s time or your relationship with them.

  • Basically, your actions also reflect on the recruiter’s reputation, because they are working with you and representing you to their client company.

Things That Will Make a Recruiter Cranky With You: Letting the recruiter submit you for jobs that are way out of the range of compensation you would actually accept

  • Letting the recruiter submit you for a job that requires relocation when you have NO intention of moving
  • Letting the recruiter submit you for jobs just so you can get offers that will make your current company counter-offer and get a raise (accepting a counter-offer will usually work against you in the long-run, anyway)

Things That a Recruiter Might Not Like, But Can Live With:

  • Accepting an offer for another job that is a better opportunity (if the recruiter already knows that you are in process with that job)
  • Calling to ask, “Hey, could you give me a ballpark of salary ranges you’re seeing for someone in my position?” Many recruiters are fine with helping out a job seeker by answering a quick, easy question.

Things That Make a Recruiter Love You:

  • Be committed and serious about your job search if you ask a recruiter to work with you
  • Give the recruiter recommendations about others they should speak with (and the person you recommend will be happy, too)

be honest

a recruiter’s business relies heavily on his or her reputation


  • if you lie on your resume and I find out, ESPECIALLY after I have submitted you to one of my clients, you and I are done.

  • I will also be telling my recruiter friends to watch out for you—so your pool of potential resources just got devastatingly smaller.

If you present potential issues to the recruiter up front, we can probably work with you.

be consistent

a good recruiter will spend time asking questions about you and what you want at the end of this process:

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • What do you like or dislike about your current job? What do you need more or less of in your job?
  • What kind of company culture do you like or not like?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What kind of growth opportunities would interest you?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Anywhere?
  • If so, do you have a family that you need to consider? (Kids with special needs, a spouse who will have to look for a job, too, etc.)
  • What range of compensation do you need?

Addressing these questions up front saves time—the recruiter’s and yours.

If a recruiter doesn’t ask these kinds of questions, this might not be a person you want to continue a relationship with.

Either this person doesn’t understand their job, or they won’t care that much about you and what happens to you in one of the biggest decisions of your life.

Apart from the job itself, know what compensation is acceptable, what culture (urban, suburban, small town, rural) would feel comfortable for you, what parts of the country you want to live in (or avoid), and anything specific to you and your family that would affect your final decision.

Think about what you want before you speak to a recruiter, and have answers ready, even if your answer is “I am flexible” (IF you mean it). Avoid unpleasant situations where you spring new requirements on the recruiter at the last minute.

follow up

Want to make a recruiter love you? Call them back.

Candidates have also lost jobs because they didn’t call back fast enough, and they missed an opportunity.

when you’re getting calls from recruiters, be as quick as you can about getting back to them—because sometimes it can make the difference in whether or not you’re getting the interview.

If you are already in the interviewing process, it’s even more important that you call back. Your recruiter might be setting up a second interview, or might even have an offer for you. If you are no longer interested in the job (because of something you learned in the interview or whatever), it’s only fair to let the recruiter know as soon as possible. It’s much better to say, “I don’t want to move forward with this” than it is to just not call back.

one of the biggest complaints job seekers have against recruiters is that they don’t call you back: most of the time, if a recruiter has news for you, they will call you. If there’s a company they think would be interested in you, they will absolutely call you. If the company has interviewed you and wants to move forward, they will without a doubt call you. Rest assured, they are behind the scenes, pushing that company for a decision about you.

However, if you find that a recruiter

  • isn’t calling you back at all
  • or even emailing you (they won’t confirm they got your resume, they don’t call and tell you the feedback they got from the interview, they don’t let you know that the company said “No”),
  • then you have a problem with this recruiter and it might be wise to move on to the next one.

A great recruiter won’t have a problem telling you the truth, even if it hurts. Honest communication is the cornerstone of building a strong, long-lasting relationship. And you can’t communicate if you don’t talk. So always follow up with your recruiter.

be prepared

  1. make sure you are always prepared when you talk with your recruiter

    • you always want your resume, key points, and questions to be ready when you speak to your recruiter on the phone.
  1. listen to your recruiter and take their advice when they are preparing you to interview with the company.

If the recruiter contacts you about an opportunity, typically they will email you first to see if you’re interested.

  • If you are, you can schedule a time to speak with them on the phone.

    That’s an important appointment—it’s as important as a phone interview with the company would be.

  • be prepared with

    • your resume
    • key points you want to make about yourself
    • a list of questions to ask.
    • think about the questions a recruiter might ask you to get to know you better, like:

      • What kinds of jobs are you looking for?
      • What salary range is acceptable to you?
      • Are you willing to relocate?
      • Do you have any geographical limitations?
      • What are your goals and preferences?
  • You can keep all of this in front of you while you’re on the phone so you don’t forget anything.

If they happen to call you first without emailing you (which they might, in an attempt to catch you off guard and see how you react), it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if you can set up a time to talk when you can put your full attention on the call. That could be in 15 minutes or 5 hours—whenever you will be able to have a quiet space to focus on the call and be your best.

Besides asking you questions about yourself and your goals, a lot of your conversations with your recruiter will be the recruiter preparing you for interactions with his or her client company. What does that mean?

ask that you revise your resume before they submit it to the company. When they do, they’ll probably ask for specific changes, and it’s important that you deliver what they ask for. Why? Because this recruiter knows what the company looks for in a candidate’s resume—so they help you tailor your resume for this job.
I can’t tell you how many candidates I’ve worked with who have gotten upset at me asking for resume changes. Sometimes it’s because they feel personally belittled or insulted, and sometimes it’s because they’ve spent thousands of dollars to have this resume resume professionally written, and now I’m telling them it’s not good enough! Remember, as a candidate, your resume isn’t for you—it’s for the company.

The recruiter knows this company better than you do and knows what will get their attention and make them want to interview you. So keep your eye on the big picture.
If a recruiter asks for revisions to your resume, be happy, because you are about to get in front of a company who may hire you, with a resume tailor-made to appeal to them. That is a very good thing.

Even more common than resume revisions is your recruiter sending you information to prepare you for the interview. This could be interview guides, resume templates, company interviewing agendas, backgrounds on hiring managers, company history, insider scoop – all of this is great information that you aren’t likely to get on your own. All you need to do is take advantage of it and do some studying.

A surprising number of job seekers don’t read what their recruiter sends them, and it is a big mistake.

Recruiters have feedback about other candidates that have interviewed before you. No company will EVER tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of candidates you’re competing with. A recruiter will give you all that information to help you get the job.


If you are working with multiple recruiters, let them all know.

McKee, Peggy. How to Work With Recruiters Effectively: Get Headhunters to Market You (Kindle Location 730). Career Confidential. Kindle Edition.