Help Us, Help You

Ange Connor

Working with a recruiter is a pretty important part of helping you find and secure your next career move. In regional Victoria, and certainly in Ballarat recruitment agencies often recruit for all industries and all types of positions. Some might do more work in particular sectors but often operate as a generalist recruiter as opposed to being a specialist industry recruiter  like what you find in metro areas. People often forget or don’t understand that the recruiter is the conduit between you and potential employers. By working with a good recruiter, you should be able to gain valuable information about the employment market, industry trends and challenges and additional information about the potential employer, the position and their culture compared to what you would by just seeing an advert for a job in the newspaper or online. A good recruiter should be able to inform, educate and help guide you through your job search, they should be a valuable resource for you even if they don’t actually end up placing you in a job. If you are looking to use a recruiter as part of your job search there are a few different things you can do to help the recruiter help you.

Motivations: Be open and honest with us about your motivations for changing jobs. Help us to understand you. You don’t have to talk poorly about your current employer or be negative about your current situation but helping us to understand what drives and motivates you will assist us in matching you to your next job. For example if you are motivated by career progression or the opportunity to regularly increase your earning capacity let us know. Then we can guide you on if a potential employer can genuinely offer you what you want. It’s not about us crossing you off the list because you are motivated by something or not motivated by something else, it’s about us giving you as much information as we possibly can so you can make an informed decision about your next career move.

Context of your background, skills and experience: This one is crucial for me. I can pretty much guarantee that every person that registers with Inspire HQ or is interviewed by us will say they have great communication skills or have experience in accounting or administration or are a team player and the list of examples goes on. What a good recruiter will want and need to understand to be able to best help you is what does great communication skills look like and mean to you specifically. Does that mean you have great communication skills because you have worked in an a retail environment on a register and have served customers 5 days a week, 8 hours a day for the last three years or does that mean you have managed the customer service desk for the last six months which has required you to deal with conflict and influence and negotiate to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes? Painting a picture that gives plenty of context around your specific skills and experience will assist us in matching you to the right jobs and in some cases identifying that you are a great fit for a particular business which can result in an opportunity being created for you.

Your wish list and the priorities: It’s ok to be fussy. Changing jobs is a pretty big and important step in your life so I’d be surprised if you didn’t have a wish list of all the things you want in your dream job. To help us understand what it is you are looking for you need to share your wish list with us. This is where a great recruiter will be of most value to you. They should be able to provide advice, feedback and guidance on how realistic it is for you to find a job that meets your wish list. While it’s important that you have a wish list it’s important that it’s realistic or that you understand what you would be prepared to negotiate and/or compromise on. By giving us your wish list we are not going to put a big black cross against your name and not let you know about jobs that don’t meet your wish list, we’ll still let you know about suitable opportunities but we’ll guide and inform you on how the opportunity does and doesn’t meet your wish list and then let you know if there is potential in the short and long term for those items on the wish list to be met. While salary is hugely important there are also lots of other items that you should consider when putting together your wish list and priorities. Think about career progression, flexibility in hours, long term earning capacity, benefits like gym memberships or discounts on the company’s products and services, extra superannuation, additional leave provisions. There are so many things to take in to consideration when putting together your wish list and if you are unsure where to start, talking to a recruiter can help guide you on what’s happening and on offer in your local market place.

Timelines: Timing can be tricky. I’ve seen people make contact with a recruiter and have a job offer on the table within 24 hours and I know there are others that make contact with an agency and it can be months before the right opportunity comes along. Understanding your timeline for making a change and how frequently the type of job you are looking for comes along in the marketplace is an important piece of the puzzle. It’s ok to be window shopping or exploring opportunities and simply doing your market research, just be sure to let the recruiter know what you are thinking in regard to timing. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed when there is an offer on the table within hours and you feel that everything is moving too quickly for you and you could possibly end up missing a great opportunity because you weren’t expecting things to move so quickly. On the other hand understanding that the transition to a new job may possibly take months is important information for you to know so you can set your expectations and plan accordingly.

A recruiter will ask you these questions when dealing with you and will probe to gather the information they need. Help us understand you and avoid being vague or wishy-washy when answering these questions. Providing clear and concise responses to these questions demonstrates to us that you know what you want and understand what it is you are looking for instead of just floating along and seeing what comes up. Giving vague and wishy-washy responses could mean you are perceived as a time waster or are unclear in your own mind about what it is you want. If you don’t know what you want then it’s going to be tricky for us to best help you. A good recruiter won’t try and talk you in to taking a job or exclude you from an opportunity based on any of these points, they’ll use the information to help guide you through your job search so that you can make informed and educated choices about what the right opportunity for you is. I like to be able to arm you with as much information as possible about the company, the position, the culture and the way they conduct themselves so that in filling the vacancy I can make sure the business gets the talent they are looking for and you as the job seeker find that dream job you’ve been searching for.

Have you got some tips and advice on how you have helped a recruiter to help you with your job search? Feel free to share your experiences on what has worked for you.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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