Why finding the right recruiter will transform your life.
Ok, perhaps that’s a little dramatic but the sentiment is there – “transform your job search” may be more appropriate. As a contractor, finding a recruiter is like dating, or like goldilocks and the three bears; some are sickly sweet and some don’t care enough about you, but when you find that one that’s “just right”, it can do wonders for you and your career.
So, what makes a consultant a ‘technology specialist’?
These are consultants that keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. They engage with newly published articles and use dedicated resources such as tech specialist job boards or talent insight tools to understand the changes within the environment they recruit for. Their organization will say a lot about them; favorable reputations come from great relationships with clients and industry partners, so you can trust they have the connections and resources to make an impact on your career. IT markets are renowned for their community feel so industry events become very relevant and consultants will attend to build their knowledge and engage with industry leaders.
But the real thing that makes these consultants a tier above the rest is their certifications. There are several online exams, which take a lot of time (and sometimes money) to complete and become accredited within certain systems – so to find a consultant who has gone the extra mile to attain them, demonstrates as much about their industry/technology knowledge as it does their commitment.
Your CV is your instrument, let them fine tune it…
Don’t neglect this point. Any recruiter can provide CV advice, but only a technology specialist has the level of knowledge required to make your CV register with hiring managers. In the IT sector, the need for specificity is imperative, so understanding a project, company and role, isn’t always enough to make an application stand out. There is a requirement for consultants to understand and include the specific details of an opportunity that hiring managers will value above all else in a CV. This trait is unique to those recruiters that focus in a certain area as it’s unlikely that generalist recruiters have the time to research and learn the intricacies of a particular specialism. In IT and Microsoft especially, things change faster than the speed of light, so you need to trust someone who really understands this to help ensure your application ‘jumps’ out of the pile.
They’re more likely to guarantee your application is seen by the right people…
Anyone can apply directly to a client but having the reputation of a specialist agency can help your CV get noticed. The IT market is extremely competitive which means that most roles receive 100’s of applications from a variety of sources. Technology specialists understand this better than anyone and are unlikely to bombard clients with several CVs; instead, they focus on the most suitable candidates, the ones they genuinely have confidence in. Indeed, if a hiring manger receives three great CV’s from one consultant and a dozen of varying quality from another, they are more likely to engage with candidates that come from a more tailored approach.
For example, reputation for this is something that we work towards. Our aim is to demonstrate our industry expertise and understanding of candidates which has gained us the trust of big partners to be involved in pre-screening and vetting candidates. Also, our consultants are largely specialists in the technology that they recruit for, so it has become standard practice for them to focus on the quality, not quantity of applications sent to clients. Our wide range of video testimonials are an effective means of measuring and demonstrating this. Use the following URL to check them out:
They can prevent your CV from being sent EVERYWHERE
A key point (arguably the most important here) is that by trusting one consultant you avoid any confusion or mishap with your CV. This is your most fundamental employability tool, so it should be treated as such. Now, there’s two points to make here. Firstly, if you trust a generalist consultant, it is likely they will take a linear approach to finding your next placement by sending your CV to several clients in the hope that they can get you interviews (and make some commission off of you). However, once your CV starts circulating round several places at the same time, it puts your credibility at risk – it makes you look desperate and without focus, making you a less attractive hire. As a contractor, you are essentially presenting yourself as a company, so your personal brand must not be underestimated when seeking employment, and the over-circulation of your CV will dilute this more than anything.
It’s all well-and-good becoming more aware of what we have discussed here today, but how can you actually put this into practice to transform your job hunt? Here’s 5 tips that you can use as a sort of checklist to keep in mind as you navigate yourself through the tricky sea of recruitment consultants:
1.Find a specialist
During your initial conversation with them, screen them as much as they are screening you – chat about the market, the technologies, the big projects currently happening and of course about the roles they present to you to really gage how ‘specialist’ they are
2.Find one you actually get on with
On the contrary to popular belief, recruitment consultants are also human being, which naturally presents an opportunity to build a genuine relationship with them. Make sure they understand you, your motivations, your wants, needs and ambitions so that they make no mistake with recommending you roles that are a good fit for your current situation.
3.Look at the reputation of the company
As the saying goes, there’s no smoke without fire, so if a recruitment agency have a strong reputation that precedes them, it’s not just corporate waffle but a genuine testament to their expertise. By working this out, you will be able to gage how specialist a consultant is – do they come from a focused, well-received agency, or a more generalist, corporate firm?