This is the second part of a two part series. In the first part (Candidate Bill of Rights), we discussed what the candidate can expect from a recruiter when receiving help finding a job. Now, we will turn to the candidate and what a recruiter should be able to expect from him. Recruiters provide a service and work in a partnership with the candidate to find an opportunity that is "just right" for that person. The relationship, when successful, leads to a great job for the candidate and professional satisfaction and a financial commission for the recruiter.
In a very successful candidate/recruiter relationship, the experience is even more fulfilling than described above. The candidate is guided through a process that can be daunting and represented to potential employers with a level of enthusiasm and detail not available to someone simply replying to a job posting. Journeying together through the process can lead to lifelong friendships and repeated representations.
An unsuccessful relationship either results in no job at all or a process that is contentious and lacking trust. Neither scenario is ideal, nor necessary when both sides fulfill their duties in the relationship.
In order to create a successful and satisfying relationship a recruiter needs to be able to expect certain behaviors from the candidate.
1. A Candidate shall be honest and upfront with the recruiter. Hiding information from the recruiter can lead to embarrassment for both the recruiter and candidate. For example, if your resume says you have a B.A., but you are really short one class, the recruiter needs to know that. At some point either the recruiter or the potential employer will conduct a degree verification. That is the wrong way for them to find out something that can be worked through when handled appropriately. Further, many recruiters will quit working with a candidate who falsifies information on the resume and the potential employer will follow their lead.
2. A Candidate shall keep the recruiter informed of the status of her job search. Any changes such as interviews, resume submissions, changes in expectations, and periods of time that the candidate cannot interview need to be communicated to the recruiter. These types of changes effect the job search and the recruiter can’t represent a candidate without current information about the search.
3. A Candidate shall return phone calls and emails from the recruiter immediately. Recruiter’s live by the mantra “Time kills all deals”. That can never be good so make the recruiter your first priority when left a message. It is not uncommon for the employer to push the recruiter for information and updates. Both you and the recruiter look unprofessional when updates are unavailable.
4. A Candidate shall keep good records of who has access to his resume. Whether a candidate is sending out resumes, having a friend circulate them or is working with more than one recruiter, it is the candidate’s responsibility to keep track of activity. If a resume has been presented to any employer, the candidate should know who received it, on what date they gave someone permission to present it, on what date it was presented, and the result. Those records should be kept for 12 months. Having a resume submitted to an employer through multiple sources can muddy the waters and make the candidate look unorganized and desperate.
5. A Candidate shall remain open minded. A recruiter is not doing his job if he doesn’t look at all potential opportunities for the candidate. Sometimes that means introducing a job or a company that doesn’t appear to be a natural fit. A candidate should not judge the opportunity as not right until the recruiter has been given a chance to explain. Ask questions, challenge assumptions and keep an open mind. If, after asking thoughtful questions, it still doesn’t feel right, then the candidate can ask the recruiter to place the opportunity aside. If the candidate keeps an open mind, the recruiter can share his insight and experience to help expand the opportunity pool.
6. A Candidate shall communicate with the recruiter immediately after each interview. A recruiter can push along the hiring process and fix or support messages from the interview, if given the opportunity to be a part of the process. There is a small window of opportunity after the interview when the recruiter can make an impact. A candidate must call the recruiter immediately after the interview. Many recruiters will jokingly say “Call me from the car after the interview.” They are not joking. An immediate call is expected and ideal. If you can’t make that work, let your recruiter know before the interview so they can adjust expectations with the client and no one is left wondering.
7. A Candidate shall trust their recruiter. A successful relationship can only be built on trust. If you don’t trust your recruiter, don’t work with him or her. If you don’t trust any recruiter, work on yourself. You aren’t helping yourself with that attitude.