Recruiters: High-Volume vs High-Value
What makes a good recruiter? Well, it depends on who you ask. I’ve been in the industry for over two decades and generally see my fellow recruiting directors answer that question one of two ways. The first answer: a high-volume recruiter – someone who can source numerous candidates quickly and move on to the next requirement. This recruiter excels at meeting goals, is generally very organized, and is a transaction-oriented individual. The second response (and the answer I firmly subscribe to) is a high-value recruiter – someone who is more focused on building strong relationships with both candidates and hiring managers than they are on transactions and numbers.
As a candidate, you don’t want your career treated like just another number, so finding a high-value recruiter is important. You want someone who can help you identify if a position is a fit for now versus the right fit based on your values and long-term career goals. If you’re wondering how to tell a high-volume recruiter from a high-value recruiter, I’ve put together some of the top attributes to look for to ensure you aren’t selling yourself short next time you’re on the job hunt.
High-Value Recruiters Get to Know YOU vs Your Resume
High-value recruiters take the time to get to know you beyond your resume. They are great listeners and pick up on the subtle details that indicate if a position is going to be a good fit for your personality, career goals, and values. The relationship-oriented recruiter is focused on your long-term aspirations and considers how those align with an opportunity versus simply submitting you for positions for which you may be qualified. For example, if you have a relatively low-risk tolerance, make sure you have a recruiter who can walk you through all the considerations that moving from a full-time employee to a contractor imposes. This sort of move is more than just a salary and benefits conversation – it requires a level of consulting that a recruiter focused on value and your long-term goals are going to be willing to have, even if it means a missed hire for them in the short term in order to ensure the best fit. A great recruiter puts the candidate before the position at all costs as they are more interested in finding the right fit for both sides.
High-Value Recruiters Have a History of Success
As a candidate, you want to work with a recruiter who has been there, done that. It’s not just about the years of experience, but it really does make a difference when you work with a recruiter who has a relationship with the client and has a history of successful hires. Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter to reference their past success at the company you’re interested in! This will help you understand the insights your recruiter may have that you couldn’t possibly get from a job posting or even a Glassdoor review.
This is one area in which a relationship-oriented recruiter will add value to your job search in more ways than you may imagine. For example, what does the recruiter know about the company culture that you don’t know? They have relationships with candidates who work there, so they have a clear sense of what it’s like to work for the client and can accurately describe the company culture, projects, and expectations. They know and understand client nuances (e.g., manager personalities, team dynamics, corporate culture) and have awareness of what you need to do in order to succeed in the interview.
A high-value recruiter will not only take the time to prepare you for the interview process but will also prepare you for success once you land the job. Great recruiters are the face of the company and it’s their job to ensure that candidates walk away from the experience feeling positive about an opportunity, even if it ends up not being the right fit.
High-Value Recruiters are an Open Book
A high-value recruiter should talk to you like a good friend and tell you what you need to hear over what you want to hear. As a job seeker, you want someone who will give you candid, honest, and constructive feedback and advice before you get to the interview. You don’t want a ‘yes man’ who only tells you what you want to hear – you want someone who can help you grow and put you in the best position possible to make a great impression on the hiring manager. A stellar recruiter will be honest with you, even if it’s uncomfortable (but will always do so in a professional and helpful way). The job may be out of your league or the money you desire may not be realistic. You may not like to hear these things, but it’s better to find them out before you get too far down the process!
High-Value Recruiters are Relationship-Oriented
Finally, one of the most important characteristics of a high-value recruiter is that they are driven by people, not numbers. You’ll know when you find them as they are laser-focused on your needs and finding out more about what drives you. They want to understand your goals, your expectations, and what job characteristics you prioritize over others. The value-driven recruiter keeps an open mind for the best long-term fit, not just the opportunity on the table.
These recruiters tend to be likable and build strong relationships with both candidates and hiring managers. There’s a level of trust on both sides, knowing that the recruiter is in it for the long haul and will go to great lengths to find the best fit for everyone because they value the relationship over a goal and would put that at stake just to get a hire. Their reputation, relationships, and referrals are more important than the instant gratification of a single transaction.
A high-value recruiter can make all the difference in your job search. When you find a recruiter who values the person over the transaction, they act like a consultant to your hiring process – advising you, redirecting you, and making sure you’re landing in the right place where you’ll be happy, have alignment with your career goals and are getting the best compensation possible.
One final piece of advice: when you find high-value recruiters, make sure you stay in touch with them, even after you have found the job because those connections can be invaluable to your career. If you have any questions about the recruiting process, feel free to connect with one of our recruiters today to see how we can help you find your next position!