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11 tips for working with IT recruiters

Rich Hein | March 27, 2014
IT is, by its nature, a technical, fast-paced and many times specialized industry. The necessary skills for career advancement are constantly evolving. With legacy systems, changing business goals and the constant march of new technology, companies are hard-pressed to find the necessary talent to keep their organization growing.

Where Did you Find Me?

The answer to this question will provide insight on what's working in your job search. Did they find you through LinkedIn? Then maybe you should consider adding to or updating your current profile. Was it a referral?

"This can be interesting information. It could tell you if your resume/profile is working, or who to thank for the referral, which might lead to further networking," says Penny Locey, vice president of Keystone Associates, a career management and transition services consulting firm based in Boston.

Recruiters reach out to potential candidates a number of ways, but experts agree that if you're in IT and looking for a job, having a robust social media presence is a must. LinkedIn is the obvious one, but Goli says that Twitter is seeing some growth in this area.

How Many People Have You Placed With This Company?

This question is designed to give insight into the recruiter/organization relationship. Let's face it: Most people use recruiters because they think their relationship with a given company will get them an interview. Finding out the answers to this question will give you a pretty good indicator.

"It's very important to understand the relationship between the recruiter and the hiring organization. Tech professionals should always ask if the recruiter has worked on behalf of the company in the past and if they had success placing a candidate. If they have worked with the company in the past, the recruiter will be better informed about the culture and the interview process," says Goli.

Is This a Contingency or a Retained Search?

If you are dealing with a third-party search firm then you need to know whether they are contingency-based or retained search. "In contingency searches, recruiters are paid if they place the candidate — and whoever gets you into a company first can try to claim a fee if you land there. So if you are already networking into a company, recruiters are not likely to want to help, as the company can claim they knew you already and therefore they do not owe a fee," says Locey.

Another factor, Locey says, is that in contingency search if you don't get the position, but make a solid connection with the hiring manager and get called back later for a different position, the search firm can claim that the company owes them a fee for making the introductions.

A retained search means that the company has paid the firm to conduct the entire search. Whether you network in through Twitter, apply on their website or were referred by an employee, you will be interviewed by the search firm.

 

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