How to Work With a Recruiter
By Kathy Lavinder
Most people know what recruiters do, but there is some confusion about how recruiters work. If you’re looking for a role in fraud prevention, detection or investigation, here’s what you should know:
Recruiters may or may not find you a job.
Recruiters typically work for companies, not job seekers, so their goal is to find candidates who match job specifications. Contingent recruiters are paid if a candidate they’ve introduced is hired, but they occasionally work on behalf of candidates. They may share an individual’s résumé with an organization where they have a relationship in case the individual could fill a need. Recruiters who focus on fraud roles know that this space is dynamic and an organization can have a need at any time or could simply want to see an impressive resume. Recruiters are good at spotting strong candidates. If that describes you, recruiters may be eager to share your résumé.
While all recruiters want to meet new people, retained recruiters must focus on identifying candidates who match particular job specs. They are not as likely to circulate your résumé on a speculative basis. When a recruiter says he’ll “keep you in mind,” that simply means you’re in a candidate database.
Recruiters are a resource, not career coaches or career counselors.
Recruiters are a great source for information, particularly in the anti-fraud arena. Recruiters can spot hiring trends and understand how various organizations are approaching fraud. Recruiters can articulate what employers need, comment on how educational programs and professional certifications are viewed, and see how best practices are evolving.
If you’ve been out of the job market, a brief conversation with a recruiter can get you up to speed on the marketplace. Recruiters don’t have time for lengthy conversations so value their time. Don’t expect a recruiter to provide a detailed critique of your résumé or function as an editor. A recruiter can quickly comment on how you’ve communicated your experience and technical know-how.
Recruiters are allies, but not your agents.
Recruiters should prepare you for an interview and share information about their clients’ needs, culture and the fraud program. Don’t expect a recruiter to tell you everything. That would be indiscreet and a violation of a recruiter’s responsibility to the client. Good recruiters do not feed candidates their lines or encourage them to misrepresent themselves. In the anti-fraud world there is simply no way you can “fake it till you make it,” so recruiters know you either have the capabilities or you don’t. Recruiters should get permission before sharing your résumé or calling references.
Your responsibility is to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, what you desire to do next, and the type of environment you’re seeking. Be open about your motivation for a change, timing and any other issue that could impact your ability to make a job change.
Having a recruiter’s contact information in your smart phone is like having an umbrella in your briefcase. When you need one, it’s good to know it’s there.
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