What are the expectations for a jobseeker in picking a recruiter? What are a recruiter's responsbilities, and what can you expect?
Heres' a short guide to making sure that you and your recruiter are on the same page.
1) Your recruiter is payed by the employer. That means despite what the literature might say, the recruiter's first and most important concern is filling open positions for that employer. Finding you a job is the result of their work, not the purpose of the work. That's hard to internalize, but if you approach a recruiter and expect them to find you a job, chances are you're going to be disappointed.
2) A recruiter has the responsibility to be honest with you - they should be telling you the truth about your skills, your experience, and you pay rate as it pertains to their client. If you are finding that a recruiter simply will not give you this advice, the answer is there is something about your employment situation that prevents them from submitting you to their client. This does not mean that you are a bad employee or a bad person - it does mean that you might not be a fit for their client.
3) If a recruiter tells you that you can't make the money you want, what they really mean is their client is not going to pay you the money you want. This does not mean that there is not a job that pays more - it means the job they ar considering you for does not pay for.
4) A good recruiter wants to meet you. They must have met with the client. If they have not met with the client, your submittal is called "throwing paper up against the wall." It's not a very good way to go about getting a position.
5) Personal attention is nice. Don't mistake personal attention for a successful recruiter. Just because someone takes a lot of time with you and calls you back every day and responds to every e-mail doesn't mean they know what they're doing. The perfect corollary is in sales. The manager who always has time to meet with you and always picks up the phone probably isn't the one who has the authority to buy your product. The same is true for recruiters. Busy recruiters make time for candidates - it is their job. Recruiters who spend all day with candidates who they never place, quickly go out of business. Think of it this way. If you spend 3 hours with a recruiter and he or she never gets you a position, how do you feel? So if you spend 3 hours with a recruiter, and then take a a different job offer than the recruiter's, do you compensate the recruiter for his or her time? Of course not.
6) Recruiters, the best ones, make it clear that they are human beings who make mistakes. The ideal relationship is one of synergy, not competition. You should feel comfortable speaking to your recruiter and getting timely feedback. You should feel comfortable signing an offer with them long before that offer comes. And you should remember that at the end of the day, the way we treat each other is far more important than the end result of a job search.