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Contracting: your recruiter and you.

Contracting: your recruiter and you.

September 27, 2012

Today’s blog comes from Walker Wares, Resource Consultant in the Contracts team.

After two years of working in recruitment I have spoken with, met and heard tales of every type of contract professional under the sun. You get the cheerful people who are happy and grateful for your help in aiding their career, the relatively indifferent and those that find you a nuisance, for their various reasons.

It is nothing new that recruiters are by and large deemed a nuisance that pester those who don’t want nor need work, but in reality it is the contractors that more regularly seek us out than us to them.

I thought it would be useful to write this blog in the hope that it may allow candidates to better understand why recruiters do what they do, but also to influence readers as to a general ‘code of conduct’ that is the most effective way of securing a new role. We often don’t overlook, dispense with or forget about contractors, and if we seem to it is normally due to legitimate reasons.

If we don’t get in touch following a response to an advert…

We get scores of applications for every vacancy, and sometimes candidates may simply be incorrect for the role, we may have already filled the role, or we may have not had a chance to review all of the CVs. It would be easy for recruiters to send a blanket message to all unsuccessful candidates – we do send these types of emails as often as possible but it can come across as very impersonal, and it would certainly be incredibly difficult for recruiters to provide comprehensive constructive feedback on all submissions. We would love to be able to take the time to inform every single candidate of the process, find their needs and tell them that we will be in touch with appropriate roles, but that’s often simply not possible.

It’s completely understandable that it can be frustrating when you don’t hear back after a job application, and we would definitely encourage following up with a phone call or a personal email. This way we can focus on your search for roles that adequately reflect your CV, and we’ll get to understand each other’s needs far better.

Following on from this, please only apply for roles that you are actually suitable for.

Taking the time to check that your experience reflects a job spec is very important. Candidates that apply for only a few relevant roles are generally far more successful at securing interviews and contracts than those that spam agencies with multiple irrelevant applications. At the end of the day, it wastes everyone’s time, including the spammer. Agencies will recognise names, it is our job to do so, and if we see the same name coming in constantly for wrong positions it is likely to give the person a bad reputation within our ranks.

Candidates that take the time to apply for genuinely suitable roles and contact us directly will often have us knowing their needs and their requirements for future roles – many of our trusted candidates don’t even need to submit applications!

Never, ever, risk your reputation by intentionally letting people down.

Although contractors have more flexibility in the market place than permanent staff, they are representing themselves at all times. It doesn’t happen very often, but if a candidate pulls out of a contract early it will reflect badly with the client and make it more difficult to get work with them in the future. However, the ones that will hold the memory longest and most stringently will be the recruitment agency. It’s not that we hold grudges, but if a candidate lets the client down, then the agency is letting the client down, and it makes us look like fools.

It is of course always possible to straighten things out if you have mitigating circumstances, but when recruiters look at hundreds of CVs and see the name of someone that they had a negative experience with they may simply overlook the submission. This is obviously hugely subjective and dependent on individual recruiters and clients, but reputation is created for a reason – ruin it in the eyes of others and it’s much more difficult to repair it.

Finally, get to know your recruiter and be nice!

Recruitment is all about relationships – if you have a solid relationship with a recruiter that will work thoroughly on your behalf because they like you and can sell you to a client, then you will be far more successful than, for example, someone who applies for ten times more positions and spends all day emailing applications to everyone and their mother. If you have a great relationship with your recruiter, they will have an assurance when putting you forward for roles, as they can guarantee to clients the quality of the submission and they will have first-hand experience to thank for it.

We count ourselves lucky at Head Resourcing that we have great relationships with the vast majority of our contractors – we certainly like to think that we know them really well anyway – and at the end of the day, the old adage is true: people buy from people.

Click here to find out what else we do for our contractors, and to see our helpful contractor resources.

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Contracting: your recruiter and you.

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