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Albert Lerberg |


Are you engaged?

No, I am not asking if you are getting married…   I am asking if you are working with an engaged recruiter….  If not, it might explain why you are not getting better results.  Please let me elaborate!

You decided to look for a new opportunity, you met a nice recruiter who said she/he had the perfect position, you listened to the job description and it sounded good.  They submitted your info that same day, with curious anticipation you wait for that next call, one day, two, then a week goes by and nothing.  A few more days, and WHAT THE HELL?  Why aren’t they calling you back?  Sound familiar?  It happens all too often and let me explain why.  One of two things have occurred..  One is that the recruiter has not heard back from the hiring manager/ talent acquisition person.  Two, they heard that you were not a fit, and moved on to finding another person but didn’t take the time to let you know, after all speed is what matters!  

This is very typical in a contingent search scenario.   Contingent simply means the recruiter will only be paid a fee, if you get placed (hired) at that company, otherwise it’s zippo for said recruiter if you don’t get picked.  That relationship structure rewards speed and volume, not quality and relationships.  It’s designed to entice the recruiter into submitting anyone and everyone that walks, talks, or has a key word that resembles what is on the job order.  Companies like this arrangement because they feel like they will get more candidates faster by having this type of arrangement with their recruiting vendors.  They falsely think the competition with other recruiters will force them to dig deeper, work harder faster to make that placement.

Reality however, is a whole different ballgame.  Let me explain…   In the scenario above, the hard working professional is not getting called back because the recruiter is only compensated for the people or person the client selects.  Therefore, there is little incentive to follow up other than as a professional courtesy.  Also, there is no urgency for the client to respond, they are getting many resumes to sort through, most of them not on target, so it will take time for them to provide the requested feedback.  Plus, at this point they (the client company) has little to know skin in the game, they have very little incentive to get back to the recruiter, also they are waiting for all those “A” players the recruiters over-promised them to arrive in their inboxes.

 A scenario that can be frustrating for all parties!  So the recruiter continues to do key word searches on resumes, and the client gets frustrated wondering why all the “A” players they were promised aren’t materializing.  Meanwhile, 10 different recruiting firms are banging through as many as people as possible, with different recruiting messages, often to the same professionals, who eventually start to recognize this is the same position that everyone has been calling them about, and starts to wonder what the heck is wrong with both the company and the position that so many recruiters are working on it.  Meanwhile, this is doing real damage to the clients brand, which in a small or tight niche, can be a killer. Finally, exhausted and frustrated, the recruiter quickly shifts their focus to the next hot job order that just came in, and soon forgets about this search.  Sound familiar?

There is a better way!  It’s called Engaged Search (my term).   The difference with engaged search vs contingent search is that the recruiter and the company have a vested interest in filling the opening.  The recruiter will have primary responsibility in filling the position, and are partners with the client company in filling the role, not just another vendor.    The client receives weekly reports updating the status of the search, and the candidates get treated like professionals with timely feedback, interviewing information, and assistance throughout the hiring process.   Engaged Search stresses quality vs quantity, with the focus on the clients and candidates brand in the marketplace as well as working as partners.  Since going to this model, we have filled all five positions we have been entrusted with, and are working on a sixth.  Feedback from the professionals we have worked with has been terrific, good fit or not, they appreciate hearing feedback so they can make an informed decision moving forward.

Make sure to take a minute and ask your recruiter how they are working the search, what is their relationship with the client firm, and how your brand will be handled.  Some contingent searches are better than others, so feel comfortable asking “what is your relationship with your client”.  This should give you some idea how the process will be handled.  Then, make an informed decision on whether it makes sense to be represented by that firm.  Remember, your brand is you.  You are a corporation of one that is either highly valued, or shopped around.   Hope this information helps you make informed decisions.

Albert Lerberg
Albert Lerberg

Al Lerberg is the President and Owner of Cyber Security Recruiters - he has over a decade of experience in contract staffing and has been dedicated to information security since 2009.

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