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Using a Recruiter to Your Advantage

Posted by Kevin Racher

Whatever stage you are at in your career, whether you are Tax Trainee or Tax Partner, having the right people help you in your corner when looking for a new role can be instrumental to the success of your career. The right consultant can help you with every aspect of your job search, and there are key points which can make your journey with a recruiter beneficial and effective. Most important, however, is ensuring you choose a reliable and credible recruiter and make the most out of the relationship.

Having been in the recruitment industry for a number of years now, I do know that there is often a certain notoriety when it comes to the recruitment industry (which is sometimes fair). Scrolling through LinkedIn usually tells a very sinister story! Undoubtedly there are always some shocking stories out there (and believe me I have heard a few!) but there are also firms and recruitment consultants who can really make your job search a positive experience, and there are things you can do as a candidate to make using a recruiter work for you.

1) Transparency

On occasion, candidates will be very reluctant to divulge certain information that is essential to help them. Think about it, you are asking for a recruiter to approach people in your industry and represent you as the best candidate possible. We're going to be intrusive, want to know every last detail about your career and your requirements. How else do you expect us to represent you in the best possible light to prospective employers without this information and to ensure we approach relevant firms?

This is your career we are talking about and to support you I need to know as much as possible.

2) Think of where we add value

Fundamentally we're here to provide a service to you. We help to make you better at applying to jobs. This is a crucial message I try to deliver as a recruiter when I talk to any candidate. For example, some of the key areas where I can add significant value to your job process are:

  • Market Expertise – Working across a specialised marketplace, I can give you inside knowledge on what the market has to offer from an employment perspective. Who pays best? Who offers most flexibility? Where are you going to reach your career pinnacle?  
  • Managing Processes – I'm able to manage all your applications and your diary for interviews whilst ensuring you have one point of contact, processing everything in one call rather than five. This saves you a huge amount of time and makes sure distractions to your current working commitments are kept to a minimum.
  • Negotiations – Negotiating can be difficult and stressful, especially when it's your personal finances at stake and when you don’t know who you're negotiating with. As a recruiter, I can manage this on your behalf. We use our relationships with the employer to your advantage to get you the best possible outcome, removing all unnecessary stress.

3) Exclusivity

I'm confident that anyone reading this has their own “nightmare recruiter story” and will, in a number of cases, have used a number of agencies rather than one. Exclusivity is, in my view, the best approach. Having said that, don’t just pick anyone, believe it or not, we are not all the same!

Exclusivity prevents duplicate applications, prevents multiple phone calls and prevents the “tug of war” scenario where you don’t know who to believe when considering multiple options. I’ve been there myself, I know it’s an absolute nightmare but learning that lesson could well be costly career-wise! But the major benefit in my mind is that if you choose the right recruiter for you, it will absolutey save you time, effort and stress as they can manage your search for you. We will keep you abreast of where each application is at, feedback and advice. You will not be speaking to multiple consultants. You are busy enough, let us take the stress away from you.  

4) Find out about your recruiter

You are going to enter into a world full of different people, offering conflicting approaches and contrasting methods of finding you your next job. Yet when I speak to candidates for the first time, it’s very rare they ask questions about myself or my firm.

Ask your recruiter questions, find out what they have to offer, how they intend to approach the market, what their opinion is. That initial phone call is essential to assessing the credibility, competence and talent of the person you're entrusting your professional future with! Form a job search strategy with them, see if they understand what you're looking for and be selective in who you work with. A good recruiter will instil confidence that they are the best person to help you with your next career move. Make sure you assess them thoroughly!  

5) Make sure that they have an action plan for you.

Here at Pro-Tax we will do things the right way, in that after our call we will send you a copy of our action plan, live roles we are sending your CV to, clients we will approaching. It is so important (in this day and age with GDPR) to have full control of you CV/profile and where it ends up. We will not send you CV without your permission, that is important for you in this candidate tight market.

Summary

These are just some key points that I know from experience, on both sides of the fence, has helped make a candidate journey with a recruiter effective and beneficial rather than disastrous and damaging. The fundamental theme comes down to trust, respect and honesty between all concerned. This is the fundamental starting to point to any successful business relationship, isn’t it?

There are poor recruiters in our industry but tell me an industry that doesn’t have bad people/firms operating within it? Take the provisions from the start, complete you due-diligence to make sure you work with the good recruiters and receive the best service from them!

I hope that has helped, for advice on your CV and to discuss the tax market in general. Please feel free to reach out at kevin.racher@pro-tax.co.uk or call 020 7269 6321 or any of the Pro-Tax consultants.

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