How to Successfully Work With Recruiters

reRelationships are at the center of everything in the world of career and I briefly touched on the tip of the iceberg last week, but I wanted to do a follow up because it will be a game-changer when it comes to your career. Working with recruiters should be at the heart of your relationships in the career space.

Yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m a little partial to recruiters (because I used to be one) but whatever your experience, you will want to ensure you have the recruiter network on your side to ensure you are on their radars.

Connecting with recruiters is a critical part of job search success throughout your career and here’s why. Recruiters oftentimes know about job openings before they hit the job boards. It’s their job to find the best person for the job and so they have to constantly be in the know. And part of being in the know is being extremely well connected.

Now I’m all about working smart, not hard and having a robust recruiter network in your back pocket is one of the ways to do this. People will always say, well, “I have 1 or 2 recruiters that I work with,” but unless you have connected with a significant amount of recruiters, you are not doing your career due diligence.

So how do you connect with this group and make sure you’ve completely optimized this unique network?

I’ve come up with a (not very) creative acronym to help you optimize your recruiter network: DIOR

1. Distinction

Make the distinction as to whom you should be working with – Contingency or Retained recruiters. Retained are for executives and contingency for someone early to mid career level.

2. Identify the Best Contacts by Industry and/or Function.

Cast a wide net (so jot down all of the recruiters in your space) and don’t worry about geographical boundaries because Recruiters work virtually (especially in the retained space).

3. Outreach

Personalize (AKA: address them by name) Attach your resume and let them know you are in the same space and thought it would be a good idea to be connected in case (AND HERE’S THE CLINCHER) in case they have an opening that you are a fit for now or in the future.

4. Relationship Management

Lastly, let them know you are open to networking And you would be happy to help them out with your network if they are ever in need. Notice it’s about you helping them. In one of my prior episode on the NG Networking philosophy you will recall that it was all about networking by helping as well. Well it’s no mistake that helping others is a key way to tear down any guards and feel compelled to help you in return.

Also never forget: relationship management is ongoing. It never ends. Once you have connected to them it’s okay to check in every 6 months to say hi and hit the refresh on their radars.

So give the DIOR approach a go to ensure you are handling your networking and long-term career strategy effectively. Make the Distinction, Identify all the best contacts, Outreach to all and manage the Relationship.