The workforce ain’t what it used to be. People today are always on the lookout for that next big job opportunity.
The thing is, the job market can be a pretty intimidating place. It’s fast, it’s competitive and if you aren’t looking in the right places you can easily miss out on that perfect position. A lot of folks turn to job boards, only to later become frustrated by the sheer number of recruiters putting them on blast.
The issue here is that a lot of recruiters try to place you simply based on keywords, not necessarily on the context of your resume. This is what we call “lazy recruitment,” and unfortunately, it’s quite prevalent among staffing firms. Because of this, we see a lot of candidates outright dismiss recruiters all together, and they begin to apply to jobs directly.
This is not to say that there aren’t good recruiting firms out there. To me, the difference between a good staffing firm and a bad one comes down to the recruit’s experience. At IBS, for instance, our recruits have an incredibly low turnover rate when it comes to the projects they were assigned. What’s that mean exactly? It means our recruits are happy. We have direct access to hiring managers, placing candidates in jobs that work for them. A good recruiter will go beyond keywords: They’ll actually read your resume, offer tips on how to improve it and work closely alongside in order to find a position that fits your skillset.
I get incredibly frustrated when I hear about the many bad experiences candidates have had with staffing firms in the past. These negative experiences reflect poorly on all recruiters. If you’re reading this, all I can say is stick with it. A good recruiter will listen to what you want, and not throw you a surplus of positions just to see what sticks.
The best staffing companies know their clients and the roles they’re trying to fill. Good recruiters will meet with clients behind the scenes. This process can take weeks, sometimes months. That way, by the time a recruiter gets to you, they’ll have a couple of positions in mind that match your skillset. You won’t get this kind of involvement from a computer at CareerBuilder.
In addition, a good staffing firm knows the timetable. They will know the managers well enough to find out about the timeline. What is the interview process? How soon do they really need to hire? When will they really make a decision? This information is invaluable. It beats applying through a company website and wondering for days on end somebody even saw your resume. A good staffing firm will also know their market. They will know the hot skillsets, whether the market is in a .Net or Java trend, whether a candidate needs to update their skills a little in order to make a higher salary, etc. That’s a recruiter’s job; to know their market and know what candidates need to succeed.
Finally, there’s one more advantage to using a staffing firm. The best ones will have earned their place in the market. They will be the company that gets the call from a manager after someone quits, after someone is fired, after someone finds their true love and mysteriously vanishes to an exotic locale. These firms know things. They know a lot of things. They know if there is a job, whether there might be a job, whether there could be a job because you’ve got a great skillset and they have a client that would love you.
The job market is a scary place. It doesn’t necessarily get easier as you get older, either. It may seem like an extra step, but using a staffing firm to help you find that next opportunity is like finding a light in the darkness. Good staffing firms know their clients, they know the market and they know resumes. It might seem easier to apply directly to a job, but that can be a shot in the dark.
Wouldn’t you rather have a flashlight?