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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How to Choose a Great Recruiter

When choosing a recruiter or "agent" to represent you to prospective employers, be sure to be selective and perform a little due diligence. Often, a referral from someone who has used the recruiter/agent is the best place to start.

Some companies have a preferred vendor list that they utilize when posting job requirements ("reqs") and the recruiting firms on this list will have exclusive rights to get you into that company.

Other companies will post reqs to the major job boards (Monster, Career Builder, etc.) and if you are listed with these job boards (and your qualifications match), you will begin to get bombarded by recruiters trying to place for the same position. If you are looking for work, this is not necessarily a bad position to be in. :-)

The professional recruiter will try to match you to positions that you are qualified for, that you are interested in, and that are logistically possible for you to fill. He or she may try to be a little persuasive. This is okay; after all, placements are how a recruiter gets paid and most people are resistant to change.
But if you are adamant that it's not a good fit, a great recruiter knows to continue searching and let you pass on the opportunity. After all, you may use him in the future or refer someone else who will. A great recruiter will pay you for referring a friend, too.

By the way, only deal with a recruiter who charges the employer, not you (the resource). Typically, the employer gets billed a percentage of one years' salary for a permanent placement, or an on-going percentage of the billable hours for a contract. This is a great bargaining chip for you, as you can negotiate a higher rate for yourself that comes out of the markup.

A recruiter acting as your professional agent is a great resource for finding work, be it contract or permanent. Find a good one, be respectful of his/her time and efforts, and you will have a profitable, symbiotic relationship.
JM Kelly, The IT Entrepreneur

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