Whether a recruiter approaches you for an opportunity or you approach them, it is essential to be prepared for the first phone call. While the recruiter wants to ensure you are a good fit for the job opportunity, they are also there to serve as a career advocate and resource for you. When it comes to building a relationship with your recruiter, communication is key.
Before speaking with a recruiter, here are four things you need to know:
1.) Know what you want
One of the first questions a recruiter may ask you is: “What are you looking for in your next job opportunity?” It is crucial to truly know yourself and what you want and need out of your next job. Take some time to be introspective and if necessary, speak with your spouse or family members regarding potential career opportunities. Consider asking yourself the following questions and sharing the answers with your recruiter:
- What types of jobs and responsibilities are you willing to consider in your job search?
- In what city (cities) are you willing to work?
- What salary ranges are you considering?
- Are those salaries realistic for the location(s) and positions you’re considering?
- What type of work environment and culture do you want?
- What are your long and short-term career goals?
- What is your job search timeline?
2.) Know your deal breakers
From the above categories, which are you willing to be flexible on? For example, decide whether you’re willing to accept a lower salary for a job that is closer to home. Understanding your wiggle room and communicating this with your recruiter can potentially open up your search to more job opportunities.
3.) Know the process
Have you worked with a recruiter before? If not, be sure that your recruiter explains the hiring process and sets your expectations. Even if you have worked with a recruiter previously, it is a good idea to inquire about each employer’s specific process.
4.) Be Honest!
Honesty is always the best policy when working with a recruiter. Whether you receive a different offer, lose interest in the job or are concerned with the heavy workload, it’s important to be open and communicate any changes in your current status. Only move forward in the job search and interview process if you’re still on-board with the next steps.
Your relationship with your recruiter should be just that - a relationship. Establish the best form of communication up front, to ensure availability on both sides. If necessary, create a weekly calendar appointment to allow you to stay in touch.