How To Build A Relationship With A Recruiter
Over the past four weeks, more than 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment in what The Washington Post called "a rapid and unprecedented deterioration in the U.S. economy." Across all industries, including many sectors of commercial real estate, freshly unemployed job seekers are mustering strength to venture back out into the roller coaster of a job market.
Hiring hasn’t halted, but in many cases, it has slowed. Inevitably, more newcomers than ever will be reaching out to recruiters, uncertain of the etiquette. And inevitably, recruiters will be wading through their inboxes, paying closest attention to the candidates who stand out the most.
CRE Recruiting principal and founder Allison Weiss said that as a recruiter, her job is to help companies scale and grow in a sustainable way, and to help candidates take the next steps in their careers.
"Of course I help clients who come to me with a need, but I’m also proactively meeting people and networking with new candidates or clients," she said. "You just never know when you’ll make a new connection."
SelectLeaders caught up with Weiss about how to optimize your outreach for a more fruitful response.
Find Your Recruiter
Beyond a LinkedIn or Google search for recruiters specializing in your sector of CRE, a number of free online services (i.e. Top Echelon, i-Recruit, SearchFirm and others) can help locate the right recruiters by industry.
Unlike job applications, where — bandwidth permitting — applicants may cast a wide net, it's best to narrow down your list of recruiters in advance and just reach out to one or two at a time.
Identify recruiters who specialize in your field, make contact and develop a relationship.
Know What You’re Looking For
The more clarity candidates can get for themselves before their initial conversation with a recruiter, the more productive that conversation can be, Weiss said.
“Sometimes, when people get to me, they may not have done all of the thinking ahead of time, she said. “Think about the things you’re enjoying about your current role, what you would like to change if you could: this is where I’m at; this is what I’m enjoying about my current position; this is what I find challenging; moving forward, these are the types of opportunities or types of companies I’m interested in.”
Knowing the answers to these types of questions will give a recruiter a good baseline for what opportunities may be a fit, she said.
Identify Your Weaknesses
According to Weiss, before approaching a recruiter, job seekers should visualize where they want to be in their career and then identify what stands between their current position and their objective one.
"Is it getting a certification? Getting hands-on experience within another department in your company?" she said. "A good recruiter can help you walk through those questions and help you figure out what you may be missing or what opportunities there are to expand on your skill set."
Think through this question in advance and be prepared for your initial conversation with a recruiter to make the most progress.
Express To Impress
Weiss said when it comes to introducing oneself and beginning a conversation, "a detailed email explaining who you are and what you’re looking for, including some possible times to schedule a follow-up, is a great start."
Then, aim to make a good impression.
Gestures such as a thank you note following an initial interview not only serve to help its sender stand out in a crowd — they foreshadow for a recruiter how a candidate may interact with clients.
"A candidate who represents themselves well in turn represents me well to my clients," Weiss said. "When somebody is communicative and responds quickly to follow-ups, I know they’ll do the same in interviews. And that inspires confidence."