Sales Staff Job Seekers Resources

Client Testimonial

“Marie is very conscientious about understanding the needs of all parties in a hiring decision. She is patient and looks out for your best interests. Marie understands both the emotional and practical elements of the recruitment process, an approach which builds trust and results.”

Additional Resources

Sales Staff Recruiting

Below are some additional articles and resources on working with a professional recruiter:

Working with a Recruiter –
What is a Recruiter, Really? – About.com

Working with Recruiters -
Workbloom, By Tony Beshara

Working with Executive Recruiters –
CareerJournal.com, Wall Street Journal

Job Seeker Resources

Useful articles authored by Marie Warner, links to recommended interviewing, job search and selling skills articles, sites and other references.

Working with a Professional Recruiter

If you are looking for a new position, perhaps these statements sound familiar:

“I sent my resume to a dozen recruiters, and not one called me back.”

“Headhunters are relentless when I’m not looking for a new job, and can’t be bothered with me when I need them.”

“I want to change the industry I work in. No recruiter seems to be able to help me.”

Do these comments resonate with you? Some of the job-seekers I encounter (I am a professional recruiter for sales and sales management) have expressed frustration with search firms and recruiters, feeling that recruiters are non-responsive, ruthless (the “headhunter” label is not all that flattering) and lack any urgency in helping a candidate find a new job.

Working with a Professional Recruiter can be a great way – and it is just one way – to find a new career opportunity, and at the best pay. How can you, the candidate, make the most of working with a recruiter?

The recruiter-candidate relationship is mutually supportive, with each party contributing to a successful interaction. To utilize it the fullest, a candidate has to understand the process – and most importantly - their role in that process.

Let’s begin with a realistic understanding of what a recruiter can and cannot do to help you in your job search.

Sales Staff Recruiting

Who is the Customer?

Recruiters, whether paid a retainer to introduce a number of candidates or paid a fee only when a referral is hired, work for the hiring company – not the job-seeker. Strong relationships with superior candidates are critical to the success of any recruiter. However, the simple fact is that a recruiter is paid to deliver a service to their client – and that client is the hiring company. A recruiter screens candidates according to the requirements specified by the employer, and should refer only top qualified candidates.

What does this mean for you, the job-seeker? If your qualifications and experience match those of a Recruiter’s current search engagement, that recruiter should be interested in speaking with you, and advancing you through the interview process. If a recruiter’s “niche” is a market in which you have had experience and success, that recruiter should also be interested in engaging with you. However, that initial interest will be to become briefly acquainted, with the intent to add your resume to their database of candidate contacts – for future possible jobs. Unfortunately, this does not mean that recruiter can materialize a potential job opportunity for you now.

This helps explain why many recruiters do not respond to resumes sent from candidates. You may be a stellar sales talent – but not a fit for their search engagements and a match to the qualifications set by their clients. This is not a rejection – just a “not now.” That recruiter is looking for a Picasso and you are a Rembrandt! I encourage candidates to remember that the Professional Recruiter is a proxy for the hiring company. My advice is to engage professionally with the Recruiter, and if no “matching” search is ongoing, plan to follow-up every several weeks or monthly. A brief contact by email or phone will keep your name in front of a recruiter.

And if you are not looking to change jobs now – remember you may be in the future. Building relationships with Professional Recruiters you respect, and who work with clients in your market, can help you when you are in the job market or hiring your own staff. Any good relationship is two-way. Even if you are not in the job market now, you can help the Recruiter and professional colleagues by referring talented individuals to the Recruiter you respect.

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Why won't you sell me?

With few exceptions (more on the exceptions later), a Professional Recruiter will not “pitch” your resume to a company unless an active search is ongoing and the recruiter is under agreement. Why not? Most companies will not accept a resume from a recruiter unless there is an agreement with that recruiter and a specific search underway. From their viewpoint, accepting unsolicited resumes encourages receiving stacks of resumes of non-qualified candidates, sent from unknown and non-approved vendors.

So what is the exception? Some hiring companies with an established relationship with trusted recruiters are open to receiving “unsolicited” resumes. (At best this numbers around 5% of all companies) Many of my customers are always on the lookout for strong sales talent, and request that I introduce superior candidates to them – even if a job search is not officially underway. I ask candidates to be realistic about their qualifications, experience and “fit” for such introductions – the candidate must be not only a strong sales performer, but also have a near 100% experience match to the job requirements employer firm.

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I have no experience in that area, but I KNOW I can do that job.

Candidates sometimes confuse a Professional Recruiter with either an outplacement agency or a Career Coach. Recruiters are neither – they need to find a specific individual for a specific set of hiring company criteria.

Here’s an analogy from home improvement: Imagine you want to put an addition on your house. Who will you hire? The experienced builder who has completed many home additions – or the aluminium siding salesperson who knows he can build additions?

In a way, a good Professional Recruiter is a “talent broker” between the candidate and the Employer.

Hiring companies engage Professional Recruiters to help them find talent who will succeed in the open position at that company. That said, the Employer dictates the job requirements for the open position – from “must have” experience through “nice to have” background. The task for the recruiter is to find and qualify candidates matching those requirements, and to determine and encourage their interest in pursuing the job opening with the Employer Company.

Consequently, Recruiters can seldom help candidates with the goal to find a job in an entirely new field or market. We simply are not commissioned by our clients to find candidates with “raw talent” but no experience in a given field.

What can you do if you want to switch career fields? I encourage candidates to join associations, attend professional meetings in their new job target area, and plan to network, network, network (including the Professional Social Networks on the web). To switch careers or fields the job-seeker needs to directly gain a foot-hold in the target firm(s), to favorably impress the hiring manager or an internal sponsor who will help you gain access to those hiring. In other words, you need to sell yourself into that company – perhaps in a more junior position and lower salary – and get a few years of experience in your target career field.

A strong working relationship with a professional Recruiter can help you advance your career and your income. Understand how and when the Recruiter can help you find new opportunities, and foster relationships with Professional Recruiters you respect – they can help you find that great new job – now or later.

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