Searching for a job is difficult, especially for the more senior level roles. Finding the perfect recruiter for your job search can save you a ton of time and effort. In this article, I will explain what a recruiter is, how to find them and what to do when you finally find them.
A recruiter’s job is to help hiring managers and companies find talent for their open positions. Notice how I didn’t say: A recruiter’s job is to help job seekers find companies that fit their skills. That’s almost never the case. Since recruiters are paid by the companies, it only makes sense for them to cater towards the hiring company’s needs.
Where To Find The Perfect Recruiter
There is no better place to find recruiters than LinkedIn.com. According to a 2016 survey from Jobvite, 87 percent of recruiters find LinkedIn most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process. During my time as a recruiter, LinkedIn was responsible for nearly 90 percent of the hires that I made.
There is always the possibility that a recruiter will find you, but I would highly recommend being proactive about your job search, rather than waiting for something to come your way. This is especially true for senior-level job seekers. The higher you climb the corporate ladder, the fewer jobs you will find that match your salary and job title. Networking becomes extremely important as a senior level executive because it is no longer as simple as going to a job board and quickly applying to jobs.
How To Find The Perfect Recruiter
After navigating to LinkedIn, click on the search bar at the top of the page. Next, type in the kind of role you are looking for, followed by “recruiter.” In this example, I’ll use the keywords “sales recruiter.” Most recruiter profiles will not state the exact roles that they recruit for but will mention a general area of focus such as “sales, marketing, engineering or finance.” Notice how I did not mention anything related to seniority (Manager, Director, VP).
Once you enter your search, you will notice a huge number of recruiters. I have over 138,000 results for the search “sales recruiter.” To filter this list a bit further, click on the “Locations” tab. You will see a drop-down menu, where you can enter the location(s) where you are looking to work. Click the “Apply” button. By filtering my search to San Francisco alone, my results went from 45,412 to 1,877. This is a significant difference and will save you a lot of time when looking for the perfect recruiter to help with your job search. If you still have a large number of results (over 100), try using additional filters.
Additional LinkedIn Search Filters
Next, use the “Connections” filter. Any sort of warm introduction you can get to your target recruiter will go a long way. Business owners and senior level professionals should excel in this, as they should have a solid amount of connections.
In my experience, a third-degree connection is likely to respond 10 percent of the time, a second-degree connection will respond 25 percent of the time and a first-degree connection will respond 50 percent of the time.
Filter the “Connections” tab to focus specifically on first-degree connections. If you don’t have enough first-degree connections, try second-degree ones and then third. By filtering to first-degree only, I was able to refine my search results from 1,877 to 231. Of course, your search results will vary from mine, but you get the idea.
Craft Your Message
Recruiters receive dozens of messages each day. That’s why it is crucial to say something that will set you apart from the low quality, templated messages requesting favors. Try something catchy. The less promotional your message is, the more likely you will receive a response and build a genuine relationship (something you should desperately want with recruiters).
A LinkedIn connection of mine, Kacy Knight, uses the following messages, for example. I encourage you to draw inspiration from them:
“Mike … I love your content and think your company is awesome. While I can’t promise that I’ll provide a ridiculous amount of ‘value,’ I make this promise: If we’re ever working together during a zombie apocalypse, you’ll likely survive as I’m a super slow runner and I’m sure you’ll get away while they eat me.”
“I’ve been following your company and am a huge fan. I’d love to connect. I get it if you’re reluctant. I’ll tell you this, I’m pretty strong. If we connect and start developing a relationship now, it won’t be awkward if you ask me to help move a refrigerator down a couple flights of stairs later. You in?”
Notice how these messages are not asking for favors, advice, handouts, a job, etc. They are solid attempts at building a relationship with the individual you are contacting.
Give it a try yourself. Reach out to someone you admire on LinkedIn and play around with different messages. The more you are willing to try, the faster you will find what works for you. Start building relationships now, before you need to cash out on your kindness. It will pay off tenfold in the future.
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