Establishing a good working relationship with your finance recruiter can make all the difference for your next job search. Here are some tips for getting the most from them.
The relationship you have with your accounting or finance recruiter is not unlike the one you have with your doctor: you only think about them when you really need them – when you’re bedridden with a flu, or when you’re scrambling to find a new job. It’s only then that the kind of dynamic you have with them, as well as their availability and responsiveness to you, become issues of supreme importance.
Clearly, then, it’s wise to foster a strong relationship with your recruiter, even –especially – when you’re already gainfully employed and don’t immediately need their help. That way, when you’re in between work, finding a new accounting job will be a lot less painful and nerve-wracking.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do – today – to nurture your relationship with your recruiter, so that they’ll be right there for you the next time you need them.
Find a recruiter with a specialization that suits your interests
It’s not uncommon for accounting and finance recruiters or recruiting companies to specialize in a particular niche or subset of the industry. Find one that specializes in an area of accounting or finance that you, too, are interested in.
Among other things, this will increase the chances of you and your recruiting partner seeing eye-to-eye. A recruiter specializing in a field that already piques your interest will be well-positioned to find job opportunities that truly excite you. The first rule of building good rapport – with anyone – is establishing common ground; finding someone who is into the same elements of the industry as you is half the battle.
…it’s wise to foster a strong relationship with your recruiter, even – especially – when you’re already gainfully employed and don’t immediately need their help.
Don’t be put off when they ask you for referrals
Recruiters work under intense time constraints. When a company needs to hire someone, the circumstances are often such that it needs to happen immediately, putting the recruiter under huge amounts of pressure. This means that you may get a call, out of the blue, from your recruiter, asking for a referral – someone you know or have worked with in past – in order to fill a vacancy they’re looking to fill ASAP.
Some people’s first reaction will be defensive. They’ll wonder aloud to themselves: “why is my recruiter ‘using’ me to access my contacts? And come to think of it, why aren’t they offering me the position?” But there’s more to it than that.
It’s your recruiter’s job to mine their existing networks for contacts and connections, in order to find the right candidates for the position they’re currently trying to fill. If they’re asking you to suggest someone else for the job, then odds are that they’ve already considered you for it, and have determined it’s not the right one for you.
And just because they’re calling you for help now doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be helping you out in the very near future.
Be receptive to criticism
When you’re working with a recruiter, they will eventually tell you something you don’t want to hear. In assessing your skills, past experiences, and personality and determining your strengths, a good recruiter will also identify some of your weaknesses.
Many of us have a hard time accepting feedback without getting our backs up. But it pays not to take your recruiter’s observations personally. Remember, they’re not going out of their way to insult you or bring you down; rather, they are trying to help you attain greater professional success.
Raj Kailasanathan, Director of Finance and Corporate Treasurer of Real Matters, says that coachability is a quality he looks for when hiring new employees. “You need to demonstrate that you are coachable at a very early stage,” Kailasanathan advises. “Resistance to feedback is a sure way to make people frustrated with you. Even if you are an expert in something, be open to feedback, as others come at things from different perspectives.”
Being coachable and open to constructive feedback is a key part of getting a job. And it should start with your recruiter. Embrace their criticism. Indeed, you should invite it: ask them what areas you can improve on, and how you might do so. This will only boost your chances of finding the opportunity you really want.
Play the long game
Recruiters, in short, will always leverage their existing connections first, before extending their search to other networks. So if you establish a positive rapport with your recruiter now, ensconcing yourself in their immediate network, you’re far more likely to get the most out of your relationship with them in the long run.
Your recruiter is a crucial link in the chain that leads to your ideal job, so don’t be cavalier about your relationship with them. Take the big picture approach. Stay in touch with your recruiter, even when you already have a great job.
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!