My son is graduating college and wants to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing professional soccer. In order to get started with finding trials, project his draft position, determine his value, and negotiate contracts, he needed some help. We thought we could do this all on our own, but boy were we wrong. Turns out, we needed a good Agent to get the entire process moving in the right direction. So, we made some calls, asked some friends in the soccer community for recommendations and interviewed a lot of Agents. It took a few weeks, but my 23-year old son called me one afternoon, excited, and told me: “Dad, I’m signing with Paul Graf at Optum One. You know why, Dad? He calls me with good leads, and he’s my buddy.” (Read: 5 Reasons I will Put Your Resume On My Client’s Desk for why this matters)
That phone call made me chuckle. Your Agent should be your buddy!
See, the IT job market is hotter than a $2 pistol. And, in many cases, IT jobs pay much better than professional soccer (in the US at least). If you’ve mastered any software language or database, you probably keep a small fan near your cell phone to keep it cool. But…is it time to consult with a Recruiter? A Recruiter - you know - those pesky “IT Agents” calling you daily, promising the perfect job doubling your salary while working 100% remotely. Like my son, do you need an Agent to jump start your job search?
Yes, in most cases, you do. But, make sure he is your buddy.
Maybe you’re happy at your current job. But, be honest with yourself...it’s the end of the year and your job is not perfect. Your commute gets longer each month. Or, maybe you love your job, but you are curious about your street value. “Am I getting paid fairly?” is a question Recruiters hear frequently this time of year.
So, yes, you should talk to a Recruiter. But, it needs to be a GOOD Recruiter. Good Recruiters do the following:
- Do not charge you anything for their services.
- She shortens the Interview and Hiring process for you.
- She opens multiple doors for you after she’s dug deeply into the reasons you might consider a job change.
- He understands your skill set, because he’s asked you about your entire job history.
- She knows the culture of the companies she recommends to you, and she knows culture is important to you.
- Good Recruiters are efficient, communicating with you just enough that they’re not a pest.
- Good Recruiters paint a realistic portrait of your value in the marketplace.
- They are patient enough to land you interviews for jobs that match your requirements for location, technology, company size, and compensation.
- Most importantly, good Recruiters are your friend. You must feel that friendship. I can’t really draw up fancy bullets about this part. If you feel uncomfortable or too much pressure from a Recruiter, don’t use them.
How do you find a good, experienced Recruiter who can serve as a trusted advisor? You ask around. Return a few voicemails from the Recruiters you’ve been sending to voicemail. Ask the next HR Manager you meet at the neighborhood Christmas party, “Who do you trust as your Recruiter?” As the owner of an IT Staffing Firm, I coach my Recruiters to operate with the same standards I run my company. In fact, we literally wrote the Recruiting Playbook, a 108-page testimonial for how our Recruiters should engage IT Candidates with integrity. We teach our Recruiters to be nice, but direct. They become your buddy. You can reach a Warriors Recruiter right now.
What’s holding you back from dipping your foot in the water and looking for a new job?
Sarah Landrum of Forbes magazine details how most millennial's prefer job hunting online, and applying to a position online, before engaging with a Recruiter. This isn’t a bad pathway to determining your value, but only a human being will share with you the real salaries offered by real companies. Only a good Recruiter answers your questions about benefits, compensation, remote work, clearance requirements, and culture.
Find an Agent for your line of work. Find a friend in your Recruiter!