How Should I Choose a Recruiting Firm? There are thousands of recruiting firms out there, each with different capabilities. There are no “one size fits all” solutions, so you should be selective when choosing a headhunter with whom to work. Here are some things to consider: 1.Specialty – Make sure that the recruiter you choose has expertise in placing people with your background. Most firms will tell you their area of expertise up front. You can also glean information about the firm’s focus from their website. Finally, you should ask about the experience of the recruiters. If you are an accounting professional, it makes sense to work with recruiters who have accounting experience and can truly understand your needs and capabilities. 2.Career Level – Most firms specialize in placing people at a certain career level. For example, some firms focus on executive level searches, while others place more junior to mid level employees. Some firms provide a range of opportunity. Eve Crane & Associates, for example, typically works with mid- to senior-level professionals and executives in the Managed Healthcare sector. 3.Geographic Location – There are local, regional, and national recruiting firms; choose the one that best meets your needs. If you are planning to move or are willing to relocate, then a national firm may be best for you. In all cases choose a firm that specializes in your field. (One size does not fit all.) 4.Process – Different recruiting firms have very different philosophies about how they connect candidates with potential employers. Some firms will pull a resume off a job board and send it in to a client. Other firms will take the time to interview and prepare each candidate they present to a hiring company. You should be reluctant to use a firm that submits your resume to a client without talking to you first. If a recruiter does not take the time to get to know you, then it will be very difficult for him/her to work on your behalf. 5.Relationship with the Recruiter – It is very important to have a good relationship with the recruiter who is representing you. You must be able to trust your recruiter and enjoy a free flow of information. A good recruiter will be frank about your skills and experience and realistic about the opportunities that may be available to you. Your recruiter should be professional and aggressive, to make sure that you are presented with as many opportunities as possible, but should respect your wishes as a candidate. You should be wary of a recruiter who puts too much pressure on you to take a job or a go through an interview that you’re not comfortable with. The bottom line is that recruiting is a very people-oriented business, and it is very important that you trust and respect any recruiter that you are working with. How much does it cost to use a recruiting firm? The good news about headhunters is that they do not charge candidates for their services: You will not have to pay to work with a recruiter. Recruiting firms collect a fee from their clients for successfully identifying, screening and placing talented people. Keep this in mind as you work with your recruiter – because many recruiting firms get paid when they make a placement, there is financial incentive for the recruiter to encourage you to take a job. Experienced recruiters will respect your wishes, because they are interested in developing a long-term relationship. Be cautious of less experienced recruiters who may strongly encourage you to take a job, even if you have strong reservations. Should I only work with one headhunter? Few headhunters require an exclusive arrangement. However, if you work with more than one recruiter it is important to be open and honest with all parties. Working with more than one headhunter can cause complications for you, your recruiter and for the companies you’re interested in interviewing with. Don’t Go It Alone Working with a recruiter offers many benefits, especially in a tough job market. Recruiters can give you greater exposure than you can achieve on your own. They increase the efficiency of your job search, because they spend their whole days (and many of their nights) networking to find out what companies are hiring. Recruiters provide excellent career counseling, at no cost to you. They help advise you on your career strategy, help you fine-tune your resume, help you prepare for interviews, and help you negotiate your new employment agreement. A recruiter is an invaluable resource, a trusted advisor and advocate who will be at your side – and on your side – as you move ahead with your career.