Two weeks ago, the Staffing Secrets Panel met with local job seekers to help them understand the staffing industry better so they can apply that knowledge to getting a job faster. If you missed the Staffing Secrets Panel: Part 1, you can find it here.

Here are the remaining questions that were asked:

Do you suggest that you give references up front?

The panel unanimously agreed that you did not need to provide reference until they are asked for by the recruiter. The time they ask for them is if you have been selected to be on the short list that goes to the client and they need to prepare their overview on you.

Do you have some companies who blacklist certain types of people – i.e. someone who has worked at one company or certain companies in town?

Reputable recruiting firms will not discriminate on the behalf of any client. However, clients may have specific preferences on the type of person they are looking for. One example is cultural fit. They may prefer a candidate who works well in an entrepreneurial setting or with strong team orientation. It is important to know about the culture of the companies you want to work for and how to communicate your values and operating style to fit that specification.

The recruiters acknowledge that companies are always trying “rope them in” with narrow requirements, but you will find the recruiter going to bat for you if they do believe you are a good fit and your resume doesn’t necessarily show it based on your old employers.

Is there a page limit on resumes?

One recruiter immediately said, “Please don’t go over three!” The fact is that some defense industry positions require you to use more pages simply because you need to.

Staffing Secrets Panel

Erin VanDamme moderates the Staffing Secrets Panel

Erin VanDamme (the moderator) shared a secret with the audience about Candidate Profiles. Recruiters develop candidate profiles that are different from resumes, so the employers may never see what you really submitted in the first place! Candidate profiles contain the recruiter’s assessment and notes about why they believe you would be an ideal fit for the position.

If I have a niche skill set and want to work in a specific industry – how do I know I should be working with you?

The easiest way to know is to ask the recruiter directly. When you ask specific questions like that, you stand out to us.  Ask us if we are working with specific companies that you are targeting. You probably don’t want to ask on the first phone call, build a relationship with us and then make the inquiry.

Note from me: Another source for finding niche recruiters is the Directory of Executive & Professional Recruiters 2011-12 (Directory of Executive Recruiters).

How often should we follow-up or contact you in general?

Once a month is good and ask us what method we prefer? Some of us like email, others prefer phone calls. Each of us would love to develop great relationship with every applicant, but time does not permit us to do that. When you call us, give us an update on your job search efforts in the voice mail if we are not able to connect directly.

What happens when you want to apply to a job that several recruiters have? Do you send your resume to each recruiter?

Do NOT send your resume to every recruiter. When you do that we make note that you are not managing your job search well. Only one recruiter should represent you for a job. You should know if you are being considered for the job because the recruiter will contact you and ask if they may submit your resume or candidacy on their behalf.

Sometimes I find a job that is listed by the company and they are asking for resumes but I know you have the job too – what do I do?

It depends on the relationship you have with the recruiter – ask them what you should do.

Will you let me know if I am not in the top 4-5 candidates being submitted so that I can apply on my own or have another recruiter represent me?

The recruiter secrets panel all said they would let you know if you were not in the top 4-5 candidates – though always ask! Another secret that came out is that recruiters are limited in how many they can present so even if they have 10 great candidates, they have to choose who to take forward.

How do you find out about the hidden job?

Hidden jobs are often done by retained executive search firms where the company does not want the job publicized directly with their name. The best way to find about hidden jobs is to connect with people who do those jobs.

What is the amount of time I have to get your attention?

It all depends on the search. There is a race to fill the order because other firms are trying to fill it too. On average, jobs are filled within 6-8 weeks.

What is your primary source for recruiting?

  1. Always go with who we know first
  2. Database
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Skill sets

What is different about LinkedIn endorsements vs. recommendations?

We don’t pay much attention to endorsements. We look at recommendations because we know they are quality referrals.

How often are you screening people outside of LinkedIn?

It depends on what we are looking for. For contract positions, it is not a big deal. For direct hire, we use LinkedIn a lot.

Why do companies use more than one agency?

They have a need and they are concerned they many not fill it. Companies like to foster competition for the jobs they are trying to fill.

The session concluded with a round of applause for the staffing secrets panel and The Rochester NY Employment Network volunteers:

  • Eileen Messana, CSP – ER Associates, Director of Recruiting
  • Robert Mihalyi – Nesco Resource, Technical Recruitment Specialist
  • Chris Sherron – ETS Staffing, Branch Manager
  • Natalie Washington – JWN Recruitment, President
  • Tim Willman – Modis, Sales Director