Confession time! I’m a child of the 80s. Growing up I would watch Care Bears on the Disney Channel with my two sisters every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. My fav? Swiftheart Rabbit. Yes, I know he wasn’t an original care bear and that he was a care bear cousin, living in the Forest of Feelings not Care-a-lot, but I didn’t care (no pun intended). He was FAST. He didn’t need to rely on stupid rainbows or hearts to shoot out of his tummy. Plus, I’m pretty sure he got all the ladies…rabbits…care bears, whatever. Unlike most in my profession, I’ve been known to over share. This is probably another example. So why don’t I switch gears and disclose some things about working with a recruiter that you may not know.
We Can’t Help Everyone It never fails. I’m getting my haircut, in an elevator, taking an Uber and I’m asked the question “so what do you do?” As soon as the other party hears I’m a recruiter, I’m immediately told about their sister/cousin/neighbor/boyfriend/classmate from 2nd grade who is a great worker, but has been unemployed for the last nine years, just graduated from high school, or has primarily manufacturing roles. There’s nothing wrong with any of those caveats. Depending on the candidate, many employers may look beyond those and hire this individual. But here’s the rub. Celebrity Staff focuses on administrative, management, and legal roles. Our clients hire us to find individuals who have the experience, skillset, and background in their specific niche. In short, they pay Celebrity to find the top talent they haven’t been able to find on their own. While I’m sure the person I’m hearing about has a lot of good qualities, if they don’t fit the requirements my client typically looks for or has asked about, it makes it that much harder to be a viable resource in their job search.
Be a Pest Nobody wants to be a pest. You’ve spent an hour or more with your recruiter on the phone and/or in person discussing your background, preferences, and their current openings. They know your interest and availability, but you haven’t heard from anyone in a week. Surely they would have called you if something new came up, right? Not necessarily. In an ideal world, I’d have enough time to contact every candidate we are working with daily. However, on average we work with more than 200 active candidates every day. As great as I am with names, being able to remember everybody and their individual preferences is close to impossible. The candidates who end up being placed the fastest with us are normally the ones we just got off the phone with. Why? I just spoke with you, so you stay top of mind for me. We get new positions daily. So if it’s been a week, there could be several new possibilities for you that weren’t available when we last spoke. Finally, your preferences may have changed and that could open up other positions I didn’t initially speak with you about. I’d recommend contacting your recruiter at least on a weekly basis. When I have a new position, the first questions I ask are “Who is qualified” and “Who is available?” Keeping your name in front of me ensures that you’re the first answer I think of to both questions.
It’s OK to Say No Things seemed to be going well. I had a candidate regularly following up with me and we happened to secure an administrative assistant role that not only matched her background, but also the commute and salary range she needed. We quickly lined up an interview and after talking with her prior to her meeting the client, I asked her to call me afterwards. I wanted to hear what she thought. Days passed and I heard from my client, who loved the candidate and wanted to make an offer, but still no word from her. In my head I’m thinking there had to be some reasonable explanation for the lack of contact. Maybe she lost my business card with my contact information on it? Maybe she lost her phone or dropped it in the toilet and couldn’t find a pay phone and anyone she knew or encountered would not allow her to borrow theirs? Maybe she forgot our address, even after being here three times, and couldn’t look it up online because she didn’t have Internet and all the public libraries were indefinitely closed and anyone she knew or encountered again would not allow her to use their Internet? Society does not like to share. I finally heard back from her about a week later and she said she was embarrassed. She went on the interview and the company wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for. She felt the culture was a little too structured for her taste so she had pursued other opportunities that seemed to be better fits. She said she felt bad telling us that information after we worked hard to line up an interview for her. Guess what? That’s more than ok, that’s great! Our goal with candidates is for them to find the career they are looking for, whether that’s with Celebrity Staff, on their own, or even through another staffing service. There’s nothing wrong with turning down an offer or declining an opportunity to interview. It’s about you, not me. All we ask in return is that you provide us with feedback on why the opportunity, position, or interview wasn’t ideal. You are not being picky and that information helps us be a better recruiter for you and present options you will be excited about.
Timing Is Everything It’s cliché for a reason. As I previously mentioned, we secure new positions every day. The job market at times feels like the stock market. In one morning I can have five openings for paralegals with litigation experience and a personal injury background. By the end of the week all of those positions are filled and the seven paralegals I just interviewed never had a chance to meet with my clients. I’m now starting from scratch with these new candidates trying to create opportunities for them that we don’t currently have. So what determines whether it will be bullish or bearish? The lower unemployment rate has made it more difficult for companies to find top talent. When they do find someone who is a fit, companies are finally realizing if they drag their feet too long, the candidate will no longer be available. That’s helped with faster decisions and quicker offers. In addition, the particular industry can make a difference. For example, gas prices have dropped dramatically and we’ve seen a rise in logistic/transportation clients needing support as more and more businesses are increasing their shipping volumes. When a large law firm opened a new office in Kansas City last year, not only did they add more than 100 positions, but it created a ripple effect in the legal market as other firms either replaced individuals who left or wanted to upgrade their office with newly available talent. This is why following up with your recruiter on a regular basis is so important. You never know when the current wave will crash and the next one will rise. Reacting immediately can make the difference in starting with a new organization or missing out entirely.
Secrets don’t make friends, but they also don’t make good partnerships. Yes, Celebrity Staff and other staffing firms are hired by organizations. They pay our fees. They help keep our lights on and ensure we have a place to come to work every day. But, let’s not kid ourselves. Without quality candidates, there is no us. We have two clients. One is the company that outsources their human resources responsibilities to us and the other is the individual who uses us as a free, confidential, added resource in their job search. The only thing we ask in return is that you maintain open and honest communication with us – we’ll reciprocate. If you are open to exploring a new opportunity, give Celebrity Staff a call. We look forward to exploring if we can help!
Brad Lewis Brad joined Celebrity in 2005 and currently serves as sales manager for Celebrity’s Kansas City branch office. Prior to joining Celebrity Staff, Brad was a business consultant in the communications industry for five years working specifically in the Kansas and Missouri districts. As sales manager, Brad concentrates on ensuring excellence in the overall operations of the Kansas City branch for both clients and employees. Outside the office, Brad enjoys spelunking and spending quality time with his two sons, Kobe and Eli.