Here’s a familiar scenario during the early stages of a telephone conversation with your recruiter – they’ve presented you with a great opportunity which you’ve both discussed in utter detail, you’re suitable and interested and it’s agreed your CV will be submitted...GREAT! The conversation is then likely to lead to a request to meet for a coffee at some point.
In my experience, I sense that most candidates think that this is a meeting that they could just do without. Let’s face it, there will be countless other recruiters out there introducing themselves and the “dream opportunity” who will be happy to converse solely over the phone throughout the process.
While it may seem that communication via phone is “quicker” or “easier,” more often than not this these calls take place before work whilst picking up your essential morning coffee or after work whilst riding home on a packed out train. When having these types of conversations I sometimes feel myself falling into the “just another recruiter” category – a place I don’t ever wish to be. In my opinion, the recruiter-candidate dynamic feel like a transaction rather than a partnership if you don't meet face-to-face. Additionally, consultants with long-lasting client relationships often work roles exclusively. Do you think a consultant would risk jeopardising that relationship by submitting a candidate they haven’t even met? Absolutely not.
There are a number of reasons why candidates should favour engaging with consultants who insist on meeting in person during the early stages of the qualification process:
- Culture Fit:
Here at Burns Sheehan we genuinely partner with our clients for their recruitment needs and are fully briefed on all aspects of a role and the fit that they are looking for. Consultants can therefore talk in detail about the team you could potentially be joining, the hiring manager’s pet peeves, company culture and what to expect should you reach interview stage - all valuable information to help you get the role. Chances are we’ve also placed multiple people into this company previously and can offer invaluable advice that you just couldn’t take in whilst dashing out of Pret with your double expresso.
- Interview Practice:
If it’s been a little while since your last interview, it’s understandable that you might find the prospect a little daunting. Therefore by meeting with your consultant, not only can we make you feel at ease by discussing the above points, we can also provide constructive feedback and suggest some tips and ideas on how to improve your performance before that all important interview.
- Market Insight/Market Value:
A recruiter who is a specialist in their field will be able to provide valuable knowledge about your sector and should be able to inform you about the general market whether it be permanent or contract, emerging technologies or salary factors. Although this can be discussed over the phone, it’s likely a face to face meeting will be more beneficial.
Finally and probably most importantly is Trust. Speaking face to face with your consultant adds personality to a situation that can sometimes be quite distant. We are automatically more receptive to people we meet in person, who we share common interests with and even reveal parts of our personal life outside of work with – this is all part of forming trust and a long-lasting relationship. Trust also works both ways and as a consultant we too need to feel confident that when we present your CV to our client. In some cases our client relationships have taken years to build, so when an interview is requested we need to ensure a candidate is going to represent themselves and us in the best possible light. This level of trust can only be gained from meeting face to face.
Admittedly, there are a lot of cowboys out there looking for a quick win before they move on to the next ‘entity’. If you are serious about finding the perfect opportunity, it’s time to engage with a Recruiter who wants to build a longer term relationship with you. The experience will be a memorable one for all the right reasons!
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by Louise Smith
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