We have all seen the pop-up shops on the side of the road – or the truck parked in the gas station parking lot with a man peddling the latest athletic shoes for deep discounts. You might stop, take a look, and even be tempted to make a purchase, you’re getting a GREAT deal. Let’s be honest, these “fly by night” businesses are not ones you typically rely on to deliver quality services or products. You know the risk – and maybe you make a purchase. However, if you have a problem, you know they’ve already moved on once the transaction goes through. Unfortunately, those types of sales people exist in the professional world too. I like to call them “fly by night” recruiters. Here’s why I caution job seekers and businesses to really think twice before partnering with them.
Candidates: Do Your Research
I often find it interesting that we spend hours researching the best phones, TVs, or mattresses. Yet, when it comes to our careers (which often can be $2-3 million in earnings over a life time), we may take a call from some recruiter without doing ANY research or at least asking a few questions. Do they have a legitimate website with updated and relevant information? If not, you need to question their business. Are they on LinkedIn? If not, RUN! Do they have a stable work history? How much recruiting experience do they have? Think about it.
You are about to make a career change. This change may alter your family situation, your life situation, and the trajectory of these things for a number of years. This is your career, not a coat of paint or a TV. Would you give a stranger $1 million dollars to manage without researching them extensively? You should not do the same with your career.
Recruiters should become part of your career strategy. They should be people you work with as you advance through your field. The best ones truly earn the trust of both candidates and businesses they work with while growing those relationships through the years. That’s who you want helping you with your next move – not the “fly by night” recruiters more concerned with quantity over the quality of a placement.
Businesses: Look for a Partner
Now, let’s discuss companies looking to engage a recruiter. Sure, there might be less risk and drama as opposed to candidates but this recruiter will serve as an extension of your organization. Your company spends a lot of money on branding, public relations, and/or sales to get your name out there in a good way. You want a recruiter who will carry your company’s banner and marketing pitch to the employment market. They represent YOUR company. Isn’t it important to know something about this person who is working with you and representing YOUR company?
Let’s take it one step further and think about the role of “fly by night” recruiter when considering the candidate they find. If that person does not work out during the initial guarantee period, what happens then? What if you cannot find that recruiter again, or they will not return your calls? What if you need this candidate replaced? You need to have a relationship with a recruiter you trust to handle these issues.
The bottom line is this: experience matters. Trust matters. Commitment matters. You should not hand your career or your business over to someone who is interested in you only for the short haul. You want a recruiter who is committed to representing you and/or your business in both good times and bad.