Have you ever felt overdressed or underdressed for an occasion? At the time, did you wish that someone – a close friend or business associate – had briefed you on what was expected before you arrived? Did you push through the event (embarrassed as you may have been), or did you start immediately looking for the side door? We’ve all been there. It’s uncomfortable when it happens, but, hopefully, it never happens more than once.
There’s something to be said – something incredibly valuable – about advance knowledge and how it can make or break a person when all eyes are upon them. This is especially important when the prospect of a job or the future of a career is in the balance. Job seekers take note.
In the staffing industry, there is an expectation that professional recruiters are experts at helping businesses locate the right candidates to fill their job needs. In reality, recruiters in staffing agencies are expected to not only match the skills, education, and experience of the job seeker to the open position, but they are also tasked with making sure that the personality of the employee prospect is a “culture fit” for the organization. Sure, compensation and benefits are often part of the negotiation, but that piece of the pie is usually served to those who make it to the table (so to speak).
To take the formal occasion analogy one step further, it could be easily said that certain employers expect a certain dress code for the event. This is where recruiters and staffing agencies have been – in the past – an invaluable resource for those job seekers who are hoping to affect a “look and feel” that is in precise alignment with the culture of the company to which they are actively applying. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “dress for success.” It applies more often than most people would ever imagine. Fortunately, your friend the professional recruiter knows exactly what is expected of job applicants before they walk into an interview, and it’s their job to make certain that candidates are properly prepared for the interviews and the position.
Professional recruiters routinely screen prospective candidates by telephone. They also conduct a face-to-face interview with those who pass the phone screening. In the face-to-face interview, the recruiter identifies the candidate’s wants and needs and reasons for seeking employment or specific job types. At the same time, the recruiter is also studying the résumé brought to them by the candidate. As professional recruiters know, a résumé must be in close alignment with the job details and other specifics of the position – otherwise the candidate is often seen as “wasting the time” of the Hiring Manager at the company. And this isn’t good for the applicant, the company, or the recruiter. So, it’s easy to understand that the recruiter is often seen as a “résumé builder” who knows how to apply skills, education, and experience to meet the needs of the job situation. At the same time, the recruiter is also acting as an “interview coach” who helps the job seeker prepare to address and overcome any potential employer “hot buttons” during the interview. In other words, recruiters help job seekers prepare for the interview in a manner that is expected to “knock their socks off.”
Unfortunately, in this highly-litigious age, there are those who believe that outside suggestions on how to best present themselves to a particular company or organization is an overstep by the recruiting professional. It’s fortunate that most eager job seekers are looking for any advantage that will get them in a position to show potential employers their skills and competencies. These are the top tier applicant prospects – those who take suggestions, and constructive criticism about their résumé, attire, and communication skills. As always, professional recruiters are trying to do the best job they can. They are tasked with helping companies – as well as those seeking employment – and the best in the business manage to bring the two together in a successful working relationship.