Working Effectively with Search Firms: Bentley University Panel Discussion

Bentley Success Network Panel Discussion Search Firms
Bentley University Success Network Panel Discussion. Pictured L to R: Peter Wollford, Judy Dumont, Mike Urbonas, Jon Mahoney and Steve Mazur. Photo by Bentley alum Marci Reynolds.

I was honored yesterday (Tuesday, June 2) to serve as facilitator/host of a panel discussion during the Bentley University Success Network featuring four search firm professionals discuss how to find a “good” professional recruiter and work effectively with him or her, as well as how to stand out in today’s difficult job market.

I would like to express my great appreciation to the panelists:

  • Judy Dumont, Sally Silver Companies
  • Jon Mahoney, Hollister
  • Steve Mazur, Accountants International
  • Peter Wollford, Kforce

Here are a few highlights of the panel discussion…

  • A good professional recruiter will take the time to meet with you face to face and work with you to understand what you want in your next job.
  • Referrals are an excellent means through which you can find a good recruiter. Ask co-workers and colleagues who they have worked with in the past.  Ask colleagues working  in the kind of jobs you are looking for who placed them in their job.
  • Good recruiters will also give you direct and honest feedback on your resume, your self-presentation, personal appearance, etc. If a recruiter offers such advice, don’t take the (constructive) criticism personally! Take it to heart and act upon it.
  • Conversely, a good job candidate will proactively ask a recruiter for this kind of feedback, eager to act on it.  They will also be up front with a recruiter, being honest as to their interest level in a presented opportunity.
  • Leverage the recruiter’s working relationship with employers.  The “good” recruiters will have cultivated strong relationships with many employers over many years and as a result of many past successful hires. Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter if they have heard of a certain job from XYZ Company that you are aware of .  Once job candidates send in a resume on their own, however, there is little a recruiter can do, as the candidate is now a direct contact, and in this economy is now one of hundreds of other resumes for that job.
  • Throughout the discussion, I noted all four recruiters emphasized the importance of cultivating long term relationships with job candidates, continuing even after that candidate lands a job. Look for that commitment from recruiters you meet with.

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