Selecting a Recruiter – Follow Up

July 16, 2009

Last week, I posted some guidelines about selecting a recruiter, and I wanted to add to that post. I have recently spoken with a number of Information Security leaders that have told me that they have been told about opportunities, but that the recruiter would not reveal the name of the employer.

There is not any excuse for a reputable recruiter to operate in this manner. I would challenge anyone to come up with a reason, that this practice would be beneficial to you, as a candidate for an Information Security opportunity. 

My advice would be to steer clear of any recruiter or recruitment firm that utilizes these practices.

Here are my reasons:

1) Trust : The recruiter/candidate relationship is based on trust and professionalism. If a recruiter can not even reveal the name of their client, it simply means that they do not trust you with this information. What they are really saying is, “If I tell you who my client is, you may send them your resume by yourself and cut me out of the picture.”

Conversely, you are supposed to trust them with your career.

Something here just is not right.

2) Authorization:The recruiter might not even have a working agreement with the client or be authorized to present candidates. Since many jobs are posted on the internet, recruiters have access to these job descriptions, and search for profiles that appear to fit. It is a common practice for recruitment firms’ to “market candidates” in the hopes of gaining a formal recruitment agreement with a new client. As a the owner of a business I do not begrudge anyone from trying to build new client relationships, however as an information security professional I would prefer that my career not be a guinea pig for someone else’s business development experiment.

3) Control – If your recruiter does not reveal who their client is, you have basically given them permission to send your resume to anywhere that they deem fit. By allowing someone to “wallpaper” the world with your resume, you will most likely waste significant time interviewing for opportunities that could benefit the recruiter, but have no benefit to you.  The surrendering of control over the distribution of your resume, could lead to ……

4) Exposure - When anyone is more interested in quantity, and opposed to quality, details sometimes get overlooked. In this case, the detail may include having your resume sent to your current employer (unfortunately I am not making this up)  or people with big mouths (who will notify your current employer)

 Use your imagination to consider all of the potential consequences of this.  

5) First Impression - If more than one recruitment firm submits your resume to a particular opportunity it makes you look unorganized in the eyes of the prospective employer. Your recruitment process is the first window into how you operate and communicate. Failure to properly manage this process is not the first impression you want to make on a new employer.

When speaking with a recruiter, you need to demand transparency to insure that you understand which company you are applying to and where your resume is being sent.  You should also verbalize with your recruiter that you resume should not be sent to any third party without your consent and knowledge.   

Your career is important, make sure that you use good judgement in whom you trust it to.

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Career Advice Tuesday, Networking, Uncategorized 


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