How To: Utilise Your Recruiter

Utilising your recruitment consultant is a very important factor when it comes to a successful job search. It is imperative that your consultant fully understands your needs and career ambitions in order to be put in front of the right opportunity. Over the course of the week, we sat down with our specialist Senior Consultant, Melanie Mitchell, in order to grasp how candidates can truly utilise their consultant and maximise their services.

Mel, what is the process behind recruitment?
Recruitment is a very well known industry, however, many don’t understand the day to day running behind the scenes. We work holistically with both clients and candidates in order to match the right talent to the right business at the right time - enabling brands to achieve business goals and candidates to develop their careers. Depending on the project this might involve advice on job descriptions and salary banding, market mapping, headhunting, screening and qualifying candidates, or even salary surveys.

What are you trying to achieve as a recruitment consultant?
I genuinely believe in investing in people and as part of the Senior Management team in my previous career, I witnessed what incredible impact having the right teams in place can have on a business; hence my decision to move into recruitment and become more actively involved in supporting brands with their talent acquisition.

How important is communication within a working relationship between consultant and candidate?
As a recruitment consultant, our job is all about communication. You have to be genuinely interested in people, hence a key skill area of ours is listening to candidates in order to really get under their skin to place them in the right role and business. The more we know about them the more we can help and provide their dream role. The most frustrating thing about signing on with a recruitment company is being told about roles you have no desire to apply for. 

How do you prefer to interact with your candidates?
I try to meet all my candidates face to face in order to build strong and lasting relationships. Human interaction is key in a relationship. If your consultant doesn’t ask to meet face to face, ask them instead. If they are busy, try set up a time next week. It’s important to interact with your consultant and build long lasting relationships. If face to face meetings are not possible due to colliding schedules I would always try to arrange a Skype call or Facetime. It’s good to put names to faces and understand each other. After the initial meeting, we’ll normally continue via phone but, it really is important to meet candidates.

How vital is transparency to an efficient relationship?
Like all relationships, transparency and honesty is key. We are purely here to help you develop your career. We know our clients and understand our markets so we’re in a great position to advise you on your CV, career direction, skill set and provide constructive criticism where necessary in order to support your career goals. When discussing with your consultant, make sure you are being truthful and honest. Consultants need to trust and respect you as a person for them to send you to a job interview; essentially, you are representing the agency you are signed on with and f you lie to your consultant and they find out, it will be hard for the consultant to trust you again.

Tell me something people don’t know about recruitment.
A top consultant can normally be contacted after office hours. If you are busy at work and do not want your current employer to find out about your job search, ask your consultant to set up a meeting after the working day has finished. This could be to meet for a coffee or even a simple phone call; whatever your need, the consultant should try to make time for you.

Do you have any advice for a candidate approaching a new recruitment agency?
Look for an established agency that specialises in your sector and work with a consultant who understands what you do and takes the time to listen to where you want to go in your career. Freedom have a rich history within the global Fashion Recruitment market and have always been my personal go to agency for this very reason.

Finally, any last tips you would like to tell candidates reading?
Make it your business to explicitly understand your market. Fashion is a fantastic industry, and we live in the age of Social Media which adds another exciting layer to what we do. Read the trade press, know your key designers, influencers and up and coming brands. Understand trends and have a view on what’s next. This will all come out in an interview and impress that hiring Manager.