These days, social media allows greater opportunity for recruiting companies to engage directly with candidates and vice versa. That doesn’t mean that the number of recruitment companies is going down, but it will probably make you less inclined to waste your time on a bad one.

If recruiters are just about collating and distributing CVs en masse, then social media, and particularly Linked In, is a good reason to ditch the middle person. Biased though we are, however, we know that good recruiters offer a whole lot more than a CV broadcasting service.

Tips for success


So what marks out a good recruiter and why should you use one?

  1. Industry knowledge – the best recruiters know their industry inside out. They won’t just process your CV for a one-off placement, they will take time to discuss your skills, experience and aspirations within the context of market trends and a deep understanding of firms they work with. They will be able to advise and direct your career in ways that are difficult to achieve alone.
  2. Tailored support – from help on writing your CV and tips for interview success, to giving you the lowdown on impressing firms they know well, recruiters are on side to give your job search the best chance of success.
  3. Access to contacts that count – recruiters, especially those that specialise, spend considerable time building relationships with key contacts at client firms. They know how to make the right introductions and can oversee your application in the best way to deliver results.
  4. Relevant applications – recruiters are often criticised for sending out CVs that have no relevance to the job on offer, wasting everyone’s time. Research your recruiters well, ensure they will keep you informed of where your CV is going, and seek out those who know their market and have a track record of shortlisting the right candidates.
  5. Constructive advice – the best recruiters are also honest. If a firm and/or job isn’t right for you and your skills/capabilities they will say so and suggest a different course of action. You then don’t waste your time following up applications that won’t succeed.
  6. Seeing it through – a recruiter will work with you throughout the recruitment process, helping with interview logistics, briefing you on those you will meet, managing the feedback process and tackling issues if and when they arise.
  7. Salary and offer negotiation – recruiters know the market well and understand what constitutes a fair salary package for the job on offer. They can be a trusted third party in brokering the best deal possible from the most informed standpoint. They have the difficult conversations so you don’t have to.
  8. Career change support – don’t make the mistake of thinking the specialist recruiters are only interested in candidates that are also already specialists in that industry. At Totum, we help a lot of talented candidates transition into law for the first time – and at all levels of seniority. We have the knowledge to support your shift, giving the insights and practical support you will need to ensure success.

In today’s world it can be easy to assume that everything can be done with technology, at the click of a button, or swipe of the screen. But perhaps more than ever in this digital era, it is the human touch that makes all the difference.

In the next part of this blog series, we will look how those working with recruiters (both clients and candidates) can get more out of the relationship.


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