Part 7: Contingency Search Consultants

by Tony Beshara - Creator of The Job Search Solution Online Program

Working with Recruiters

This is probably the broadest range of recruiters there can be. We're paid on a contingent basis, i.e. we're only paid when we're successful in "causing" a candidate to be hired. Some of us who have been doing it for a long period of time establish the same kind of relationship with our hiring authorities that many retained search firms do. But, since we are paid on a contingency basis, there isn't as much implied or practical loyalty to us as there is with a retained relationship.

The essence of what the contingency search consultant can do for you centers on the amount of experience they may have in the profession. If we have been at it for a long period of time, we know our clients and hiring authorities on a very detailed and long-term level. In spite of this, however, our relationship is still "contingent" upon someone that we cause to get hired. Even if we have successfully placed people with our hiring authorities before, their loyalty to us can change rather quickly depending on the "pain" of their need.

Our Advantage to You

You may have to really qualify us by asking us a lot of questions relative to the amount of experience that we have in the profession, the amount of experience we have in working with candidates like you, and the experience that we might have with the hiring authorities that we are representing. We may really know our hiring authority, his or her company and the position they're trying to fill extremely well, especially if we have either placed the hiring authority there or worked with the organization before. Or, we may not know them very well at all, especially if we just started working with them.

Since we're paid only upon our success, we're dependent upon helping you or anyone else we represent get the job. Our sense of urgency is very high. The perception that our hiring authorities and hiring companies have of us is only as good as the last candidate that we either cause to be hired or that we sent them. We need to make you look as good as you possibly can and help you be the "best" candidate that the company can interview.

Our loyalty, especially if we have been doing this for a long period of time, is equally balanced between the hiring organization and the candidates we represent. Since the quality of candidates is the best representation we have to the companies that we work with, we have no greater allegiance to the hiring organization than we do to the candidate.

Since everything we do is contingent, we will try to get you as many opportunities to interview as we possibly can. We want you to look good so that we look good. We will share with you everything we know about the opportunity in order to make you the best candidate that they could interview.

Our Disadvantage to You

Since we are contingency, the hiring authority may be working with other recruiters or other sources of candidates, internal recruiters, etc. Although many of us of work exclusively with our hiring organizations, we're never sure of that.

We will present as many qualified candidates as we possibly can to the hiring authority so that the hiring authority has a choice. Depending upon our relationship and the amount of experience that we have, our hiring authority may be influenced a great deal, or very little, by our "advice."

In spite of what we may communicate about our relationship with our hiring organizations, we're still a "hit and run" service. When our hiring organizations need us, and there is a great sense of urgency, they will respond to us quickly, see the best candidates that we can produce and, as long as we are providing good candidates for them, they will continue working with us. However, their loyalty is only as good as the last candidate they either interviewed or hired from us. If the recruiter that was last? Most successful is representing you; you may have a bit of an advantage.

If we are inexperienced, we may be able to get you many interviews, but we may not be able to coach you and help you land the opportunity.

How to Deal With Me

Since I am a contingency type of recruiter you may very well approach me about some of the opportunities that I may have for a candidate such you. If I'm really experienced, I may have the same kind of relationship with my clients as the retained search firms do but may also take you as a candidate and "market" you and your experience to many organizations that I might know. Many times, past hiring organizations will interview you simply because I recommend that they do so. You can get a lot of interviews that way.

If I'm experienced, I'm going to be able to give you just about every advantage you need in order to sell yourself when we find an opportunity together. I'm going to share with you every bit of information that I have and help you deal with every strength and weakness you might have in the interviewing process. You need to be honest and forthright with me about everything so that both of us can sell you to the hiring authority and have you be the "best" candidate.

You need to know that I am presenting as many candidates as I possibly can, as fast as I can, to the hiring authority because I am not paid unless I am successful at causing someone to be hired. You need to help me help you and I will tell you as much as I can to help you get the job. But realize that my fee is earned by providing a number of qualified candidates to the employer so that he or she may choose the one that he thinks best fits his job. My fee is assessed by a successful hire; it is earned by providing as many qualified candidates as I possibly can.

If I am relatively inexperienced, I still might be able to get you interviews, but I may not be able to help you as much as you might be able to help yourself. The way to assess how much help beyond "getting you the interview," you need to ask me a number of questions:

  • How long have you been working as a recruiter?

If I get you an interview, you need to know and ask me:

  • How long have you worked with this company?
  • How many times have you worked with this hiring authority?
  • Have you worked with this company before?
  • How do you think I should best sell myself to this organization?
  • Tell me everything I need to know about the job ... the person doing the interviewing ... everything (If I can't give you a lot of information for you to be able to interview successfully you may wind up having to do your own research and your own due diligence. If you follow the prescriptions of this program you should have no problem.)

Depending upon the amount of experience that I have, any information that I'm able to provide you - you are going to know how much I can help you. You may end up getting a lot of help in the interviewing process from me and you may not. Don't be upset if my limited experience doesn't help you as much as you would like. If all I can do is get you interviews, it is likely better than you can do for yourself. Any interviews you get over and above your own efforts are to your advantage.

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