12 Jan

How to Successfully Work with a Staffing Firm

Posted by John Brandwagt

Some people love staffing firms. Some are less enthusiastic. Hiring managers and job seekers alike may have mixed experiences as they work with different firms at different times.

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Job seekers in particular may express hesitancy at working with a recruiting firm due to common myths. Despite this, a recruiter can be important to your job search, especially as new technology makes it easier to apply and more difficult to get noticed.

The key is in how you approach working with the firm. Use these tips to make your relationship with recruiters a success.

Partner with a Specialist

One mistake people make is partnering with “generalist” staffing firms, even if they want to get into a very specific field. IT is a great example. Someone who wants a mid-level programming job partners with a recruiter. The firm passes them all sorts of opportunities, but the jobs are mostly entry-level and for companies with limited experience in programming and IT.

Most of the jobs you’re searching for are being routed through specialist recruiters in the IT field. Partner with a specialist rather than a generalist and you’ll see the job postings and opportunities improve.

In short, the specialist staffing firm will get you access to the jobs you actually want to apply to.

Get Help with Your Resume

Resumes are tricky. You need to stand out but also conform to a template. Hiring managers have certain expectations. If you deviate too much, your application will end up in the bin. A single typo can be enough to take you out of the running, even if you’re not applying to be a journalist or a writer.

You don’t need to go it alone. The experts at the staffing firm can help. They see thousands of resumes so they can give you tips on what makes the best ones truly stand out. They can also tell you what employers are looking for and help you cater your resume to the industry you’re targeting.

If you need to spruce up your resume or give it an overhaul, your staffing firm partner is right there to help.

Give Contract a Chance

One issue many job seekers have is the nature of the work offered by recruiters.

Recruiters work on both contract and permanent job opportunities. Many positions are also temp-to-perm, which means the position begins on a contract basis. The company may then choose to hire someone on permanently.

Contract positions have many benefits, so give them some serious consideration. You may be able to try on a number of different roles with a number of different companies to discover what you truly want to do or who you want to work for. Contract work also pays well.

Be Patient

Always keep in mind that a staffing firm doesn’t have to place you anywhere. If the right opportunity comes along that is a fit with your skills and expertise, they’ll most certainly recommend you to the company if you are a top candidate.

When that job comes along is another story. Given the current IT skills shortage, it’s likely you won’t wait very long for a call. Depending on your expertise and your desired role, you could end up waiting a while. Be patient and keep in touch with your IT recruiter. After all, good things come to those who wait.

Working with a staffing firm can be a wonderful experience, so long as you leverage it correctly. Follow these tips and your recruiting relationship is much more likely to be a success.


Topics: IT Jobs

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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