3 things you can tell your recruiter, but not the hiring manager…

Most candidates are smart enough to avoid saying certain things that may jeopardize their opportunities with prospective employers.  Such things as, why they really need the money; or extreme challenges that they expect may keep them from performing effectively; or even how their last boss hated them so much that they kept up-staging them.  Such comments will definitely raise a red-flag,  and since employers prefer to hire candidates that seem to have “no personal problems” such comments may also cost the candidate the job opportunity in question.

Knowing this, when dealing with 3rd party recruiters, should candidates keep such issues from them also?

Recruiters need certain information from you to effectively match you to the right position.  They also must understand your material needs to negotiate the best opportunity for you.

The following are three things which if brought up during an interview may jeopardize your opportunity with a hiring manager, but which your recruiter may need to be aware of, to make that best fit.

1) Discuss your compensation requirements:

While the employer may not want to hear what your compensation requirements are during the first interview, your recruiter does.  As mentioned earlier, the employer wants to gauge how much value you intend to bring to the organization, and telling the employer what they can do for you by discussing compensation, rather than telling them what you can do for them, defeats that purpose.   For this reason, the compensation topic is a “no-no” during the initial interview.

On the other hand, this is one of the first things the recruiter wants to know.  The recruiter wants to place you in a position that you will be happy and productive in, and unlike the employer, the recruiter may have multiple similar positions open at the same time with different organizations.  They may also be in a position to negotiate the desired compensation and benefits with the prospective employer. They also know how and when best to introduce this topic to the hiring manager.  Additionally, the employer would not hold this information against you, if it came from the recruiter and not from you.

2) Be candid about your relationships with your past managers and co-workers: 

Again recruiters seek to make the best fit between the candidate and prospective employers.   Many candidates have said to me that during an interview, they brought up a conflict between them and their past managers because they wanted to start a relationship with the new manager based upon trust; only to find out that offering such information cost them the opportunity.  This happens even where they make it clear to the new manager, that the former manager was at fault.

Because of such experiences, most candidates will not mention such information to a hiring manager or even a 3rd party recruiter.  Still your recruiter needs to know this information.  In taking a job-order, the recruiter finds out as much as they can, not just about the position, but about the environment the candidate will be working in.  Knowing what went on between you and your former employer will not only help the recruiter in matching you to the best opportunity, but will also make it possible for them to try to avoid putting you in a similar situation. Whether it is by tactfully negotiating a certain environment for you, or by avoiding certain organizations altogether.

3) Bring up anything that you feel may prevent you from performing your anticipated job responsibilities effectively:

Many people have challenges that may make them seem as if they frequently need extra or special accommodation from an employer .  This may irritate the employer.  If challenges dealt with up-front, and the necessary accommodations are in place before the candidate accepts the position, the employee will appear less needy and more in control.

The normal practice however, is for candidates to avoid bringing up such challenges during an interview (or the screening process) for fear that it may impact the employers opinion of their ability to perform effectively.   It may not surprise you that in most cases where they do, this is exactly what the employers think!

Whether it is the drive time, or the work hours, or your work style or even a need for more training.  You may be shocked at how negotiable employers are when they deal with an experienced recruiter.  Also there is a lot you cannot say to a prospective employer, which your recruiter can.

In closing, a recruiter you are working with may not be able to represent you effectively if they do not have the right information.  So when next you talk with a recruiter and they ask specific questions, open up and spill it all out.  Let them know what information you are offering in confidence though.  All in all, give your recruiter the tools to make that best fit for you.

What are your thoughts on this blog?  Let me know what information you have offered to employers that came back to hunt you.

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One response to “3 things you can tell your recruiter, but not the hiring manager…

  1. Ethelene Yagoudaef May 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Hey, I found your web site from reddit. It is not an article I would typically read, but I liked your thoughts on it. Thank you for making something worth reading!

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