January 2, 2008

Emerging Tools for Staffing Industry Jobs

How do recruiters market themselves?
by Andrew Stock

I was chatting with my friend and long time associate, Ted, during one of our quarterly get-togethers over coffee. Ted, like me, hailed from a well known national staffing firm and has experience in various roles within staffing including positions as a recruiter and as an account executive. I asked him the quintessential small talk question, “How’s work?” “Well,” he said, “I wish I could say it was fantastic, but that wouldn’t be totally true.”

He, like many of our friends and associates in the staffing industry, had gained his experience in staffing with one firm without a ton of exposure to other firms. He still enjoyed the firm’s culture and had benefited from the great training and camaraderie he had experienced there.

And it was certainly a win for them too, as he had attained a national ranking for his production and was a president’s club winner. But, there were some management changes and my friend felt like it just wasn’t the same firm he had originally signed on with. And somewhere along the way, he came to the conclusion that it was time to explore his next opportunity in staffing.

How does an individual recruiter or staffing person go about exploring other opportunities within the staffing industry?

It’s a tough question. If you’re already employed, you may not be able to just go out and post to an online resource or spread the word in your own network for fear of compromising your confidentiality. But there are alternatives.

First of course is to utilize what some of you have come to know as the “Recruiters Recruiter.” These folks are typically ex-staffing people themselves, many of them have had some sort of national exposure. They are usually working solo, although some of them have small shops or teams that work virtually. Utilizing them as a resource is useful in that they probably have contacts you don’t and can circumvent the ‘process’ faster and more efficiently, perhaps, than you could acting alone.

Make sure you let them know exactly what you are looking for and don’t compromise just because it’s a different position with a different staffing firm. You don’t want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire! Most of them have regions that they specialize in and finding the ones that focus in your region is important.

And of course, there are several online tools for becoming better informed on the state of the industry and potential employers. As a person that works in the business of online networking, you’ll understand why two of my online alternatives are networking focused.

As most of you know, HireAbility has a recruiter networking platform called Talent Trader which could give you avenues to meet and network within the industry. A basic membership is free of charge and allows you to explore chat rooms, bulletins and other networking tools. With these tools, you can quickly locate staffing firms in your local market and better evaluate opportunities that are available to you. Additionally, if you’re looking for a way to make placements under a ‘self employed’ status while you search for a full time opportunity, you could consider upgrading your membership to participate in the split placement exchange. With hundreds of new staffing firms joining on a monthly basis, this source of income could be just what you need to pay the mortgage while you’re on the job hunt.

Or, lets assume you already know of some staffing firms you’d be interested in working for, and you’re looking for means to investigate possibilities. If this is the case, then you can utilize the sophisticated searchable database offered by Linkedin. You can actually do an advanced search under the industry “Staffing and Recruiting” and pull up thousands of people that work for staffing firms. With the application of a little charm and persistence, you can contact, connect and even learn about any positions they may have internally or the state of their company.

Finally, you may want to check out a new job board called Openreq that specializes in the staffing industry. Openreq provides a venue for staffing professionals to market themselves online and for staffing firms to locate their next internal hire.

What’s interesting about this board is that staffing professionals setting up a profile not only upload a resume, but also fill out a profile that is specifically designed for staffing professionals. These profile questions are even specialized for the types of recruiting positions the candidate is seeking; in other words, different staffing-specific questions based on the type of candidate. So, perm recruiters are asked about their annual billings, contract recruiters are asked about numbers of consultants/temps out weekly and branch managers are asked how many producers report to them and their annual office revenue, etc. And if uploading your resume is a little disconcerting, you have the option of creating a profile only (rather than uploading a resume); thereby making yourself available and searchable, while protecting your confidentiality.

So, when it comes down to making a move, it’s helpful to have choices. And whether Ted decides to stay where he is and improve his current situation, or whether he decides to explore some of the above options, it’s nice to know that recruiters have methods of marketing themselves when the need arises through a number of alternatives.


Openreq said...

Testing testing from Perrin

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