Stories about crazy things recruiters are doing to lure business school graduates recently made the news. But what of us who are not in business school? It could be quite a different story. As a millennial, I had certain expectations, including landing my dream job right out of college. But it didn’t quite work that way. What I had to grapple with instead were tales of recruiters who don’t take the time to respond, keep you hanging or don’t give feedback. So it was refreshing to meet a recruiter who proved this behavior wrong.
Here’s my story. I am a graphic designer. I recently graduated, entering almost immediately into a freelancing contract to help out a family friend. After two years of freelance graphic design work, my contract was coming to an end. I updated my resume and portfolios for the dreaded job search, applying to a company in need of a temporary production designer. And thanks to my recruiter, I got the assignment. Here are five things she did that made the difference.
Smart job description. Though the job description was short, the way it was written caught my eye. It was neither technical nor too general. Its simple but clear narrative grabbed my interest. And this is where it starts. A recruiter who spends time working with the client to craft the right message is a recruiter who is interested in getting the right person for the job.
Response time. I am ashamed to say, I applied to this job figuring, “What the heck, go for it. I probably won’t hear back from them anyway.” But within a couple of days, I received a call from the recruiter who posted that short, interesting description! I am not sure how many resumes she received or the number of people she followed up with personally. But she called me and it was within a week.
Clear assignment details. The recruiter was very up-front. She explained what the company was looking for and that it would be a part-time contract. Details were laid out about the company culture, the team I would be working with and what I was expected to do, including useful information about my boss. After working here for a few weeks, I have to add that her briefing was completely in sync with the reality of the situation. She had not attempted to sell me on anything.
Genuine interest. From the get-go, it was apparent that I mattered. She asked several questions about my previous jobs, what programs I’m familiar with, and if there was anything specific I would like to learn either through this job or through the staffing agency. She seemed to want to know about me and my goals. It wasn’t just about trying to make me a good fit for the current role.
Understanding millennials. We as a group have certain expectations. But the economy does not always cooperate. In this case, the recruiter’s persistence helped my confidence and made me feel that my experience mattered. She seemed to understand my mindset — where I came from. My lack of experience in a professional setting did not deter her. After I chatted with the recruiter, she arranged a phone interview with the client, which went extremely well. The recruiter touched base with me after the phone call and the in-person interview. At all points, I knew that she had my back. I had given her a salary range. She made sure that both the client and I got what we wanted.
I have been on this assignment for more than a month. And so far it’s been a great learning experience. Questions that have cropped up around hours and other logistical items have been dealt with efficiently by the recruiter via email. Going forward, I am not sure how this will all pan out. But this job wouldn’t have happened if the recruiter had not been so attentive to me — and, of course, the client.