Often, job seekers are interested in connecting with a recruiter to get additional help with their job search. However, have difficulty finding one that specializes in their field, and that is considered effective.
It's not unusual for job seekers to have a false idea of what a recruiter will do for them. They think of them as an "agent" to help them find a job, when in reality a recruiter is paid by a company to be their agent to find the best person to fill a requirement.
While a recruiter can be a great resource, their goal is not finding you a job. To get a better understanding of the recruiters role, and how you can get the most help, be sure to read:
Finding a good recruiter can be a challenge though. Here are some ideas that may help…
Directories usually fall short – While you may find a number of directories online, they are generally not comprehensive, up-to-date, or descriptive. You can search "Employment Agencies" in the Yellow Pages, or www.yp.com, however, you will get an incomplete list, with little or no idea of the areas of specialty those firms focus on. Similarly, sites like www.SearchFirm.com have similar challenges, and often very outdated information. Each of those resources can be a place to get some direction, however, not very targeted.
Google can be useful – Simply doing searches on Google can be very helpful. A search as simple as: Accountant recruiter in Minnesota may surface some individual recruiter or firm in your area. Similarly, searching for job postings through Google, as in a search like: Accountant jobs in Minnesota may produce jobs posted by appropriate recruiters in your field, who could be contacted for other related positions. Think creatively about the type of search that may produce the results you're looking for.
Job boards as a resource – Searching for positions in your field on the major job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice and others will produce results from a number of direct employers, as well as recruiting firms. Those firms, even though they may not be posting positions that are a direct fit for your background, are likely to have additional, more relevant openings that are not posted. Use job postings to find appropriate recruiters.
LinkedIn – As in most things "job search", LinkedIn stands ahead of the pack. There are so many ways to use LinkedIn effectively for a job search (read Finding Your Targets With LinkedIn) and finding a Recruiter is another way it can be helpful as well.
Using the "Advanced Search" tool within LinkedIn, search for profiles in your geographic area. Search keywords or title for "Recruiter" and keywords relevant for your field, like: "Accounting", "Engineering", "Information Technology", or other more relevant terms. The results will likely include several relevant recruiters in your area.
Word of Mouth reigns supreme – The best way to find a good recruiter, however, is through a referral. Someone else that's had a good experience with someone is a much better resource than any directory or online tool can ever be.
Going to Networking Events and asking others who they've worked with and who they like is a great way to find one. Asking other people in your field that you may have worked with, or that you may meet elsewhere who they've had success with can be highly effective. Contacting any recruiter and asking who they would recommend for your field can be productive. Even more effective… calling employers and asking who they've used and been most happy with to help them find new employees.
As you should be networking to find new job opportunities, you should also be networking to find a great recruiter.
Finding a good recruiter can be a challenge, however, with some creativity and effort, you can land with one that may be the best thing for your job search!