Guide to Working with a Recruiter

It’s important to understand how good recruiters work and in turn utilize their way of working for benefiting oneself

Most of my candidates get annoyed when I call them to enquire if they are looking for a job change; with a very irritated tone they reply “sorry, I am happy with my current job” or “I’m not interested in a change” or “Please don’t bother me, and get me off your list, I don’t work with recruiters” .. After which they abruptly hang up before I even say a word.  Hence I decided to pen down my advice to candidates on how to work with good, professional recruiters.

Candidates may or may not be interested in what the recruiter had on offer for them, but they need to realize that contacts with good recruiters may not be handy at present but in the long run it will definitely be an asset.

Most people should have realized by now that recruiters are not only useful when you are changing jobs but also when you are perfectly happy within your current role. It’s important to nurture your relation with a good recruiter and to be on his “favourite list”. For that you need to understand how recruiters function and in turn you use their way of functioning for your benefit.

Send your Resume

Do you get annoyed when you get a call from a recruiter saying “Mr X, I have a perfect opportunity for you, can you give me a brief background about yourself so I can understand you better” or directly ask you for your updated resume, inspite of you telling them that you’re not looking for a job?? Pretty infuriating right??

If you felt this recruiter sounded professional, seemed knowledgeable then what’s the harm in sending it in?? Let’s face it, maybe you’re not actively looking for a job now but you may in the future. Having your details on a specialist recruiter’s folder will make it more likely that the recruiter will call you again when he has another opportunity and maybe you are looking for a change by then.

Avoid tampering your Resume

Some candidates see a benefit in lying on their resume, or to their recruiter or at the interview. Especially when they are desperate for a job. They often lie about academic degrees, inaccurate job descriptions, inflated salaries, fake references, altered employment dates.  Ones who are lucky enough get away with it but once they get on the job they are not qualified for, it’s not too long till their employer finds out the truth about their credibility and they are likely to be fired.

A candidate may find this the most convenient and fastest means to get a job, but they do this by putting their employers business at stake as well as their own careers in jeopardy

A candidate may think that’s it’s only a resume, and he won’t get jailed for lying about his experience or salary. Yes you won’t. But if you get into the habit of constantly altering your resume to suit a job opening you will end up being branded a “Job – Hopper”.

We recruiters are well connected with industry insiders and so are your employers – our Clients. They will eventually find out and do their own reference checks. They have many ways to find out and once a candidate is caught their career is doomed.

Keep it to yourself

The moment I call a candidate saying they have an opportunity for him; he wants to know which firm it is with, that’s what most of the candidates want to know, to which I politely respond that “Sir, I can’t share these confidential details as of now, but I will do that once I am sure that you are the right fit for the job profile.” The bizarre thing is that, when I do say this most of my candidates get offended. Candidates need to understand that the best for them would be to just wait and respect the recruiter’s request. Just like good recruiters stick to complete confidentiality for the Clients we do the same when it comes to our passive candidates. Candidates as well as clients depend on a recruiter’s ability to keep secrets. If a recruiter calls you, don’t expect him to answer your queries first, rather help him to understand your career graph, your abilities so that we can advise you better on your career. You will be given information on an as-needed basis, and you will be expected to keep it to yourself. Don’t be afraid to share personal information with your recruiter. Knowing what is important to you helps us to find you a suitable combination of position, company, and location.

Follow your Recruiter’s instructions and listen

Most important: A recruiter not only places you from one job to another but we also counsel you about your interview, advise you about negotiating the offer, on how to resign from your current job once you’re selected for a new one, how to tackle a counter offer…etc. We are your career counsellors and we understand where you come from, what your strengths and weaknesses are and the expectations you have from your new job. A recruiter is the one who helps mould your career. We know more about the your potential employer, the organisation, what they are looking for and hence we will be able to guide you better. Take note of the advice and direction your recruiter gives you and follow it.

Make up your Mind

The worst thing that could happen to a recruiter is that his candidate drops out of an offer. Such a situation is even worse than a candidate not being selected. This situation puts the recruiter in an extremely embarrassing position. It’s difficult for the recruiter to go back to his client and break the news to him. It shows that the recruiter lacks candidate control.

As candidates, you have to be completely sure about your decision to move; keeping in mind all the key factors that will be affected by your decision.  Be sure that your spouse, parents, kids are aware of your decision and are prepared to adjust to the change. This is one of the most common issues that cause a hindrance in the recruitment process that too at an extremely crucial and final moment.

You have to make sure that other important aspects like pay, responsibilities, designation etc are all at par with your expectations. If there is something you are not happy about, make sure that your recruiter is well aware about it in the very beginning. This saves the recruiter the embarrassment and you being branded as the “Unprofessional Candidate”.

Call Promptly

Call your recruiter as soon as you are done with your interview. Give him your feedback before the client does. A good recruiter will always prefer getting your feedback before reaching out to the client to get his feedback. Use your recruiter to negotiate and express any concerns. This will help facilitate communication and allow some of the details to be handled at a more comfortable arm’s length.

Infact to build your relation with the recruiter, you should keep in touch with him and get some inside news about your industry hiring trends. But this doesn’t mean you pester him all the time, maybe every 6 months…you could call him or just drop in a mail to say hello.

Use social media to keep in touch; this is the best option you have today. Connect with your recruiter on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter. Keep a track of his updates on social media. You never know he may just post an opening for your dream job one day.

Face Negative Feedback Positively

Many recruiters shy away from sharing negative feedback as many candidates don’t take the feedback positively. If your recruiter comes back with a negative feedback about your interview don’t be offended instead be professional and polite, this is for your own betterment. Being rejected on a particular opportunity could be to do with another stronger candidate in the process and not necessarily about you. You have to maintain your relation with the recruiter since he will be the same one who may land you your next job. It’s better to know about your flaws and work on them rather than living with it for life.

Multiple offers

This is the most critical issue, which has to be handled carefully. If you have received more than one offer, it is generally best to let your recruiter know about it as soon as possible to avoid any complexities in the future.

Contemplating on an offer

The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think you are not committed and that they have, perhaps, made a wrong choice. We have even seen cases where, due to inordinate delay, employers have retracted offers of employment. Good recruiters also understand that delay in decision-making at this stage could mean you are hesitating; and we will very quickly put in alternate options from our “Favourite List”.

This article appeared in People Matters on Feb 20, 2014

Are your fears holding you back from taking the Entrepreneurial Plunge?

There is so much planning that goes into starting a business – arranging finances, making a business plan, organizing the infrastructure etc., but there’s something more that is important that one should consider before commencing their entrepreneurial journey – being prepared from the inside & ready to face your fears and the challenges ahead!

To paraphrase Brain Tracy “The Key to Success is to focus our Conscious Mind on Things we Desire not Things we Fear.”

There are many people who aspire to become Entrepreneurs but few make it happen. Every Entrepreneur – failed or successful goes through fear and anxiety before launching their business. However, there is a difference between the two – the successful entrepreneur faces and overcomes fear while the other gives into his fear and quits.

Have you been nurturing an entrepreneurial dream but your inner fears are holding you back?

Entrepreneurship is not an easy task, there are many known and unknown hurdles at every stage that one needs to endure.  Like Brain Tracy rightly says; In such situations an entrepreneur needs to focus on his goal and work towards achieving it rather than focusing on his fears and anxieties.

If your fear is holding you back from taking the entrepreneurial plunge, review this list of fears that are holding you back and learn how it’s possible to overcome them:

  • Fear of Failure: It is often assumed that entrepreneurs do not fail; every entrepreneurial venture is successful; sadly, this is not true. Failure happens to lots of people. Most successful entrepreneurs have faced failures, endured it, learnt from it, moved on and then succeeded. If fear of failure is holding you back from starting your own business, remember you’re not alone. You have to keep your goal is mind and focus on it instead. Failure is inevitable but it’s how you overcome it, is what determines your entrepreneurial success.
  • Lack of confidence, not being an expert: It’s always advisable to venture into an industry/business that you have been passionate about. It’s absolutely essential to have some understanding of the business you are getting into so that you know enough about your product or service to be able to sell it to your clients. At the same time you always have to be open to learning, as willingness to learn will help you grow and succeed & there is so much knowledge that you will pick up on the way.
  • Fear of quitting your job: Moving out of their comfort zone is a common fear faced by aspiring entrepreneurs who fear losing out on income and not being able to manage responsibilities. There is no guarantee that your business will make money in its initial stages and therefore the initial days can be difficult especially if you have a family and are the sole bread winner of the family.In such a situation it is best to have your family’s complete support and cooperation. To prepare for this you have to manage your finances to take care of your personal & professional needs. There is no guaranteed timeline as to when you will start generating income.  The best solution to overcome this is to plan yourself well (financially, mentally and emotionally) till a period where you guarantee projected revenues.
  • Fear of rejection: We want to be accepted, appreciated and rejection is most dreaded. No one wants to be told that their idea is not great, that their services are not better than competitors. The key is to keep in mind that rejections are stepping stones to understand why people are rejecting your product/idea and improve it.

Learning and growing comes hand in hand in Entrepreneurship. Being fearless would also be overconfident which may not be good for a new business. Fear is good and it’s normal to have worries & anxieties as these will help you keep your head on your shoulders and think through the decisions that you make especially when you’re faced by difficulties.

Entrepreneurship is for people with fears, anxieties and who are well prepared and willing to face their fears, learn & overcome them rather than giving up when the Going gets Tough!

Specialist Recruitment- from the lens of an Industrial Sales Professional

I started my career in industrial sales. And like every other industrial sales person, I was also trained to prospect with those customers who experience a pain area, and my product/service/solution would alleviate that pain. Only after establishing that I can help remove that pain area, would I move forward with commercial conversations with the purchase/procurement teams.

This process is almost the norm in the industrial sales sector where salespersons develop their knowledge of a sector and at the same time, continue to develop their relationship with the line managers – people who we then used to refer to as MAN- a person with Money, Authority and Need. Even though the term is a thing of the past, the concept remains the same – prospect with the one who has a need and authority.

When I talk to my ex-colleagues who have continued to work in the same space and have grown from the ranks to manage country level operations and in some cases, multi-country operations, I safely conclude that the sales process remains the same and the gestation to become a good sales leader is still a function of knowledge and connections of/within the Industry.

You may be wondering what this ramble has to do with recruitment?

When I joined Antal, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Antal’s market development and sales fundamentals closely resonate to what I learned in my formative industrial sales years- GO TO THE PERSON WITH THE PAIN.

And therefore, we emphasize prospecting with line managers – hiring managers – people who are in real pain because they are missing a team member. These line managers have a department goal/ objectives that contribute to the larger revenue and profitability picture of the company as a whole. Having an appropriate team in place is pre-requisite for achieving the goal.

If the right talent is not available, it puts a lot of strain on the Team Lead/Head and the rest of the team- it means stretching self to breaking point, compromising work-life balance and quality of life, cutting a sorry figure with the management team and some cases not using the best of the Technology.

When I prospect, I am looking for pain – I am trained to look for pain. Even as somebody in recruitment, I am looking for the pain the line managers are going through because of lack of great talent in their teams. And if I am able to present the right candidate who can help not only fix the problem but also increase productivity, market share and increase the morale of the team- I believe my role as a specialist recruiter is justified.

But if only, selling within Recruitment was so easy!!

Into this equation, however, I have to very often deal with, is somebody completely unrelated to the pain, Somebody who doesn’t empathise with the pain of the line manager, somebody who is extremely clinical – sometimes to an extent, that they are only talking about number of resumes,  lowest quote and not the best candidate. This somebody is the Talent Acquisition (TA) team.

I have been a hiring manager myself within IT industry and I do think that more than the cost savings, the TA team also need to be measured against opportunity costs lost to the business, compromise in quality of life, deteriorating health of the line manager because a great talent couldn’t come on board.

I think it’s time to end the thought that talent is the responsibility of the TA team only.

Talent is the responsibility of the direct supervisor, of the department/delivery head, of the CEO of the company. Great talent enriches the company in more ways than one, and the only way to achieve a great talent mix in the company is to give greater autonomy to department heads in hiring, within a corporate governance and ethics framework.

This article was penned by Mr Vinu Nair, Managing Partner Antal Chennai. He focuses on Head Hunting, recruiting key talent and business leaders for my clients in the ITES industry. Prior to joining the Antal Network, Vinu Nair has worked in the Sales & Marketing and IT sector for more than 20 years. He was Vice President at NTT Data, managing their business in India and Middle East region. He played key roles in the SAP delivery team for many years before moving to Sales and Business Development.

Vinu would be happy to hear from you..any comments and rebuttals either on the blogs comment section or through a direct email to him on vnair@antal.com.

Looking to start your own business?

Meet us at the Franchise India Expo, on May 20 & 21, 2017 @ Stall No 7

 

This summer kickstart your own recruitment business with Antal International.

Antal International is a 24+ year’s global executive recruitment business with 146+ offices across 33+ countries. Antal as a brand came to India 10 years ago and since then we have helped many aspiring entrepreneurs coming from professional backgrounds establish their own successful recruitment business.

Antal International not only gives you an opportunity to earn a significant profit from a relatively low investment (approx. 10 – 15 lakhs) but also grooms you as a recruitment leader & mentor who facilitate the career growth of candidates by coaching them and finding them the right opportunity as well as advice clients on how to meet their business goals by hiring the right people.

As a franchise owner you will be perfectly positioned to develop a profitable business in this low overhead/high return industry. You will launch and operate your business using our globally recognized brand and award winning methodology, all backed by a leading team of recruitment and franchising specialists. When you join Antal you will be joining an award winning Franchisor, externally recognized for their achievements in recruitment franchising, entrepreneurialism and training.

Why Join Antal International

  • Leverage from a global brand represented across 33 countries (144 offices).
  • Shared business through our global network of offices. Our franchisees add 15-25% to their revenues through sharing candidates, clients and fees
  • Access to thousands of blue chip multinational clients
  • Comprehensive training for you and your staff throughout the full term of the franchise license
  • Regular international networking, training, strategy events and conferences
  • Weekly Antal Now call facilitating business sharing

For more comprehensive information on Antal International Network recruitment franchising log onto www.india.antalfranchising.com

Should you wish to set-up a meeting with us during FRO Mumbai, please contact Ms. Jheel Kacharia @ JKacharia@antal.com or Mr. Joseph Britto @ JBritto@antal.com.

 

 

 

 

 

5 great books for Sales Professionals

Long weekends are a great way to relax and there’s nothing better that having a great book to accompany you. This weekend we are giving you 5 great books that you can get your hands on if you are a sales professional, business owner.

With a goal in mind to inspire you and help you improve your sales skills we asked our Franchise Training Director, Ms. Shinu Jose to suggest 5 of her favorite sales books that she believes are a must-read for anyone who is involved with sales on a daily basis

So here’s her list….

Secrets of Closing a Sale- Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar is synonym with sales, if you’re passionate about sales there is a very low change that you may not have reads his books. ‘Secrets of Closing a Sale’ is a must on my list of recommendations because of one of the key things he highlights which I feel that most of us choose to ignore “there’s no room for success in a salesman’s career if he’s taking the fast route, making the quick sale, and then locking the door behind him.” He gives a number of examples through humorous real life situations and thought provoking questions that can be used to influence a yes from your prospects.  He suggests techniques that are easy to understand and apply, yet have a far-reaching impact.

How I raised myself from failure to success in selling- Frank Bettger

This is one inspiring story that someone can relate to, how Frank Bettger failed insurance salesman, to owning his own estate and having the possibility for early retirement. This book is a  journey through his financial stability with examples from his personal experience. Some overarching themes that his book highlights include the best ways to conquer fear, the power of enthusiasm and more. A must read for someone who is going through a rough patch and is trying to find a find their spark again

Influence- the Psychology of Persuasion- Dr Robert Cialdini

Whenever we are asked to purchase something, do something, meet someone we have to be persuaded before we agree. We simply want a reason behind everything we do. As a sales professional persuading business prospects, customers is part of our daily work routine.  In this book Dr Robert Cialdini brilliantly puts down 6 principles of persuasion, talks about why people say “YES” and how to persuade them to say yes.

Negotiation Genius- Deepak Malhotra, and Max Buzerman

A brilliant book by 2 geniuses, who list down proven strategies, principles and habits that can help you achieve positive results in any negotiations. This book is the perfect guide for preparing and executing negotiations – whether its cracking a business deal or negotiating a home deal or your next salary.

Hardball Selling- Robert L Shook

Shook guides sales persons to master hard selling using four basic principles. He focuses on various steps in a sales process such as getting past the “gatekeeper” to the single-minded tactics necessary to close a sale.

Here’s to a great weekend… Happy Reading

Keep Learning, Keep Grow

5 Tips To Fix Your LinkedIN Profile Pic

Having a business profile picture on LinkedIn makes your profile 14 times more likely to be clicked, but not images have the same impact on the profile visitors. We are giving 5 basic tips that will help you take a good profile picture.

 

  1. You must have a professional LinkedIN profile pic, there’s no 2 ways about it. You profile pic gives a face to the name and makes it easier for the viewer/interviewer/client/prospect etc to relate to you.
  2. LinkedIN is a social networking site for professionals and hence you attire in the profile pic should reflect that. That means you should be dressed like you would to work shirt, tie/ formal dress, limited jewellery & makeup a decent & neat hairstyle, well groomed.
  3. You profile pic cannot be something you clicked on your last vacation – no not a beach pic where you are in a swimsuit or trunks sipping a cocktail, or at a party/roadtrip/trek/gym, no group pics or even selfie, or with your adorable pet, or your family.
  4. When you select a pic for LinkedIN make sure its clea and not grainy, pixelated, blurred.. get a good camera and click a pic where you face is visibly clear
  5. It’s always advisable to click a pic with a white background or even a black&white, avoid brightly lit backgrounds. Avoid clicking a pic in a surrounding that untidy. Avoid clicking pics in your kitchen or bedroom.

 

Well that’s our advice for you… we hope it helps you and will soon sport a new improved LinkedIn Profile pic soon

Resume Checks You Often Forget

There are a number of tips, do’s & don’ts when it comes to compiling a resume. However there are also tiny bits about a resume that candidates often overlook. These ‘tiny bits’ can cost you your next career opportunity. We have list 5 areas in the resumes that most candidates tend to overlook or fail to realize the damage these errors could lead too.

 

Here’s our list of the most common faux-pas we have seen in candidate resumes

  1. Proof Read your Cover Letter and Resume before you hit the send button: We very often forget to proofread and spell-check – and check again! A spelling error or grammatical mistake on a resume or cover letter portrays a negative impression. It portrays carelessness, absence of eye for detail, inattentiveness etc. It is always advisable to read the resume twice before mailing it to someone.
  1. Avoid mentioning embarrassing email addresses:Most candidates use email address that were created when they were 16 years old and still prefer using the same email address. Well there’s nothing wrong with it however sometimes these email addresses are embarrassing as they have some funny adjectives that go along with it and as senior professionals you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed because of a juvenile email address. It’s advisable to create a separate email address for professional use only.
  1. Not including your digital footprint on your resume:Networking sites like LinkedIN are considered digital resumes. Just like candidates Google the company or the interviewer before an interview; Interviewers also Google candidates before meeting them, hence it’s good to add a link to your LinkedIn profile to help you interviewer find you easily.  Also a number of professionals use these LinkedIN Pulse or blogs to network, build themselves an online brand as an industry exert. It’s a great practice to include the links to your social networking accounts like LinkedIN and Twitter as well as your blog on your resume. It gives the interviewer a glimpse into your professional network, your industry knowledge and expertise through your post and blogs.  If you are one of those candidates who has a fantastic professional presence on social networking sites or has a blog; including the links on your resume is a must.
  1. Not updating your resume regularly:Most professionals look at their resumes only when they actively start looking for a job or if they are headhunted and hence are keen on exploring the opportunity. The fact is that every time there is a change in your job profile you must update your resume immediately. It could be anything, change on responsibilities, job title, change in contact details in case of phone number etc. Very often professionals send out their resumes in a hurry and miss out on crucial details that could have been avoided.
  1. Make it machine-readable:Today recruitment is going digital and so is job search. It’s all about using the right keywords that enables a cv to found through automation or manual online searches. While you are updating or creating a resume make sure you are using all the right keywords that are associated with your industry/niche, the role you are applying for etc

We hope these tips help you keep your resume update. If you are looking for career advice, interview tips, Job opportunities entrepreneurial opportunities watch this space

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