You’re looking to move forward in your career and have decided to work with an Employment Advisor. You’ve done your research on why it’s a good idea—a broad network of contacts, confidentiality, access to unadvertised positions, assessment and advice, amongst other things—and now it’s time to choose one, but how do you choose the right one for you?
Here are a couple of things to look (or lookout) for when making the choice:
1. Ask Around
The first thing to do is to ask your friends and colleagues who they have used. Ask people whose opinion you respect and you should be able to get a good sense from your colleague’s experience whether a certain person or agency could work for you. Reputations are hard won as a recruiter and will follow them, good or bad.
2. Do Your Research
Get to know the construction recruitment company you are considering. Small bits of information can actually tell you a lot about whether a recruiter is in the business for the long term or if they are just trying to make a quick buck at the expense of your career. Answers to some of these points will tell you what they’re about:
- Do they have an office where there is a talented pool of Employment Advisors with well-established relationships?
- Is it one guy working in his basement with a few connections?
- Do they focus only on construction or are they trying to fill positions for nurses, engineers and bricklayers? If they are generalists, suddenly a huge recruitment company doesn’t look like it has that many resources to help you.
- How do they give back to the construction community? If the company helps to support their community that tells you they are in it for the long haul and will be accountable for their dealings.
- How do they get paid? Good companies to work for and ones that will be around realize good talent is hard to find and are committed to paying for the best possible employees. If a recruiter wants to charge you a fee, you should look elsewhere.
3. Talk to Your Perspective Partners
Talk to the recruitment agency themselves and ask lots of questions.
- How long have they been around?
- How many placements have they made for the kind of position you’re looking for?
- How do they share your information, do they do everything possible to ensure confidentiality or will they talk about your search indiscriminately where anyone (potentially including your current employer) can learn that you are looking to change your career path?
- Will they tell you which companies they have worked with?
- Will they meet with you to discuss your career goals or do they just ask for your resume?
- Will they give you a wide assortment of references so you can gauge the experience others in your position have had with this company?
As with any service, past experience–whether your own or someone whose opinion you trust– will go a long way in selecting who to work with. Combine opinions, answers to the above questions, along with your gut feel and you should have a good indication which Construction Recruitment Advisor will make for a trusted partner in advancing your construction career.