The trusted mechanic: working with a trusted third-party search firm.
For those of us whose car repair knowledge stops at changing headlights and oil, being in a strange place without a trusted mechanic can be a scary thought when your check engine light comes on. Don’t we all just wish we could walk in and get the honest answers we are looking for at a fair price? At one point or another, we all find out that not every mechanic can be trusted with your credit card.
If you currently work in or aspire to work in the tech industry, you may have heard how low the unemployment rate is, how friendly the market is to candidates, how high the salaries are, and that working with these companies will be amazing. These comments may have motivated you to change career paths or continue to build the skills you already have. What is not as widely talked about is the role third party staffing companies play in your job search.
Using third party agencies to find your next career can be very beneficial and speed up your search. The key is finding the right group of people to help you. Like most things in life, there are agencies out there who mirrors the mechanic who swears you need that new timing belt. It is important to find a staffing partner who takes your occupation seriously. They will invest the time to understand who you are as a person, what you are looking for when spending your time at “work,” and successfully matches you up with a great team. Most importantly they should take the time to ensure they are putting you in a position to be successful. Similar to mechanics not all staffing/search firms should be trusted with your future.
Here are some quick things to ask yourself when contemplating working with an agency:
- Did they ask you what you like to do outside of work?
- Did they take the time to learn about your personal goals (buying a home, taking a trip to New Zealand)?
- Did they ask what you picture in your head as your ideal role?
- If local did they ask to meet you in person or do a Skype call if remote?
- Are they sharing with you what they think you will dislike about the role?
- Did they share with you a realistic view of how this role will address your personal/professional goals?
- Do they clearly communicate expectations on all sides throughout your interview process?
The more YES’s you get to the above questions the better.
Obviously, these are not the only questions you should be asking, but at the end of your conversation, you should feel as though they are going to be transparent about the role, your skills, and if there seems to be a good fit. I had the pleasure of sitting down with an HR leader recently, and she summed up what the search team should be doing which is to “put the people first.” So ask yourself is the person who is “helping” you, putting you first?