How to be a successful candidate with a recruiter

Retained recruiters often say that, “I am looking for a needle in a haystack.” Or “I am searching for a very unique type of (fill in job position).” Retained recruiters are given a very narrow cross-section of skills and experiences to search for in their given market. Our clients hire us for this very specific reason. How do you communicate your gifts and talents that make you the needle?

What makes you unique? Being “on-time, on-budget, and concerned with safety” are great qualities to have as a construction project manager, but they are expected and you must have examples to prove you do this. They are not what will set you apart from any other candidate. Specifics help paint this picture for your prospective employer via the recruiter. How much did you save on your projects last year compared to estimates? When your superintendent submitted a change order for $200,000 and 2 months additional work, were you able to solve the issue and reduce that? Do you have any examples of when you identified, discussed and solved a particular issue or problem? These specifics help cut through the mundane boiler-plate “buzz” phrases of the day and set you up as an expert or as a doer.

Which company cultures best fit your style? Certain companies have a black and white detail culture that only cares about results. Other companies have a family or loyalty feel culture that promotes collaboration. Additionally, your preferred project size will determine the company type at which you will be successful. If you like a variety of projects and are successful at managing $50,000 to $500,000 projects, you may not enjoy or find success at a company that pursues projects over $10 million and last 2 years or more.

Are you priced right for the position? A recruiter does not need to know your exact salary, but they should know a ballpark figure that you would need to consider any new opportunities. You may need to search for a higher title if you are at the top of the pay scale in your market for your position. Conversely, no one wants to waste anyone’s time with an opportunity that falls short of your current pay or requirements.

Explain your career changes (or lack thereof). If your resume has 10 different employers on it in the last ten years, without an explanation, you will not be put in front of a client. If you have been at one company for 25 years, clients may worry that you will not be flexible enough to join a new team. Why are you open to the idea of moving now? What made you change in the past? What have you liked about a company you voluntarily left? All this garners insight into how you will fit within the client’s team and their culture.

Retained recruiters can only work with the information at hand. Have a conversation with a recruiter that specializes in your field. The better a retained recruiter knows you, the better they can present you to the client. Complete honesty and trust is essential. When the recruiter has an opportunity that fits your desires and your type of company, they can reach out to you with something that will truly interest you and promote you to a client that needs you...the needle in the haystack that they are looking for.

Rauenhorst Recruiting Company is a retained executive search firm that helps companies, public sector entities and other organizations in the “built environment” to develop high-functioning teams. Rauenhorst has practiced its unique, culture-centric approach successfully since 1994. The firm’s industry specialties include architecture, civil engineering, construction (home, commercial and industrial), earthwork, manufacturing, mechanical contracting and utilities in the electric, water, gas and telecommunications industries. Additional information is available at www.rauenhorst.com .

About Rauenhorst Recruiting

In today’s business climate, Rauenhorst Recruiting consistently demonstrates its proprietary retained search process results in strategic hires that drive revenue and propel real, profitable business growth. Rauenhorst Recruiting has a long history of building teams for many top firms in Minnesota and the United States.

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