Heads down, in our bubble, working - this is how we spend most of our time Monday to Friday. We know our four walls, our job, our team, our customers, our tech stack, our roadmap, our sales quota, our partners… our neat and tidy working world.
We get the occasional compliment - we may get a 5% raise or maybe the company paid out 120% of the bonuses. It's even possible when they were giving out extra options or RSUs you got some!
All this to say, things are steady and they are good. You are on top of the world. Or are you? Maybe you're on the top of your piece of the world, but how does your little piece stack up within the industry?
This is where a recruiter can provide massive value. All they do, day in and day out, is speak to people like you. They know the market - who has gone where, what industry trends are happening, and who is getting what compensation package.
Even if, at this moment, you’re perfectly content, remember, no one stays anywhere forever, and speaking with a recruitment professional can help open your eyes to where you stack up in the industry.
1. Perspective & Ego Check
Talking with a recruiter provides perspective. A well-versed recruiter should provide you with the following information:
- Market conditions for someone at your experience level
- How relevant your product/industry is to what employers are looking for
- Gaps in your experience
- The likelihood the role you desire is possible in your region/city/state/country
- Salaries - we talk a lot about salaries
In a world where the tech industry values learning and validating assumptions, taking the time to do the same for yourself is essential. Find and chat with a seasoned recruiter, you might be surprised how validating the discussion is or how insightful their feedback is towards helping you prepare for the next step in your career.
2. Resume Review
Of course, we can’t talk about recruiters without discussing resumes. A piece of paper you update or recreate every few years, but one recruiters review 24/7. Speaking with a recruitment professional will give you perspective on your resume and how it will be perceived by hiring managers.
The time to start preparing a resume is not when you have been contacted about your dream job. You as the candidate want to be in a position of readiness with a resume that is updated and resonates with today's modern accomplishment-focused style. An experienced recruiter who is willing to engage with you and speak to your resume can provide insights into what hiring managers are looking for.
3. You Don't Know Everyone
You know who you know. If you are like most people at a senior or strategic level, you were hired due to a personal connection. You're working for the same boss, a former colleague who referred you, or maybe even a former customer who referred you to one of their other vendors.
For most people, connections are how they find new opportunities and make moves, but what happens when your community is no longer the "hot" product or sector?
Working within one circle whether it's a group of people or a product category may not always play out to your benefit. Speaking with a recruiter is one step on the path to finding potential opportunities outside of your circle.
These are the opportunities and problems to solve that will increase your learning and help you to apply new skills, talk to new customers, all of which add value to you as a candidate.
4. Timing is Everything
When we speak with a candidate for the first time and we often hear:
- Your timing is perfect! I got a new boss and things are changing
- How did you find me? This opportunity sounds like a great next move
- Our company is being acquired and I don’t want to be part of the new entity
- My bonus is being paid out next month but after that, I am ready to leave
- I'm going on mat-leave but I know I don’t want to come back here
Timing is everything. It really is. You never really know when you will be in a position needing assistance finding a new opportunity, needing assistance with a strategic hire, or maybe even needing a recruiter referral to pass along to a spouse or friend.
So take a moment, take the call and learn what they do. It’s important to ask a recruiter:
- If they specialize in your function?
- How often do they work on searches like the role you are in?
- What is the profile of their clients? Are they ones you are interested in?
If the answers to these questions are relevant to your position and/or industry: swap contact info, connect on LinkedIn, and share a resume if you have one.
Taking the time to make a friend who is connected to tons of open jobs in your function and selector can only help because timing is everything and you never know when you may be in search of your next move.