Recruitment companies can be an accessible avenue for job leads in Canada. Skilled immigrants are seen as highly attractive and eligible candidates, particularly for recruiters working with companies that value diversity. With a better understanding of the process and how to stand out, internationally educated professionals can have great results in working with a recruiter.
The role of a recruiter is to work on behalf of an employer to source, recruit, interview, and hire the right candidate who is a match for the role and the employer.
How it Works
Recruiters will first meet with the employer to understand the nuances of the role including the technical and behavioural capacities that go beyond the job description. They take the time to understand the role and the unique requirements of the organization. The recruiter will develop a strategy to recruit and attract candidates for the role. Then, they will reach out to potential candidates and evaluate them based on the employer’s requirements.
A recruiter will take into consideration the employer’s needs and the candidate’s qualifications to determine if a candidate is the right match for the role.
This process can differ from the hiring process conducted by an internal human resources department and timelines may vary. This is valuable information and can help manage your expectations throughout the recruitment cycle.
How to Stand Out
It is important to understand that every job is different. When speaking to a recruiter, take the time to understand what the hiring manager is looking for and customize your résumé accordingly to meet the needs of the job. This will help improve the likelihood that you will move on to the next round.
You may not be the perfect match for the first role you apply to. Follow up with the recruiter and begin to build an ongoing relationship. There will always be more roles that the recruiter is attempting to fill—you can improve your visibility by maintaining the relationship and keeping open lines of communication. Write a brief email and inquire about any upcoming roles. This approach can help you stand out amongst many other candidates.
Understand the Hiring Cycles
Typically, there are peak periods for hiring, as well as periods that are slower. Mid-January to May is often a busy hiring period. The summer months (June to August) may be slower due to warmer temperatures and more staff vacation during this time. September to November is considered a good time to hire; however, December is a slower hiring season due to holidays.
Understanding these trends can help you recognize the best times to apply and why your application may be taking longer to process during certain months. Keep this in mind and be considerate of outside factors when following up with a recruiter. The recruiter could be dealing with multiple decision-makers, some of whom may be on vacation or away from the office. It is not their intention to make you wait.
Ethics in Recruitment
Be wary of recruiters who do not disclose their business structure, or how your information may be used. To ensure that a recruiter’s values and ethics resonate with you, do your research before agreeing to work with any recruitment company and take time to read the recruitment company’s policies directly on their website. Align yourself with recruiters that happily engage you in conversation about open roles, how their business works, their business identity, how they are supporting diversity and inclusion, and other ideas that could be important to their business direction.
Take the time to listen and take notes. You may not want to work with a recruiter who does not openly tell you about the business. Come prepared with a list of questions for the recruiter. Candidates are not limited to working with simply one recruitment firm. You can develop relationships with recruiters across multiple companies to ensure you have a good balance of opportunities available to you.
A recruiter cannot collect payment from both an employer and a candidate; it is a conflict of interest. Most often, recruiters work for employers and should only be collecting payment from employers. However, you may find recruiters who do not charge employers and in turn charge candidates for services, such as coaching, mentoring, guidance, and résumé building. You can ask recruiters if they are working with an employer, since the majority of larger recruitment firms work for employers. They often have a job board and are actively recruiting candidates for the role.
Recruitment companies can be a valuable source of job opportunities in your field. However, it is important to understand the process so you can manage your expectations and work with a recruiter who will value your experience and advocate for you as a candidate. Not all recruitment companies are worthy of your time.
Learn more about the recruitment process from Jack Nodel, Co-CEO at ARES Staffing. In this on-demand video, he discusses what recruiters value in candidates and provides employment tips for jobseekers.