What a Recruiter Does for Candidates

Ashton Search Group believes it is important for you to understand what a recruiter does... and doesn't do... when representing you.

An experienced technical recruiter that knows your industry can make a huge difference between finding a job or finding a great position.

The best positions are never advertised on job boards, company web sites, technical journals or newspapers. Search assignments are given to recruiters that the company trusts, and that have the depth of experience to successfully fill their position -- by recruiting candidates with the required skills and current experience, and selectively presenting their top choices.

Why? Many times a company doesn't want to announce or publish their requirement, because they know they will be inundated with unqualified resumes and phone calls. A recruiter functions as the switch that will route the right information, and filter lots of the noise.

A professional recruiter's mission is to fill their client's human capital requirements.

Recruiters are client (hiring company) driven, because the client retains them. They do not randomly market your skills to their clients, or send your resume speculatively to their company list, which is unproductive. They focus only on companies that are actively hiring, and that they are representing.

Effective, successful recruiters work within a narrow speciality, in our case it's technical search (engineering search). General employment agencies, on the other hand, represent an accountant today, a loading dock worker tommorrow. Employment agencies are generalists. If you're a technical professional or manager, it's in your best interest to use a specialist that understands your industry well - and has the right contacts nationally. You don't want to be the speciality du jour.

Because Ashton Search Group recruits and places only software, hardware, electrical, RF and mechanical engineers and engineering managers nationwide, we spend our time building our client base only in these areas. We are not distracted by searches in non-engineering related areas... our focus is strictly directed to technical placement.


Ashton Search Group recommends that you ask any recruiter about his or her background.

You should feel confident that your recruiter really understands your skills and experience, and will represent you (market your skills) professionally and aggressively.

Find out if they work daily with companies that need your specific expertise. Ask them about their take on the market... relative to your background. Know how they will present your profile to their clients. Find out how much they know (... or, don't know). You owe it to yourself to interview your recruiter prior to moving forward. You need to be selective, it's your career — and you want optimum results.

Ashton Search Group does not charge candidates for our service.

The cost is always assumed by the company that retains us. If another recruiting firm asks you to pay a fee to them for representing you, end the conversation immediately and move on. In addition to being somewhat unethical, it's likely that all you will ever see from them is an invoice.

Professional recruiters are always compensated by the company they represent, never by the candidate.

Recruiters will not identify clients by the company they are representing until they have your resume, and have developed a relationship with you. Clients are their trade secrets. Additionally, if the recruiter is performing a retained or confidential search (which happens frequently), their client may have requested that the candidate be informed of the company name only if accepted by them for consideration.

A top recruiter needs information... provide the recruiter with as much information as you can (see resume facts). The more they know about you, your expectations and current situation (what is driving your search), the better they can represent you to their clients.

Search situations require a great deal of discretion. For example, you may want to explore an opportunity with one of your employer's direct competitors. A recruiter can present your background confidentially, eliminating your risk of exposure. They can usually generate interest with one well placed phone call to a hiring manager.

Let the recruiter know what companies you have already contacted, or interviewed with. Recruiters will avoid speaking with these firms, and concentrate on identifying and generating interest with others that don't know you yet. It is counterproductive to have them duplicate your efforts.

What a recruiter doesn't do is help you change careers.

Companies retain recruiters to identify individuals with a specific skill set they need (and you already have). They want well defined, previous and demonstrated experience. Ashton Search Group recruiters can accelerate your career, but if you want to do something completely different, don't expect attention from any recruiter. Changing careers using a recruiter is not going to happen.

The most important point is that a top recruiter can position you well ahead of your competition, and open doors that would otherwise remain closed to you.

They have developed hundreds or thousands of industry contacts, know the pulse of the market, who is hiring, who makes decisions... and why. They also know what companies to avoid, usually based on speaking with that company's employees (many that represented as active candidates). A knowledgeable recruiter can provide informed opinions... and save you inordinate amounts of wasted time and frustration.

Drop your Ashton Search Group recruiter an email if you need to update your resume. Recruiters are on the phone with their clients constantly... so trust us on this: if they have enough time for idle conversation with you, they either don't have many clients -- or they are not spending much time representing you (or anybody else).

Periodic productive telephone calls are encouraged, but use the time to transact business relative to improving your search. While most recruiters are very personable, successful recruiters are also incredibly busy - like you. Don't call for a daily update... the recruiter will contact you as soon as he or she has generated interest with a client company. You will receive that call the same day!

Ashton Search Group recruiters have established relationships with hiring managers nationwide, their opinions are respected, and get action.

If the recruiter says "of the candidates I have spoken with, 'X' is the strongest overall, and is interested in meeting with you to pursue the opportunity," chances are that X will be invited in for a site interview (and ultimately receive the offer). Employers use recruiters to tightly control their hiring process — and for presenting only candidates they have been prescreened, and are qualified.

You will go to the interview armed with all the information that you need to be successful — including an understanding of the client's need, what they are expecting, a personal interviewing prep that will position you for success, and information about the hiring manager and company's culture (unlike your competition).

Your Ashton Search Group recruiter will provide you with all the tools to make you successful.

Once an offer is extended, your Ashton Search Group recruiter can help you through the process of evaluating it, and determining its value.

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