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3 Ways head hunters offer job seekers an edge

Galit Breen is a Minnesota writer.On any given day she can be found juggling three kids, one husband, one puggle and her laptop. Galit has had essays published in several anthologies, is the editor of Pens and Paint, a series anthology o...

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When an employer has an open position, it often turns to staffing companies to fill it. These companies handle posting the position, looking through the résumés and the hiring. What does all this mean? It means that you need to know about staffing companies and how they can work for you — because you may end up working for them.
Woman being interviewed
Photo credit: Stockbyte/Getty Images

Allison O’Kelly, CEO of Mom Corps and Mom Corps YOU, explains that staffing companies are becoming less transactional and more like long-term "agents" for job seekers because of the more fluid nature of job transitions today. She shares three tips for identifying the right staffing company for you and ways to maximize your partnership.

Timing is everything

It isn’t necessary to be job hunting in order to contact a staffing company. Great recruiters are always looking for great candidates, whether they are actively looking for a job or not. By familiarizing them with your credentials and preferred work environment, they may be able to identify an opportunity that you would never hear about. Make a connection with a particular recruiter and touch base periodically — but not too often — about any new skills or areas of expertise they can make note of.

Make a match

Find a staffing partner that has specific expertise that aligns with your unique needs. Is flexibility and finding alternative ways to work of utmost importance? Perhaps deep industry knowledge of your field is required to give you the guidance you seek. Or maybe an agency that specializes in placing certain levels of professionals is right for you. Depending on where you are in your career, identify your most important and pressing needs and wants for a job and seek out a staffing company that has the expertise.

Build a relationship

Leverage the relationship to its fullest. Many staffing companies will offer resources to professionals that include webinars and speakers series, informational articles and blogs, tips and updates through social media, etc. Take advantage of all that is out there, and engage with the staffing company on a meaningful level — this means through conversation and not just with your hand out. See what you can offer in return. Do you have experience that candidates might find useful? If so, offer to write a guest blog or participate in a panel discussion on the topic.

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