Most job seekers I meet often lament about how they haven’t had much luck working with a recruiter. As a job seeker, don’t you wish you knew the best way to work with a recruiter?
Recruiters get paid by their clients, the employer, so their attention isn’t proactively looking for a job on the candidates behalf. It’s their job to fill an open position for their client.
I recently spoke to two recruiters who specialize in marketing roles — Lynn Hazan, president of Lynn Hazan & Associates Inc., and Maricel Quianzon, business development manager for Paladin. Lynn has been an executive recruiter for her entire career, and has been leading her agency for the past 16 years. (For full disclosure, I am both a past candidate and client of Lynn Hazan.) Maricel began her career as a creative and moved into recruiting about 10 years ago. Since, she’s been in her clients’ shoes, she has an empathetic approach to recruiting.
The transcript has been edited for clarity and length.
Q: What types of qualities do you look for in candidates?
Lynn Hazan: They need to have passion, energy, creativity, a smart can-do attitude, the ability to empower others, curiosity, be deadline oriented and committed to continuous learning. I need to see a spark and how they can fit the company’s culture.
Maricel Quianzon: Most importantly, I am very interested in who is passionate and has a keen interest in what they do. The more focused a candidate is with their search, the more attractive they are. Many things actually go into it, the cultural fit and emphasis on certain skill sets. Lately, it’s heavy emphasis on digital, marketing automation and customer acquisition.
Q: Where do you like to find candidates?
LH: Everywhere. Literally, planes, trains and automobiles. I think every opportunity is a good opportunity to connect with good candidates. I also find candidates through professional associations and LinkedIn, primarily.
I am a relationship builder though, so many clients find me through my website, public speaking and articles. It’s common for candidates to introduce themselves to me after I speak. Recruiting is really a relationship building business. I like to know candidates as they grow through their careers. I track their progress over time.
I tell both my clients and candidates, I don’t hire resumes, I hire people.
MQ: I’ve been doing this for 10 years. The best candidates come from referrals from talented marketers. People that we have placed in the past often refer their friends and colleagues. I make time to talk to them right away because it is always great to know who you have in the candidate pool.
For the “purple squirrel” (very specific and unique set of requirements) jobs I do go to the job boards to source candidates.
It really boils down to networking. I always have my ears open to find out what people do for a living. When I meet someone, I always start trying to match them in my head.
Q: What is the most important thing you consider in assessing a candidate?
LH: Fit! I get a lots and lots of candidates applying for potential jobs, so the first thing I do is see how close a fit are you to my current clients’ needs and jobs. Then I can see potential fit for other jobs. I have an analogy I like to use involving ducks. In fact, if you come to my office you’ll see all my ducks. If you look like, walk like, talk like and sound like a duck, and my client is looking for a duck, the more duck-like you are the better chance you’ll have of being hired.