How to work with a recruiter with Ali Provos and Rachel Thrune

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Reader’s note: This is a partial transcription from the first episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show. To hear the full episodes (it’s only about 10 minutes), click the podcast embed above.

Working with a recruiter can seem confusing: Why get help from someone if you can just directly apply for a role? Today, we set the record straight on the benefits of working with a recruiter, the crazy current job market, important skills and other industry tips from Horizontal Talent Senior Technical Recruiter Ali Provos and Horizontal Talent Creative Recruiter Rachel Thrune.

What do you tell a job seeker who hasn’t worked with a recruiter?

Recruiters are the practice callers, so it’s better to be nervous with us versus the manager. You’re looking for a job, so you’ve got to be confident in yourself. This is the time to brag about yourself. From a recruiter side, cracking a few jokes and asking personal questions usually loosens job seekers up. Making it fun helps job seekers lay back and not take things so seriously.

Would you rather have a candidate with A+ soft skills and C+ hard skills or A+ hard skills and C+ soft skills?

A+ soft skills. If you have someone that can communicate, is a good team player and can learn things, you can develop their hard skills. You can teach most people anything, so having soft skills is going to be huge. Soft skills are important, and you can’t always teach somebody that.

How are you approaching the current job market?

Job seeking is so fast paced. One candidate may have 3, 4 or 5 interviews and have all of these options. As a recruiter, we have to make our positions more attractive to them, make them comfortable, get through the process quicker, be knowledgeable about our clients and the role and sell them on the opportunity. On the flip side, it’s important for us to educate our clients and explain that this candidate probably has 10 other opportunities. The quicker we can get them through the interview process, the better chance we have of locking them in.

What other aspects are important for candidates and clients to consider?

Work-life balance is huge these days. Here in Minnesota, we have three months of nice weather. How are you spending your summer days? Do you want to work 7 to 5 and have 4 hours a night of free time? Can you trust your manager? Is there flexibility? What’s the training process and day-to-day life? Company culture often determines one offer over the other.

What tips do you have for new grads or those new to job searching?

Working with recruiters are a really great step to getting in front of a hiring manager. We have the ability to get creative. If an entry level candidate is missing something on a resume, we can fill in the gaps on what they really bring to the table. If they just applied directly and their resume may not fully match the experience the hiring manager is looking for, they’ll probably get passed over. Connect with as many recruiters as you can and lean into that process!

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

In my own experience, I didn’t have a great job seeking experience. Being able to help someone get a new job and follow up with them to hear how happy they are is the most rewarding part of my job. On the flip side, clients will come to us because they’re having a hard time filling a role or they require a niche skill set. Being able to find that person and get them placed successfully is really fun and rewarding.

How can you get in touch with Rachel or Ali?

LinkedIn! Just send us a message and we would love to help you out.

Connect with Ali Provos on LinkedIn.

Connect with Rachel Thrune on LinkedIn.


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