Ryan's thoughts on the Digital Recruitment World
In my role as a contract/freelance consultant for Xcede I face many questions as to whether my candidate is the right fit for my client or vice versa. So I got to thinking about what makes a good candidate or even what makes me a good consultant?
A good candidate in my opinion is someone who believes their respected recruitment agency knows enough about them and the industry to consistently put them in front of clients who are likely to hire them. Such is the case that every interview you attend you’re not going to get but if you are attending 2+ applicable interviews you’re bound to fancy your chances.
The point I’m trying to make here is that to some degree a consultant can only be as good as the people they are working with, I’m not talking about the quality of candidate I’m talking about the candidate providing enough information and quizzing the recruiter that they fully understand who they are, what they do, what they’re great at and what they hate.
I say this because too many recruiters label themselves specialist. Can you really be a specialist if you’ve never worked a day as a UX Professional? How can you be a specialist if you’ve never drawn a scamp, sat in on a workshop, provided usability feedback, built a wireframe…..?
Now I’m not a user experience specialist, I call myself a freelance specialist in the area of User Experience, this seems truer to me. I know how to recruit for freelancers, after 3 years I have a good understanding of what makes them tick, what motivates them, loyalty, the do’s and don’ts to building a successful relationship and all the other clichés you can think of. My area of speciality is listening, being transparent, asking questions, accepting disappointment, providing feedback and being a human being.
So the good candidate part is about being happy to invest in a recruiter you think has the right knowledge and clients to one day assist in finding you a placement. The chances are this won’t be from the first conversation although this certainly can happen because the contract space is one of unpredictability. In a market which has seen probably a 65% increase in the number of recruiters now “specialising in UX” over the last 12 months you’re bound to experience a roller-coaster ride as a candidate – this isn’t an excuse or justification it’s the unfortunate fact of a scaling market place.
My advice on how to be a good candidate would be to pick a handful of recruiters who you trust, this doesn’t always need to be the person that you’ve known the longest – it needs to be the one who as a specialist yourself you can identify the demonstration of good process, variety of knowledge readily available to you, ask about which people they have worked with before who have similar skills to you, what they like about your skill set, thoughts on your portfolio, most suitable clients, good knowledge on rates, someone who can set an agenda with you (it’s so important) and lastly someone that understands what it is you actually do who doesn’t just buzz word search your CV and assume you can do any job with those prerequisites.
Once you’ve established your relationships I advise you to be as honest and upfront as possible. I’ve spoken with a number of people who give 20% information about what they do and what they want, yet still expect you to deliver a role that matches their skills 100%. I’m a consultant, not the oracle. This has to work both ways.
After reading the above hopefully you will have more of an idea of how you can work with your consultant to find the next role for you. Please contact Xcede for more information on all our current vacancies at 0203 301 9900 and speak to one of our consultants who will be more than happy to guide you to your next career move.