by Randall S. Hansen Ph.D.
As you transition from military service to civilian employment you face myriad challenges — and opportunities. The two most important — and pressing issues — facing you are deciding what career path to pursue and how to find a job in that career.
This article focuses on the latter decision and specifically highlights the use of recruiters as a key tool for assisting you in achieving your mission to find a new job. (The career decision is covered in this article: How to Successfully Transition From Military to Civilian.)
Who are Recruiters? What are the Benefits of Using Recruiters? What Types of Recruiters are There?
Who are Recruiters?
Recruiters are intermediaries who assist employer clients in finding the best talent to fill vacant positions. In other words they streamline the process for employers by screening applicants and sending only the most qualified job-seekers to the employer.
Recruiters are used both in the private sector and with government agencies. Some recruiters have exclusive contracts with employers — which can provide stronger opportunities for you. Other recruiters work with a variety of employers — competing with other recruiters which means you will have more (and unknown) competition for the job.
It’s also good to remember that while a recruiter may be very interested working with you based on your credentials he or she is paid by the employer — and thus is working toward the employer’s best interests not yours.
Recruiters are often referred to as headhunters.
Note: Legitimate recruiters are hired — and paid — by the employer. Job-seekers should never have to pay for a recruiter’s services. You should also never have to sign an exclusivity contract; in fact it may be in your best interest to work with several recruiters.
What are the Benefits of Using Recruiters?
The biggest benefit for job-seekers is that recruiters sometimes have exclusive (un-advertised) job openings. Thus recruiters serve as another source of job leads; recruiters help in providing you with potentially more job opportunities than if you did not work with them.
While most recruiters are not resume writers or interviewing consultants if you are qualified for one of their client openings they may offer some assistance in getting you prepared to move forward in the application process.
A final benefit of using a recruiter is that he/she CAN often help you get the best job offer and compensation package — which is especially useful for someone not accustomed to having to negotiate for salary.
What Types of Recruiters are There?
From a job-seeker’s perspective there are basically two types of recruiters. The vast majority of recruiters specialize either by geographic location or by industry/profession/job functions. To find a recruiter that specializes in your area use our favorite tool Oya’s Directory of Recruiters.
For transitioning military personnel however there is a very welcome third type of recruiter — recruiters that specialize in placing transitioning military and veterans. These recruiters understand veterans often having been through the transition from the military themselves and DO provide lots of excellent career and job-search advice from resume-writing assistance to interview-prep coaching.
Military recruiters such as Orion International also work with employers who value veterans and understand how military training and experience enhances a job-seeker. In fact Todd Phillips midwest recruiting manager and partner with Orion says his company works with more than 400 employers nationally. “Our goal” Phillips said “is to help veterans find work.” In fact Orion has placed nearly 30000 veterans.
How does your military experience fit? Military recruiters mostly work with junior military officers noncommissioned officers and technicians (mechanics electricians and the like) leaving the service as well as veterans who have already transitioned but are seeking a career change.
Military recruiters also play a major role in educating employers on the advantages of veterans… what Phillips refers to as “training companies on the value of vets.”
Russ Hovendick founder of Directional Motivation a Website that provides amazing career tips and resources for transitioning veterans takes the training to the next level — training other recruiters on working with transitioning military. He sees a great shortage of talent in the existing civilian job pool for mid-level managers and stresses that veterans are the perfect fit to fill that void.
Hovendick says he has had “tremendous success placing veterans.” Besides Directional Motivation Hovendick is also president of Client Staffing Solutions Inc. a nationwide search and recruitment agency.
Final Thoughts For Transitioning Military on Using Recruiters
Best advice? Start your job-hunting efforts first with a military recruiting firm such as Orion which can provide much-needed guidance support and coaching — as well as job leads. But feel free to move on to specialized recruiters such Client Staffing Solutions (which specializes in placement in engineering operations R&D human resources sales and marketing).
Besides simply searching online for recruiting firms ask some of your military buddies and colleagues who have already successfully transitioned if they used recruiters. Orion’s Phillips proudly states “while we are active in a large number of programs to recruit transitioning veterans our biggest source is from referrals of veterans we have placed… our alumni network.”
Finally do not just depend on recruiters for job leads. Utilize all channels for job leads including networking general job boards and job-search engines specialized job boards company career centers cold contact. For more read our article 10 Ways for Job-Seekers to Develop Job Leads.
See some additional recruiting resources:
- 15 Quick Tips for Working with Recruiters and Headhunters
- Recruiter/Headhunter Resources Directories and Associations for Job-Seekers
Maximize your use of the many no-cost veteran and career resources — including career consulting to resume-writing to job placements. These resources are there to help empower you to success in your transition from military service to civilian worker.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2013.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author with several books chapters in books and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally Dr. Hansen is also an educator having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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