Tips for Working with a Recruiter from a Republican Jobs Perspective (Part 1)

May 11, 2024

Tips for Working with a Recruiter: and Hiring Tips from Republican Jobs Perspective (Part 1)

Tips for Working with a Recruiter from a Republican Jobs Perspective (Part 1)

Every week at Republican Jobs, we work around the clock to help the best political talent find work as quickly as possible. We regularly collaborate with fast-moving talent and rapidly changing job markets, manage our clients’ evolving hiring needs, and spend every waking moment on the phone or responding to emails. While we love what we do, it often feels like we’re in the middle of the NY Stock Exchange most days.

While 95% of our interactions are positive, and we strive to help as many people as possible (with almost 2,300 placements and counting!), we, like any recruiter, can never place 100% of our talent. This sometimes leads to a few angrily worded emails from disappointed candidates. Consider a sports team holding tryouts where 100 athletes compete for one spot. Is the coach slighting the other 99 when only one makes the team? Of course not! 

 

  • Understanding the Role of a Recruiter/Headhunter

While Republican Jobs is a private, mission-focused business dedicated to ensuring that Conservative and Republican organizations secure the best possible talent, it’s important to recognize that we are not the hiring managers; we do not directly hire or contract talent. Our role is to assist our clients—the hiring or contracting entities—in finding their ideal candidates. Many firms engage a recruiter or headhunter to lead their job search, which can expedite the process, ensure privacy, and provide access to talent who are discreetly seeking new opportunities without wanting their resumes circulated on job boards. They also trust our judgment and rely on our expertise to save time during interviews, thus saving precious time they rarely have. 

At the end of the day, Republican Jobs can advocate for talent, but we are ultimately bound by the requirements our clients set. Sometimes, a good fit involves more than just meeting job qualifications; it also includes meshing well with the company culture. Recruiters often experience the disappointment of being excited about a candidate only to find that the client is not interested. It breaks our hearts, but this is usually beyond our control. We can advocate, prepare an applicant, and swing a job search in an applicant’s favor, but we do not have the final say.

 

  • Does a Recruiter Increase Your Odds of Placement?

At the end of the day, our clients have the final say on a job. But this raises an important question: ‘does a recruiter increase my odds of getting placed?’ If we’ve decided to make the referral, absolutely. Instead of being lost in a giant pool of resumes, you may only be in a pool of a dozen or less. It’s not a guaranteed home run, but compared to applying on a job board, your odds would be significantly lower. You’ve probably heard that many people who are placed come from a referral. It is said that 30-40% of hires are made through recommendations—and a headhunter is one of those recommendations!

Consider this: for every one applicant we decide to interview, there might be ten resumes that we received but didn’t have time to interview or felt they weren’t qualified enough. A recruiter’s time is limited and valuable. Time spent speaking to one person means potentially not placing someone else. If we’re spending time interviewing and trying to place you, we obviously believe you’re potentially placeable, unless we’re proven otherwise. 

 

  • I’m Overqualified and a Recruiter Won’t Refer Me? Why? Doesn’t That Make Me Perfect for the Job?

We get this question a lot: “I don’t understand, I’m overqualified. Why wouldn’t they hire me?” Consider the costs involved for a company to hire someone, especially in politics. In politics, most revenue for private firms, or mission success for nonprofits and legislative organizations, occurs within a very narrow window of time. If someone leaves in the middle of an election or legislative cycle, they cannot be easily replaced and goals won’t be met. As President Reagan once said, ‘personnel is policy.’ If someone is overqualified, they are often considered a flight risk, whether it’s the case or not. Imagine you’re qualified for a senior-level salary but take an entry-level job. If a senior-level position that fits your skill set opens up later, wouldn’t you be likely to leave that entry-level role? Additionally, there are too many stories of overqualified talent not taking a job seriously, compared to someone who is ready to work hard for their next step up. With rising costs and increasing regulations on employers, making the wrong hire is costly.

 

  • Why You’re Being ‘Ghosted’—Are You Actually Being ‘Ghosted’?

There are many reasons you might not have heard back from a recruiter. If we spent all our time speaking with talent or responding to emails every time they got excited about a role that wasn’t a match, we’d have no time to open new roles, manage clients, or close jobs. The worst offenders who don’t receive a response are the ones who send an email ‘do you have any openings?’. If you don’t take the time to read the website, I’m going to spend my time helping someone who did. 

Some applicants are known to ‘spam apply’, and they are a recruiter’s worst nightmare. While we hate to tell someone no, it is part of our job. Some applicants do not read job requirements or think they are merely suggestions (with recruiters, they rarely are; at the very least, you need to meet 90% of them!). If you’re applying for every job without reading the job requirements, you’re not going to hear back. I can write another blog post about all the red flags on that one. 

While we love helping people advance in their careers, and we pride ourselves on doing so at Republican Jobs, we need to place you in a job for which you’re qualified at the present moment. While you’ll be a campaign manager someday, if you just graduated from college, you probably need to start in an Organizer role.

Some applicants like to ask for daily updates as if afraid we’re not keeping tabs on their search, or because they’re very excited about the role and wanting a quick update. Recruiters, driven not only by the goodness of our hearts and belief in the mission, also earn referral fees from hiring firms. If nothing else, we have a financial incentive to reach out to you as soon as possible with an update. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be in business. Trust any recruiter, whose entire job is to successfully place people: if a client wants to interview you, we will not be shy of trying to get a hold of you as quickly as possible. We spend most of our day trying to move a referral forward into an interview. That’s the main part of our job – and we won’t ‘forget’ to do it. Firms that are hiring, tend to be understaffed, and sometimes will take an extra day or two, or even a week or two, to give an update which means a longer response than initially expected. You’re likely not being ‘ghosted’, but it is common for a search to take longer than we originally anticipated, even for a company that moves as fast as we do. 

 

  • Is It the Recruiter’s Fault I Didn’t Find Work?

If a recruiter is taking the time to speak with you, it’s because we have an interest—which matters even more so given our finite resource of time.

Sometimes a job search does not work out, and it may take multiple referrals to find success. In politics, it’s not uncommon for us to make four to five referrals for an applicant to secure one to three interviews, and then hopefully one to two job offers. If you’re in a hard-to-hire location and you’re only looking for remote opportunities, it could take ten times as many referrals to find success, as you are competing against a lot of qualified talent as anyone in the US can apply which expands the talent pool significantly.

While we’re trying to find you work, you are free to apply on your own and do commit to your own job search. We don’t guarantee success, and sometimes there isn’t an opening that fits at the time you’re on the market. This leads us to our next point for Part 2 next week.

Help Us Help You – Don’t Make It Harder for a Recruiter to Refer You”

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