When you work in IT, it’s important to stay up to date on developments in the field and consistently network. Luckily, there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to job searching in IT. One of the ways to broaden the number of job positions you can apply for is by working with IT Recruiters.

If you’ve never worked with one, you probably have a lot of questions regarding what a recruiter is and if they’re a good resource for your career. We’re here to equip you with all of the information you’ll need to understand the importance of working with a recruiter, as well as how to find a great one.

What is an IT Recruiter?

They’re basically tasked with filling open positions within companies. From temporary to permanent jobs, recruiters search through a network of IT professionals to find candidates that will fit well in a position. Companies often hire them, outline a list of desired skills, and the search for candidates begins. Once someone passes the skill-based portion of the assessment, the recruiter will arrange resume sharing and interviews with the hiring staff/managers. If an offer is made from the company to the candidate, the recruiter completes the task of explaining the compensation package offered to the candidate and conducting any salary/benefit negotiations. After this process, they are typically compensated by the hiring company.

Who do they work for?

Some are employed by specific companies, while others work within recruitment firms that are hired by companies to conduct any employment searches. Some are individual consultants hired by companies on a project-to-project basis, essentially contract recruiters. Simply remember that the recruiter is a liaison for the hiring company. This will better prepare you for negotiations and questioning before accepting any positions.

How do you find a great one?

Networking! Here we go. Making connections within the field and your area(s) of expertise. This is one of the most important things you can do to continue to expand your career. When you make connections with people in your field, your name is likely to come up when someone is searching for the perfect candidate to fill their open position.

Oftentimes, job positions handed over to recruiters to fill are often some of the highest paying and senior positions. They aren’t even advertised to ordinary candidates job searching on their own. This means, working with a recruiter will open plenty of more job opportunities for you- that pay just as well. Again, it’s important to remember that recruiters work for the company though. So, always expect them to lean towards the company’s wishes rather than your own. Negotiate and make a good name for yourself.

Find recruiters that often search for candidates within your field(s) of expertise. This will help increase the number of jobs you will find interest in. It’s smart to ask some of the most senior professionals in your field network about the recruiters they often work with. They’ve most likely worked with plenty of them at that point in their career, so they’ll have narrowed down their contacts to the best of the best. Don’t be afraid to offer recommendations to recruiters, either. If they’re searching for candidates to fill a position that you don’t qualify for, let them know about a candidate(s) that would be perfect for the position. This will keep you on their radar and when you make great recommendations, they’ll remember you when a position comes up within your expertise.

Ask plenty of questions. Be in complete control of your career, as this will help you separate the good ones from the shady. You want to find recruiters that will be honest with you and listen to your honesty. If they aren’t easily available for you to contact, they’re probably not worth working with. Search for recruiters that will answer your calls, emails, and questions. You may even find it helpful to ask for some references of two or three people they’ve placed in positions prior.

Make sure they understand your job preferences and expertise. You don’t want someone simply faxing your resume all over town and applying you for positions you don’t approve. It’s also important to keep a tight hand on your resume. Be clear. Don’t let them make any changes without your approval, and ensure they aren’t sending multiple copies to the employer.

Being open, honest, and confident will help you in many areas of your career. IT Recruiters can open a ton of opportunities for your career, just make sure you’re well-equipped along the way. Take this knowledge and go far in the world of IT.