How to Work With a Recruiter

Here at BarryStaff we have started thousands of successful careers for people in the job market. But a successful placement is always a two way street. It takes a commitment from our client and some cooperation from the candidate. Check out this article on the right way to work with a recruiter to land that awesome job.

By Jane Grabeal of Levo League

When I was getting ready to graduate from college, I had a recruiter contact me about an outside sales position. Even though I interviewed and got the job, I still remember feeling mystified by the whole process of working with a recruiter. Fast forward to a few years down the road in my career, and I now work as a recruitment consultant for an recruitment process outsourcing firm.

My company handles the recruitment process for clients in a wide variety of industries; it’s my job to find qualified candidates to fill our clients’ open positions, move them through the interview process, and (hopefully) get them hired.
However, I realize there is some level of confusion from many jobseekers on just how this process works. A few key pieces of advice that can help make the process of trying to work with a recruiter more effective are as follows:

 1. Improve your LinkedIn profile
I often get asked how I find candidates for the jobs I recruit for, and my number one answer is LinkedIn. I use the networking site to identify profiles of candidates who could be a fit based on their backgrounds. So, if you’re in the market for a new job, be sure that your LinkedIn profile is as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible.
Include any potential qualifications you possess like foreign language skills, experience with certain types of software and knowledge of a specific industry, as this will ensure your profile shows up in a keyword search. Additionally, make sure that your current privacy settings allow your public profile to be seen by everyone and that you are currently open to receiving InMail, as that is often the method a recruiter will use to contact you.

 2. Return phone calls and emails
I respect the fact that candidates are not necessarily sitting by the phone waiting for my call when I reach out to them. However, if someone I contact for a position is constantly unresponsive, it’s likely I won’t be moving that candidate forward in the interview process. My job is to get quality candidates over to my client in a timely manner. If someone does not respond to my emails and voicemails, I have to assume that there’s not enough interest in the position. Also, when candidates reach out to follow up about a position, it shows me that they’re interested. However, when they call me about it multiple times a day, it definitely comes off as more desperate than driven, which is not a good thing.

 3. Use the recruiter as a resource
Don’t be afraid to pick a recruiter’s brain. As a liaison between you and the employer, recruiters can help provide you with valuable information including the responsibilities of the position, the company culture, etc. As a candidate, you have a great opportunity to take advantage of the recruiter’s knowledge to determine whether or not the position is something you’d be interested in pursuing. A recruiter can also provide insight on what the steps in the interview process will look like, along with what you can do to stand out to the hiring manager—so don’t be afraid to ask!

 4. Always be honest
If a recruiter reaches out to you about a role that’s not the right match for your skillset or career goals, start a conversation about what types of positions you would be interested in. I appreciate when candidates are upfront with me so I can keep them in mind for future openings or other jobs that my colleagues may be working on.
Additionally, my job is to ask candidates the tough questions, and that includes discussing compensation expectations. Don’t be vague or dishonest about your current salary or the salary you’d expect in a new position, as that wastes everyone’s time. Finally, don’t let a recruiter set up an interview for you if you know that you can’t make it or you don’t have a genuine interest in the position. Nothing is more frustrating to me than a candidate canceling an interview at the last minute, or worse, not showing up at all.

 5. Trust the recruiter’s word
The worst part about my job is calling people to let them know they weren’t chosen for a position. However, I am more likely to consider these candidates for future opportunities when they take the news gracefully. More often than not, the candidate didn’t do anything wrong; there was just someone else in process that aligned more closely with the client’s needs. Also, I may not receive detailed feedback on why someone was not selected, so don’t assume the recruiter is being intentionally vague if you don’t receive specific reasons for why you’re not moving forward in the interview process. Finally, if you do get rejected, don’t go around the recruiter’s back and reach out to the company directly. You’ll only make yourself look worse by trying to go over the recruiter’s head and get back into the process.

My goal as a recruiter is to create a win-win situation in which I find my client outstanding talent and help candidates land new positions that align with their career goals. If you’re currently work with a recruiter, respecting the process and acting professionally will go a long way to ensure a successful outcome!

How to Handle Cliques at Work

By Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff

If you thought cliques were a thing of your past—something from your high
school years—you thought wrong.

According to a new survey, 43% of workers say their office is populated by cliques—which are tightly knit groups of co-workers who socialize in and outside the
office, and often exclude others.

“This isn’t surprising at all,” says Amy Hoover, president of Talent Zoo.
“People are creatures of habit, and the habits you pick up early in life often
carry through to adulthood. One of those habits is to group with others who
are like-minded or similar to ourselves. It happens at work, at parties, at
networking events–any place where there are groups of people.”

David Parnell, a legal recruiter, communication coach and author of InHouse: A Lawyer’s Guide to Getting a Corporate Legal Position, agrees. He
says the fields of evolutionary and social psychology have found that we are
genetically bathed in the drive to form groups. “In fact, minimal group
paradigm studies have shown us to form groups within minutes in a novel
situation, and if there are no salient reasons for doing so, groups will even
form based on irrelevant criteria such as shirt colors.”

The nationwide survey—conducted by Harris Interactive – sked about 3,000 full-time U.S. workers about the social dynamics in their workplaces, and how cliques can affect the office culture.

Only 11% of respondents said they feel intimidated by cliques at work—but
one in five (20%) have done something they’re really not interested in or
didn’t want to do just to fit in with a particular group. About half of this subgroup attended happy hours; 21% watched a certain TV show or movie just so they’d be able to discuss it with co-workers the next day; 19% made fun of someone else or pretended not to like them; 17% pretended to like certain food; and 9% took smoke breaks to fit in with an office clique. Meanwhile, one in seven (15%) said they hide their political views and affiliation, 10% percent don’t reveal personal hobbies, and 9% keep their
religious affiliations and beliefs a secret to avoid being excluded.

“At work, joining a clique can give you a feeling of security, a sense of
identity,” says Katherine Crowley, co-author of Mean Girls At Work and
Working With You Is Killing Me. ”We find that office cliques tend to form
most in corporate environments with weak management. They are like office
gangs that emerge to fill in the void of leadership.”

But Crowley and her co-author, Kathi Elster, recommend steering clear of
cliques. “While they wield social power, they can decide who is popular and
who is not – and they are not usually respected professionally.” Very few
cliques are populated by the highest performers in a company, they say.
“We always encourage someone faced with the choice of joining a clique to
keep a healthy distance,” Elster adds. “You want to act friendly without
becoming friends. This can be difficult because clique members may ostracize
you if you refuse to join.”

Hoover agrees. She says having friends or a group of people who you like to
hang out with at work can help you relieve stress and allow you to form lasting
friendships—however, being in a clique may mean that you’re spending so
much time with one group that you miss out on what other co-workers have
to offer. “Cliques tend to lack diversity,” she says. “Another disadvantage is
being branded and known for your friends, not for who you are.”

The survey found that workers who fit a specific stereotypical archetype in high school—like “athlete,” “cheerleader,” “geek,” “class clown,” or “teacher’s pet”—are more likely to be in an office clique. Former class clowns, geeks, and athletes are most likely to belong to one, while respondents who chose not to identify with one of the above personas are the least likely to be part of an office group. Additionally, 17% of those who
consider themselves to be introverts are members of an exclusive social group
at work, compared to 27% of extroverts.

There may be some advantages to joining a clique at work—but it can also be
extremely detrimental to your career. About 13% of workers said the presence
of office cliques has had a negative impact on their career advancement. “It’s
easy to get labeled as part of ‘that group’ and then it becomes part of your
identity,” Hoover says. “This can be important when upper management may
not be able to spend enough time with staffers and get to know them well, and
sometimes who you associate with is who you become to a boss or manager.”

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder,
says while it’s human nature to associate with peers who possess similar traits
and personalities, cliques can be counterproductive in the workplace.
“Regardless of age, cliques form to provide social comfort to its members, but
from an organizational perspective, they can stand in the way of big picture
goals by preventing collaboration and inclusion of diverse perspectives. While
being a member of the ‘in group’ can provide short-term satisfaction and
advantageous connections, the best workers and leaders will ultimately be
those who can work and empathize with many different types of people.”

She says more managers are using team-building activities or assembling
people from different groups to work on projects to help discourage behaviors
that can alienate others–but as it turns out, not all bosses are practicing what
they preach. Nearly half of all employees in cliquey workplaces say their boss
is part of one. “This may lead to the perception that recognition, promotions and raises have more to do with politics than merit,” Haefner says. “If you’re a manager, this is
obviously something you’ll want to avoid.”
Here are nine tips for working in a company populated by cliques:
–Try to spend time with all your coworkers, not just one particular group, Hoover says. If you’re not part of a clique, still treat individual clique members in a courteous manner, Crowley adds. “Maintain a professional attitude when you interact with them – even if they do not.”

–Do your best not to be intimidated by a clique, says Elster. “Most cliques have little institutional power; their members are not in a position to promote you or give you a raise.” Know that most cliques have a “leader.” Identify who the leader is and double
your efforts not to be intimated by him or her, she adds.

–Determine whether joining a clique will be beneficial or detrimental to your
career. “Take a very real assessment of whether you really need the advantages of a clique,” Parnell says. “If you don’t, the potential for professionally damaging stereotypes just might outweigh the potential for gain.”

–If you decide against joining a clique, do not engage in gossip with clique members, Crowley says. “That is their way of enrolling you; trying to get you to join.” If a clique targets you — if they taunt you or turn their backs on you or gossip about you – do your best not to react. Elster says this means you should also try to act friendly towards a clique and its members—as you would any co-worker—without becoming friends.

–If you decide it will be advantageous to your career to join an office clique, spend time observing all your co-workers so that you can make an informed decision on who you’re best aligned with, Hoover suggests. “Describe the cliques to a trusted friend or spouse and ask their opinion,” she says. “Simply the act of describing the types of people in any one clique can help you decide if you want to spend a lot of time with them.” Parnell says it is smart to pay attention to the signals that are being sent to coworkers because “once you’re in a clique, it is very difficult to wash away any stigmas that are attached.”

–Divide and conquer, Crowley says. Try to form positive connections with each clique member separate from the group setting.

–Should a clique make your work life difficult, seek outside guidance from a mentor, a counselor or a career coach, Elster suggests. “If your company is full of cliques, you may even want to find a job in a different company with better leadership and stronger management.”

–Try to find a group of co-workers to spend time with who don’t overindulge in office gossip, Hoover says. “It’s the biggest pitfall of a clique.” Crowley recommends that you try to become a “non-clique role model.” Demonstrate non-exclusionary behavior by asking different co-workers to join you for lunch, coffee breaks or after-work events, she says.

Your First Day On the New Job

You’ve finally landed that new job. You’ve gone out with friends to celebrate, spent money you haven’t yet earned and told everyone at your last company just what you think of them. But the hard work doesn’t end there — in fact, it’s only just begun.

It’s your first day in the office, and after impressing at the interview, now is the time to prove you are the right person for the job. Here’s how:

Arrive early
Just as with an interview, it’s good to show that you are eager and well organized by turning up a little earlier than requested. Take into account that you may be driving a new way or catching a different train and give yourself plenty of time. Don’t go overboard, though: Turning up at 8 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start time won’t win you any points.

Dress appropriately
Remember what people were wearing when you were interviewing. You may have worn a smart suit, which is perfectly acceptable, but if the office operates a casual dress policy, you may not want to be so formal when you start. If you can’t remember, then compromise: A pair of nice pants or a skirt with an open neck shirt or blouse is seen as smart while being slightly more relaxed.

Find out about the company
You’ve obviously done your research in order to get the job in the first place, but it doesn’t hurt to know as much as you can. You were probably so overwhelmed by the interview that you didn’t take in everything that you were told. Do a little online research to find out the basics — at least the names of the managers or company directors.

Exude confidence
There’s a good chance that on your first day you’ll be introduced to a lot of people. Beyond just trying to remember everyone’s name, this is your chance to make a good impression with your new colleagues. A firm handshake and eye contact are both recommended, as well as a brief line telling them your name and what you do.

Ask questions
You may have done your research, but you are bound to be overloaded with new information as you are shown the ropes at your new place of work. If you are unsure of anything, ask questions right then and there. It’s better than having to admit later on that you weren’t following everything that was shared. Even if you understand everything you’re told, asking a few questions can only prove that you are keen to learn more about the role.

Take notes
Writing things down will help you when it comes to knowing every fine detail about the company, and it can also give you an air of confidence. You don’t have to be overly precise, just a few things to jog your memory when you look over your notes. Keep your notepad with you at all times, especially if you are writing personal descriptions of the people you are soon to be working with.

Get involved
As you get to know your new colleagues, there are bound to be plenty of opportunities that will allow you to mingle with the crowd. Don’t shy away from invites for lunch, after-work drinks or even sporting activities. Take every opportunity to show that you are part of the team and not just there for the money.


Goonies never say die, Jon Bon Jovi never says goodbye and great bosses should never say the following five things to their employees:

1. “You’re lucky to work here.” A statement like this is dictatorial, threatening and clearly meant to incite fear, which isn’t good for anyone. “Fear-based management does not create the best results — that’s all there is to it,” says Katherine Crowley, co-author of “Working for You Isn’t Working for Me: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Boss.” “If someone is afraid all the time of losing their job, they’re not going to give you their best work.”

2. “It is what it is.” A statement like this implies that there’s no room for change or flexibility in an organization — even when the organization is badly in need of it. Not only is it frustrating for employees to hear this, but it can also hinder your organization from moving forward. As demonstrated by the growing popularity of “hack days,” being open to new ideas and empowering your employees to explore new business solutions not only increases morale, it’s also good for business.

3. “That’s not my fault.” Unless you’re the pope, you’re not infallible, so if you make a mistake, own up to it. While you may think admitting a mistake reveals a weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength, argues leadership expert Doug Guthrie in a recent article for Forbes. “What is more powerful than an individual who can stand in front of his or her employees and admit that the failure was his or hers?” Guthrie writes. “What better way to gain the respect and admiration of your team than to take the blame and responsibility on yourself rather than calling out someone on your team? By admitting you are wrong, by taking blame, you will have a group of more committed followers.”

4. “That’s none of your business.” Whether you’re trying to protect your employees or yourself, more often than not, keeping employees completely in the dark can do more harm than good. Great leaders need to be candid with their employees, and as transparent as possible. “If you fail to practice total candor, you will lose the trust of your team, your leadership and your customers,” says Jim Welch, author of “Grow Now: 8 Essential Steps to Flex Your Leadership Muscles.”

5. “Did you get my email?” It’s cool if you want to work 24/7, but you can’t expect the same of your employees. Putting pressure on your employees to constantly be connected to the office can infringe on their work/life balance, ultimately stirring up feelings of resentment and leading to burnout.