By Donna Shannon
Personal Touch Career Services
Every job seeker knows the drill: you find a job that really interests you, but when you follow the link to apply, the application goes on forever…
The question that inevitably comes to mind: is this even worth my time?
In private service, the answer is usually a resounding YES.
Why do they do this?
A recruiter frequently uses the application process to help weed out candidates. The thought process is to see how well you can follow instructions. They consider this a weakness if you make a mistake or fail to submit all the requested information.
However, that is not the only reason why agencies use long applications.
They need to capture all your information in their database.
Rather than make one of their recruiters capture your information, they use the application to populate the critical facts. Once entered, they can create queries for future job openings to find candidates based on the given parameters and keywords. For example, suppose they are looking for an Estate Manager in Los Angeles with five years of experience managing multiple homes, overseeing construction projects, and producing parties for 100+ guests. In that case, a few keystrokes can result in a plethora of candidates that fit the given criteria.
You will only be found in the database if you fill in your skills, experience, and desired job opportunities.
Hey! This seems too nosy…
Recruiters will often ask for critical information to help streamline their processes.
For example, it is common to ask for Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license number, or other confidential information, including your past employers’ names and contact information. Why? To accelerate the background checks and reference procedures.
Once you are selected as a potential candidate for a current position, most agencies need to conduct a background check or call your references BEFORE you are presented to the employer. If they have to track down every piece of information, it slows down the process.
Most private service agencies promise their clients that the candidates have already been vetted before they are presented. Naturally, they all need these details to prove your value and reveal potential red flags.
Most agencies will let you complete the application even if they don’t have a job that perfectly matches you. While they may not have the perfect fit for you today, the agency still wants to capture your information for future roles.
Additionally, it is very common for agencies to work on filling positions that are not advertised anywhere – including their own website. Some principals desire complete and total confidentiality. Therefore, the agency is not allowed to post the job anywhere.
Whether you want to be considered for future opportunities or these hidden positions, the first step is filling out the application to the best of your ability.
Is it worth it?
A half-hearted attempt or sloppy application kills the potential of being found in the recruiter’s database. Remember, in private service, agents frequently search for candidates in their database before posting the job online or paying for an advertisement. So, you will only be found if your application is complete.
So, your application is done – now what?
If you care about building a relationship with the agency, take the time to call or email once the application is finished. Then add that agency to your weekly watch list. Visit their website to scan for newly opened jobs and email your contact to express your interest. Even if you don’t see the ideal position, call or email your recruiter once a month.
Remember, this industry is built on professional relationships, so do your best to create a favorable one with the agencies.