Okay, it’s time for the second installment in what I suspect will be a four-part series dealing with the “recruiter channel” and how professionals should approach this often-misunderstood segment of the hiring market.  In retrospect, I’ve realized my agenda is rather backwards, and it would probably would have made more sense to discuss HOW to approach these types of firms first before discussing the various ways/methods job seekers can use to track a set of appropriate firms down.  As a poker player would say, however, I’m “pot vested” at this point, so I’m just going to play things out and you’ll see those additional thoughts coming soon.

So in terms of today’s posting, let’s talk about how to track down the recruiters, headhunters, and staffing firms that might represent the closest match to your particular credentials and industry focus.  For starters, I can assure you there’s no “single source” you can tap into to access such data.  The recruiting sector is highly volatile and firms can come, go, and change their names very quickly, so you’ve got to assemble your list using a variety of sources, many of which are free — and some of which, as I’ll discuss, require a fee of some kind.

In terms of free sources, here are four places you can turn:

1)  The website www.searchfirm.com is a great starting point, since this site offers a highly searchable database of recruiters around the country — and is definitely the best and most accurate representative of the free databases/directories I’ve seen out there.

2)  Secondly, as part of your networking efforts with folks in your industry, you should ask them if they are aware of any recruiting firms operating in your market space or professional niche.  If they happen to know an appropriate recruiter personally, you should ask whether they’d be comfortable making a referral, since that will strengthen your approach to the firm in question.

3)  The mainstream job boards (Indeed.com, Simplyhired.com, etc.) also contain quite a few listings from recruiters, especially those of the contract/staffing firm variety within the technology, accounting, or administrative fields.  So pay attention to the leads you check each day, and even if a particular listing doesn’t match your credentials, jot the firm name down and consider reaching out to them directly to inquire about other opportunities they may have available.

4)  Lastly, don’t overlook LinkedIn as a source of potential recruiter contacts.  If you go into the “Advanced People Search” page of the site and set the Industry search box to the “Staffing & Recruiting” option, you’ll find tons of headhunters and staffing consultants listed, which you can then narrow down by geographic or keyword parameters.

Using the four methods above, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two, at most, to identify the majority of relevant recruiting/staffing organizations that might be worth approaching — and then you can start folding some contact with these firms into the mix of your ongoing job search marketing activities.

As for some recruiter sources that are a tad bit more comprehensive, but DON’T happen to be free, there are two main resources I’d showcase.  First, in terms of staffing consultants and recruiting firms operating within the boundaries of Washington State, I’ve taken great care over the past 15 years to build/maintain a comprehensive set of data on this sector — and currently have 588 firms listed in my database, covering the entire spectrum of industries and professional disciplines.  I also license an annual copy of the Kennedy SearchSelect Database, widely regarded as the “gold standard” of recruiter data from around the globe.  Unfortunately, due to the costs involved, I’m only able to make these two resources available to active clients of my firm at this point — but for anybody interested in the second option, the folks at Kennedy do offer an individual monthly subscription to their full database for $79.00, which you can read about here.

So in a nutshell, these are what I consider to be the best techniques one can use to make sure they leave no stone unturned in the recruiting sector — provided, that is, that you are a “recruitable” candidate in the first place, which is the subject I’ll be writing about tomorrow or the next day.  In the meantime, let me leave you with a list of 28 “new” Washington State recruiters that I’ve added to my own database, having turned them up recently through various sources:

Aaron & Associates
Generalist staffing firm that works with a range of accounting, finance, administrative, sales, health care, and technology candidates

Allen Austin
Handles retained searches for a broad range of executive assignments, including board positions

BGI Technical Services
Permanent and temporary staffing for the aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, medical, and industrial industries

Business Talent Group
Interim and project-based positions for professionals of all levels, occupations, and industries

David Brown Recruiting
Independent recruiter specializing in placing professionals in the architecture, engineering, retail, branding, and industrial design industries

Deb Hester & Associates
Generalist recruiter with current listings for account management, public relations, and digital communications professionals

Engenuity Advantage
Everett-based generalist staffing firm that handles temporary and permanent placements for a wide range of personnel

Extreme Solutions, Inc.
Focuses on the placement of professionals in the IT, Healthcare, Marketing, Financial Services, Sales, and Sustainability/Green industries

H10 Capital
Direct hire and contract placement firm specializing in executive, technology, and accounting/finance positions

Intuitive Safety Solutions
Specializes in consulting and recruiting within the environmental health and safety field

Investment Management Recruiters, LLC
Boutique firm specializing in the recruitment of portfolio managers, analysts, and marketing professionals in the investments field

Joel Payne Associates
Vancouver-based firm specializing in executive placements within the accounting, finance, construction, and legal fields

JP Fidelis
Conducts direct hire staffing within the accounting and finance industries

Karras Consulting
Father/daughter recruiting team specializing in executive roles within government and the public sector

Lotus Partners
Executive search firm with an emphasis on mid-to-senior-level positions, particularly within high-tech, Internet, and “green” companies

Management Performance Associates
MPA handles a wide variety of executive placements within the food, beverage, and consumer products industries

NorthPoint & Associates
Staffing and recruiting firm focused on the placement of accounting/finance personnel

Ocasta Health Care
Staffing firm specializing in nursing opportunities

ProActive Staffing Resources, LLC
Specializes in placing engineers, web developers, IT professionals, mobile technology specialists, and quality assurance personnel

Quid Pro Quo (division of Law Dawgs)
While Law Dawgs has been around for years, providing legal search expertise, this new division handles C-level executive placements, as well

Richfield Consulting Group
Focused on placing sales professionals throughout the Pacific NW

Staffing agency focused on entry-to-mid-level positions in a wide range of administrative, accounting, and industrial personnel

Tactics Human Capital
Specializes in working with IT, engineering, project management, medical device, and manufacturing professionals

The Talley Group
Handles engineering searches in the aerospace, energy, environmental, oil & gas, and civil engineering fields

Triple Source
Recruiting firm focused on accounting, finance, and technology professionals

Vital Source Staffing
This firm hasn’t quite launched yet, but knowing the owner behind it, Jason Radach, we suspect it will be technology-focused!

Webfoot Staffing Solutions
Places software developers, web developers, IT professionals, project managers, and related technical personnel

West Sound Workforce
Specializes in filling entry-to-mid-level positions for multiple industries throughout Pierce and Kitsap County

While some of these firms may have been around a while, they’ve somehow managed to elude my radar for many years — so I wanted to highlight them in case any of you might match their particular candidate search profile.  I also suspect that at least a few of these firms may now be defunct, but just didn’t bother to take down their website, since I  noticed a few suspicious issues with some of them such as typos on the home page, expired website copyright dates, job databases with no current jobs listed in them, and that sort of thing.  If you therefore get confirmation that one of these firms is no longer active, I’d greatly appreciate the heads-up.  Hopefully, though, at least a few of you will have positive conversations with some of the outfits listed, making the publication of this list entirely worthwhile!