Some of you may or may not know this about me, but in addition to career coaching, I also do talent acquisition (the fancy term for "recruiting"). I've done it both in house and also agency side.
There are a few things that I keep coming across, but with one large, overarching theme - that a large majority of job seekers don't really know how to work with recruiters. As I just mentioned, there are a lot of different components to this. In this two-part blog post, I am going to break down for you a few things: the role of a recruiter, how to get found by recruiters, and why and how to work with a recruiter. Even if you are not actively seeking a new career right now, I encourage you to keep reading. Because many times recruiters are still looking for you, and you never know what opportunities they might bring your way. (Spoiler alert: The vast majority of talent I work with and end up placing in a new job were not actively looking for a change).
So regardless of where you are in your career, hopefully this information will be useful for you, and will help you be successful in your next career move!
When talking to talent (i.e. career seekers) I often come across some misconceptions of what a recruiter's role is and what we do - particularly in context as a recruiter from a recruiting agency (vs an in-house recruiter). So I thought it would be helpful to start here.
A recruiting agency is hired by a company to help them fill a role within their company. The recruiting agency is a separate business - we do not work within the company. Rather, the company is our client.
So from there, we (the recruiting agency) will look to find someone who would be the right fit for the company. We proactively reach out to these people, we screen resumes, do the initial screening interviews, and then we submit the right candidates to the client to review. From there, we help schedule interviews between client and candidates, and then for candidates who move forward, we’ll help facilitate the offer negotiations.
This is where things become a little grey and often misunderstood. Often times, candidates mistake that recruiters are working for them - to place them in the right jobs, handle their negotiations, seek out other opportunities for them. But remember, we work for our clients (the companies). However, it's a bit of a symbiotic relationship, as it also behooves the recruiters to work with great candidates to find other opportunities and to help negotiate the best deal possible in a job placement. Which is also one big benefit for a job seeker to work with a recruiter - while we work for our clients, we will also go to bat for candidates in ways they might not be able to do if they were applying for the job themselves.
Long story short, we essentially are the middle of both companies and candidates and are working with everyones' best interests in mind.
Why to Work with a Recruiter:
Time and again I hear from candidates, "I've had really bad experiences with recruiters". Here's the truth - not all recruiters or recruiting agencies are created equal. More on that, but first, let me touch on some of the benefits of working with a recruiter:
This expands your reach in your job search. If you are in a recruiter's database, then when that perfect opportunity comes up, you are top of mind. Plus, a lot of jobs are never even posted publicly, so recruiters often can connect you with opportunities you might not otherwise have.
When a recruiter submits you for a job, often times it shortlists you above other candidates (more on this in a moment - as it relates to "not all recruiters are created equally") vs if you just submitted yourself for a job. Recruiters generally have good relationships with their clients and insights that will make you the most successful in landing the job that you wouldn't otherwise have.
Most recruiters (again, more on this in a moment) can and will go to bat for you when submitting you to a company, or in offer negotiations. This is oftentimes instrumental for job seekers, since the recruiter has that relationship with the company to be able to do this.
So there are a lot of reasons it can benefit you to work with a recruiter. Now, for the "not all recruiters" are created equal. Some staffing firms take a very personalized, relationship driven approach to recruiting. Not only with the companies, but with the candidates. This is how our boutique agency approaches recruiting. We personally meet with every candidate and create a great relationship throughout the entire process. It's very hands-on and well communicated. For our clients, it means we are literally hand-selecting only the very best matches for the job.
On the other end of the spectrum, often candidates find that they get a bit buried into a recruiter's database, and many times these agencies cast a pretty wide net in candidate searches. I've heard time and again about how a candidate got submitted to a job without being asked if they were interested, or they were submitted but never received a follow up. From companies, the biggest complaint has been that the candidates are just not on the mark of what they are looking for.
In summary, there are a lot of benefits in working with a recruiter, and I encourage every job seeker to do so. The big thing I will throw out to everyone to remember: Ultimately, no matter what, working with a recruiter is no guarantee that you will find or be offered a job. Your job search success is ultimately still in your own hands -working with a recruiter is just one avenue in the job search process.
Stay tuned for more in Part 2 of this blog series: What Recruiters are Looking for, and How to work with a Recruiter.