Working With Recruiters

As you strategize your job search, you may want to enlist the help of a job recruiter to streamline and focus your efforts.

Job recruiters can be useful comrades that guide you toward a narrower path to the job you really want, helping to eliminate the fluff of what you do not want in a wide market that can sometimes be overwhelming. You can link up with job recruiters via online job boards, directly through companies you are interested in working for, or through staffing agencies. It is important to find a job recruiter that can show you how to successfully emphasize the professional skills you are trying to sell. Choose a job recruiter based on how well he or she understands what you are trying to achieve career-wise, and for the connections he or she can demonstrate in your chosen work field.

What a Job Recruiter Does

It is a job recruiter’s sole function to prepare you in the best possible manner for the industry and specific companies in which you want to work. Job recruiters help you tweak your resume to industry standards, and give you pointers on the needs of particular professional fields. They are able to share insights about the staff needs of the hiring managers they work for, and can advise you on how to prepare for an interview, including:

  • What to say.
  • What not to say.
  • What to wear.
  • What not to wear.

The job recruiter is tasked with getting you as ready as you can be to interact with official company personnel. Remember that the job recruiter does not do any hiring. You should approach your interactions with a job recruiter as a mentor/mentee dynamic. Ultimately, a job recruiter saves you a great deal of time, because he or she does all of the work involved in matching you with actively-hiring companies and potential employers for which your skills are suitable.

Pros and Cons of Utilizing a Job Recruiter

There are both good and bad aspects of working with a job recruiter. One of the biggest benefits to utilizing a job recruiter is having a professional ally on your side who is as hungry for your success as you are. Remember that your success rate reflects on the recruiter‘s as well, and can sometimes even determine his or her pay levels, so you can trust that you are being given the most helpful advice. Another major bonus of working with a job recruiter is that you have an inside track to company expectations, contacts and individual job openings that you might not have access to otherwise. A job recruiter will coach you on the specifics that any company you will be interviewing with will be seeking. Job recruiters can give you information on proper questions to ask, preferred methods of answering certain questions in an interview, and also, give you a heads-up on the general vibe or culture (formal, relaxed, traditional, startup etc.) of companies with which you plan to meet. As many recruiters are paid based on a commission percentage of your first year’s salary, they will typically go out of their ways to help you get a strong financial offer.

The main drawback of working with a recruiter is that it can be easy to forget that he or she is always going to put the company‘s best interest first; not yours. Remember that the recruiter has been hired by the company to adequately fill positions in the most beneficial way possible to the company. This means that job recruiters will have valuable information about what the company is looking for that they simply will not share with you. For instance, a company may share with a job recruiter that, per diversity standards, they are really looking to hire a woman with a certain degree and a given skillset. However, if you are male and ask to be put forward for this job, all you will hear back from the recruiter is that the company is not interested. This can be damaging to your confidence, and confusing, if you know you have the skills the job requires. Remember that your recruiter is there to navigate you to the right job among the companies with which he or she has affiliation; these are certainly not the only jobs out there, and, if you are rejected for any reason, it is healthy to remember this.

Another common problem that arises when working with a job recruiter is that he or she may not have very much actual expertise in your professional field. Make a habit of asking any job recruiter you work with how much experience he or she has in your chosen profession, and why he or she believes you would be a good fit for whatever jobs are being suggested to you. Never allow yourself to feel pressured by a job recruiter to take any job. Be forthright and open about your salary and duty expectations early on in conversations with your job recruiter so that he or she will not waste your time with offers that fall beneath your established standards.

Job Recruiter Scams

Most online job boards unknowingly harbor recruiting scammers. Sometimes, it is very simple for a scammer to post realistic-looking job information as bait in an effort to gain access to your personal data, or dupe you into doing something for him or her. The first rule of thumb is never to provide any personal information to a job recruiter that you have not physically met. Scammers often request further information via email after seeing your posted resume on a public job board. Avoid any job recruiter who asks for a fee or attempts to obtain banking information from you. Remember that real job recruiters either work directly for companies or staffing agencies, and as such, no money should ever be changing hands between a bonafide job recruiter and you.

Likewise, steer clear of job recruiters who claim to be ready to mail you equipment, assignments or money upfront; these types of exchanges are generally aimed at attempting to get you to cash illegitimate checks or even hide stolen property. Exercise extreme caution in making sure that the job recruiter you choose to handle your professional job search is honest and legitimate. Insist on seeing credentials and meeting in person at an established, public office. Remember that a real job recruiter will want to take the time to get to know you, personally, before making any kind of employment offer or asking any personal questions.

Types of Job Recruiters

There are different job recruiters that you may encounter as you move through the process of your job hunt. These include:

  • Internal job recruiters.
  • External job recruiters.

Internal job recruiters are those who are actual salaried employees of the company you are interested in contacting, and their sole job function is to fill those open job postings in line with the standards of the company. An internal job recruiter can be very useful in helping you understand the specifics of the job or company to which you are applying. They will have direct, professional relationships with the CEOs and managers that will be hiring you.

External job recruiters are employed by agencies or firms that typically specialize in a given professional field, and are helping multiple companies find employees, rather than just one company, like internal recruiters. The upshot of external job recruiters is that they tend to have more diverse contacts, and thus, may be able to raise the statistical probability of you landing a job. The downside is that there will not be that in-house connection between an external recruiter and the specific company you may be looking to work for, and your interactions may be more impersonal, as external recruiters are generally juggling multiple clients (companies) at a time.

In the end, it does not matter what type of job recruiter you work with, so long as you are being directed toward the job(s) you truly want, and having a job recruiter that works diligently for you can make all the difference in the ease of your dream-job search.

It might also interest you: