You need a new job and you want it to be as painless as possible. So you’re wondering… “Should I use a recruiter in my job search?”
The answer is “it depends.” I’m going to show you how to decide for yourself if you should use a recruiter.
First things first… we need to separate the two types of recruiters out there.
The two types are “in-house recruiters” and “agency recruiters”.
In-house recruiters work for one company and help that company hire. That’s it.
In-house recruiters conduct job interviews and “screen” applicants but they can’t take your resume and show it to multiple companies, and they can’t help you expand your job search. So let’s move on.
What about agency recruiters? They work for a recruiting agency and help multiple companies find people to hire. They’re the ones we need to focus on in this article.
But not so fast… they can’t help everyone. Let’s look at why.
That’s the reality. They serve the needs of the companies who hire from them.
When’s the last time you paid a recruiter a single penny as a job seeker? The answer should be “never”.
Meanwhile the companies they partner with are paying them thousands of dollars. That should be enough proof who they really work for. (More info coming up on how much they get paid and how it works!)
So, recruiters work primarily for the company. But they need job seekers too. You can’t fill a job without both sides of the equation. And most agency recruiters are only paid when they fill jobs. So that’s the good news. Here’s the bad news though…
Because of the pressure to fill positions, they need to focus on job seekers who have in-demand skills or very impressive experience. Not necessarily the people who need their help most.
So, let’s take a look at how you can quickly decide whether or not you should use a recruiter in your job search.
If you fit into one or more of these groups, you should consider using a recruiter to find a job.
There’s no harm in sending your resume to a few recruiters. If you want to, go for it. Regardless of what I said above.
Why do I say that? Well… it doesn’t cost you anything to try. Plus they might give you some resume tips if you ask.
But here’s where people run into trouble:
They contact a recruiting agency and talk to a recruiter. The recruiter takes their resume and promises to keep an eye out for opportunities.
So they sit back and relax, thinking “alright! I have a pro helping me now. This is going to be easy.”
Two weeks pass. The person hasn’t heard anything. They start getting frustrated and angry. Why isn’t he recruiter helping?? Well, because of the reasons above.
So here’s the key: You can talk to a few recruiters, but don’t count on them. You should assume you aren’t going to hear anything from them and go start your job search on your own too. If they are able to help, it’ll be an added bonus and a nice surprise. But it won’t hurt you if they can’t.
If a recruiter says they can’t submit you for a job, you can still apply on your own. Sometimes a company will be more willing to hire you without the recruiter’s fee attached. So don’t let yourself get discouraged.
Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times as a recruiter I’ve found a job seeker who seemed qualified but my recruiting manager wouldn’t let me introduce them to the employer I had in mind for them. Here were my manager’s exact words: “They’re not bad for the job, but this isn’t the type of person this company pays us to find.”
If you apply on your own you might still get that job.
Here’s what I’d recommend you use along with recruiters in your job search…
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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