Working with Recruiters

Recruiters and Recruiting Firms

Helpful Hints for working with recruiters:

  1. Find out the recruiter’s niche. Do you fall into their niche? If not, find one that does.
  2. Always remember that a recruiter is one step of the process. A relatively low percentage of the people get placed through recruiters; most find opportunities through their own networking efforts.
  3. There is no certification, licensing process, or regulatory agency for recruiters. That means it is up to you to decide if you are working with an ethical professional. Ask the recruiter for names of candidates he or she has recently placed and call them if you are unsure.
  4. Create a “wish list” reflecting your ideal job and work situation. Communicate the list to the recruiter and make them aware of any changes that occur during your search. Stay focused on the “wish list” during your search. Candidates who take positions that are clearly contrary to their wish lists frequently end up unhappy with their decisions.
  5. If you are currently employed, do not run all over town meeting with recruiters. Screen them carefully over the phone and discuss your employment needs and goals. Do you feel comfortable with their style and recruiting philosophy? In general, meet with a recruiter when they have a position that closely matches your wish list.
  6. Employers have the control in the hiring process – not the recruiter. Recruiters are hired to find candidates that match the specifics of an employer’s job order. When searching for candidates to present to a company, a recruiter is faced with finding candidates that meet the required skills of a job order, i.e., prior work experience and skills. Recruiters are NOT hired to find candidates that are willing and able to “learn” a new set of skills. Only when your background and experience matches the specifics of an employer’s job criteria can a recruiter move forward with presenting your resume to an open job order.
  7. Recruiters are not the best resource if you want to make a career change. A company/firm hires a recruiter to find someone doing the same job at a competitor. If you are inexperienced in an area, for example you are a litigation paralegal who has always wanted to get into “real estate” it is unlikely a recruiter will be able to present you to a firm’s open real estate position. However, this does not mean that you will not find such an opportunity through your own networking.
  8. Get commitments from recruiters NOT to send your resume to a company or firm without the recruiter first telling you about the company and the open position. If they will not tell you the name of the company, do not let them send your resume (confidential positions are the rare exception to this rule). Reasons? The position may be with (1) a firm that you would never want to work for, (2) a firm you have previously submitted a resume to or interviewed with on your own, or (3) your boss may be “best friends” with someone at the firm where your resume has been sent. Take control and be firm with recruiters on this issue.
  9. MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS. After every interview, immediately write down the pluses and minuses of a position. Always refer back to your “wish list” to keep yourself focused. Ask yourself “what percentage of my wish list did this position meet?” If it is below 70%, it may not be your ideal situation. A recruiter’s job is to present opportunities, tell you about companies, facilitate questions throughout the interview process and assist with negotiating salaries. A recruiter’s job does NOT include selling you on a position you are not 100% interested in accepting. Remember, YOU have to go to that new job everyday, not the recruiter. MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS.