A recruiter is someone engaging in recruitment, or the solicitation of individuals to fill jobs or positions within a corporation, nonprofit organization, sports team, the military, etc. Recruiters may work within an organization’s human resources department (typically) or on an outsourced basis. Outsourced recruiters usually work for multiple clients at once, on a third-party broker basis, and are variously called headhunters, search firms/agents, agency recruiters, or recruitment consultants.

Note: Even working with or being solicited by a recruiter you need to have an updated and professionally crafted resume that sends the message you’re the only candidate for the job. Many people feel since they are connected with a recruiter the resume is not an important aspect, when it’s just as or more important. Remember a recruiter has a job and reputation to uphold, and they need to produce the cream of the crop for every position they fill; this means your resume needs to be the best marketing tool that sells you.

Internal Recruiters

An internal recruiter or corporate recruiter is a member of a company or organization and typically works in the human resources (HR) department. Internal recruiters may be multi-functional, serving in an HR generalist role – (negotiating, hiring, firing, conducting exit interviews; as well as managing employee disputes, contracts, benefits, recruitment, etc.) — or in a specific role focusing all their time on recruiting. Their purpose is to filter candidates as per the requirements of each job opening.

Head Hunters / Employment Agency

This is a third party who works independently and is hired by a company or organization to find candidates to fill their requirements of the position. In many cases, they are specialized in certain industries giving them in-depth knowledge of what makes a key candidate.

Executive Search

An executive search firm is a company that recruits executive personnel for their clients in a wide range of industries. In many cases, executive search professionals are involved in the hiring process and will typically perform a detailed first interview to ensure they present the best candidate to their clients. Executive search firms frequently have had a long-lasting relationship with their clients and providing them with supreme candidates is the only method to uphold their reputation. An executive search can cost a company a 15-25% fee.

The Job Seeker and The Recruiter

For years there has been a disconnect in the relationship between the job seeker and the recruiter. Since this site is for the job seekers, we will concentrate on what your role needs to be when you are working with a recruiter. As we have mentioned throughout this section you need to partake in all job search methods to have a successful one; use a recruiter as one method, do not sit and wait for a recruiter to find you a job. You need to understand whether the recruiter is external or internal, who they work for and that they get paid by the company, meaning they do not work for you. If you are marketable and can fill a position, the recruiter will get you that job interview, but they will only put forward to their clients the best possible candidate they can locate.

Below are some advice and points to keep in mind when working with a recruiter. Building an honest and professional relationship with recruiters can only work in your favor.

  • The recruiter works for the client, not you. Recruiters don’t find jobs for people they find people for jobs
  • Find recruiters who specialize with your specific industry or experience
  • Never pay a recruiter, they get paid from the companies who contract them
  • If your resume doesn’t convey you’re the best candidate for your target position, the recruiter will just set it aside in the no pile
  • Recruiters prefer working with employed people if possible start your search while you’re still employed or immediately after you’re unemployed and have your resume ready
  • It is wise to work with several external recruiters since many have long-term relationships with companies. Don’t go overboard; keep it at 2-3 otherwise you’ll saturate the market, making it a sticky situation for everyone. It is not recommended to sign documents that promise “exclusive representation” to a recruiter.
  • Inform your recruiter of whom you are interviewing.
  • You need to communicate and build your relationship with the recruiter in the most professional manner. You need to treat your relationship as if you were interviewing to work for them, and they will only pass on the candidates that will add to their reputation by giving their clients quality.
  • Don’t take it personally; you need to be patient when working with recruiters; if they are not getting back to you ASAP, it most likely means they don’t have a current position that you fit into. Stay in touch with them via email or by phone every few weeks to keep them updated on your search. Follow up is good, pestering is bad
  • If you felt you were perfect for a position, but you did not get an interview, ask the recruiter what the reasons were so you could try to correct them. It could be your resume is not compelling enough, or their client had particular qualifications that you did not fit
  • A sure way to get blacklisted with recruiters is to go behind their backs and contact the company directly. The only time you reach the company directly is if they request it and then you must keep the recruiter updated
  • If you get an interview through the recruiter call them as soon as the interview is over and review how it went and discuss any issues you faced, this will give the recruiter the information to head them off when they speak to the company.
  • If you did not get a job offer after the interview process, discuss this with the recruiter to seek out the reasons so you can avoid them in the future. In most cases, the recruiter should know the reasons for the feedback they get from the company. When you are probing for these details, make sure you approach it in a friendly tone and ensure the recruiter you value their feedback.
  • Be honest with your recruiter; don’t embarrass them with information that will come out during an interview or background check. Also, be upfront about your compensation requirements, it’s OK to give a range but to avoid this topic will only work against you and waste time.
  • Answer all questions from the recruiter entirely, accurately, and with details. When the recruiter has quality information about you, the easier it is for them to place you in the right job opening. If you have any talented friends or co-workers, refer them to your recruiter, this will help them out and build a good relationship between you and the recruiter.
  • Never put your entire job search campaign only in the hands of recruiters, you need to take part in all methods of searching for jobs, this will increase your odds of a successful job search with many job offers.