Many people are afraid of working with recruiters during their job search and or don’t know how to make recruiters work for you. Recruiters have become an unnecessary evil when it comes to finding a job and if you’re not using them or using them properly you could be losing out on job opportunities and or losing money when it comes to getting an offer.
As HR departments are downsized and companies try and minimize recruiting costs, there has been an unprecedented push to use recruiters as middle men in finding the right candidates for the job. Many companies use a combination of outside and internal recruiting, and knowing how to manage these recruiters is key to maximizing how much money you make versus giving away money to the recruiters for no reason.
I’ve been laid off 3 times since I’ve graduated college. When entering the job market I was bombarded by recruiters calling. I thought recruiters were a joke. However, I was short sighted in that thinking and it probably cost me money. Below, I’ll tell you why it’s important if not critical to use recruiters nowadays in your job search, and how you can ensure that they don’t take a recruitment fee from your salary offer if it’s unnecessary.
Many companies are exclusively working with recruiters for hiring outside people now. If you don’t work with recruiters you could be missing out on a number of opportunities.
Know who you’re working with.
When working with recruiters it’s important to understand who you’re working with. With the rise of the use in outside recruitment agencies, there came a rise in the number of solo operations too. That is, people calling themselves recruitment agencies when they are in fact the only recruiter in their agency. This is not necessarily bad in and of itself, but it’s something to keep in mind. The larger firms like Robert Half have contracts with different companies (meaning they are the exclusive outside recruiting provider, or one of only a couple of firms – this is typical in larger companies – and this may mean that the only way to get an interview with a particular company is through an outside recruiter), while with the mom and pop operations (the one-man operations calling themselves recruitment agencies) most do nothing more than you do – look at the paper or internet, find jobs for people too lazy to look for themselves and take a fee if they get you hired (which means a lower offer for you). Some do manage to get in with smaller companies, but only because the company placed ads previously and hadn’t any luck in finding a candidate. The key here, make certain the recruiter is showing you jobs for things that aren’t already out there. Why pay a recruiter to simply find you a job when they will lower your salary offer?
So how should you best manage recruiters?
Initial contact when a recruiter calls you: Your phone rings and it’s Bill from AccountStaff, he saw your resume online and would like to talk to you about some positions.
Keep in mind there are two types of recruiting agencies (and many have both operations combined), agencies that are temporary placers, in which you work for the recruiting agency (like Kelly Financial Services), and other recruitment agencies that find permanent placement positions (Kelly Financial Services does this too as well as companies like Robert Half, Manpower, and various other employment agencies).
From the beginning, you need to distinguish whether or not the recruiter has anything to offer you or not. If they have an immediate job that they are searching for, pry information from them. Many will tell you “we have a position that we think you would fit in well,” this is just so they can establish a relationship with you for the sole purpose of making you stop looking on your own, so they can make money doing it for you. Other companies are reputable and really do have jobs they are actively searching for on behalf of a client. If they really are the only one searching on behalf of a company, they shouldn’t be reluctant to give you information on the company they’re searching for.
Tell them you’ve already submitted your resume to most every position out there (and you definitely don’t want a recruiter to submit your resume to someone you’ve already submitted to – companies frown on this for legal reasons – as they may be obligated to pay a fee if there is a disagreement on how they found you. Companies would rather not pay a fee and or deal with a potential legal issue).
You need to make certain that before they submit your resume to anyone they have your explicit permission. This is the single best way to figure out if they’re bullshitting you or not, if they ask you what jobs have you submitted for, be vague. Tell them to tell you a job title and location if they don’t want to disclose the company name. This is all a game, they don’t want you to know who’s out there if you haven’t looked on your own – they don’t want you to go out there and find them and pursue them on your own because they told you – they want the money! Be smart, see who is out there posting jobs, even if you haven’t submitted your resume yet – you can act like you have. This will help you cut through their bullshit.
The bottom line is, you should have an army of recruiters working for you. This doesn’t mean you need to go interview with each recruiter either. Many recruiters will tell you that you have to interview before they will approve and submit your resume. This is bullshit. Only interview with the recruiting agency if you’re looking for temporary work through them. If you’re looking for permanent placement only – they should tell you who the company is if they want you to come in for and interview. If they do have a solid lead, this is understandable, they want to make certain they are putting the best candidates forward. Defer interviews with the recruiting agencies until they have some solid opportunity that they’re telling you. Believe me, if they want you bad enough, they will give you specific company information. This will help you cut down on the multitude of requests for interviews with recruiters. Tell them a phone interview should be sufficient until things become more serious – that you’re not interested in wasting your time or theirs.
I will expand upon this in future articles. For now, I’m off to lunch! Good luck!