A Google search of “Recruiters are…” will bring up some hilarious and almost always derogatory results…
But is this stereotype valid?
It’s true that there are some “bad recruiters” out there, but refusing to work with any recruiters on this basis means you could miss out on some invaluable opportunities for career progression. And besides, working with good recruiters actually makes the job-seeking process a positive and rewarding experience.
To help you distinguish the good from the bad, here are the four main assumptions about recruiters and why you should question the stereotype.
Recruiters waste my time!
Spending 15 minutes on the phone to a recruiter may seem tedious – especially if you are speaking to more than one - but investing the time into that initial first phone call can have huge returns.
If you take the time to speak with a trustworthy recruiter who takes the time to get a full understanding of you, you will have gained a powerful ally who will make it his or her mission to help take your career up a level. Partnering with a recruiter who knows you well is highly time-efficient and they can keep you informed of potentially interesting opportunities which is much better than waiting until you are actively job searching and starting the whole process from scratch.
So if you have a good feeling about the recruiter you’re speaking to, take the time to talk through your experience, passions and aspirations. They’ll want to get a full understanding of “you” to determine whether this role would be a positive step forward for your career. If they realise they won’t have any opportunities that would be right for you, they will let you know right away.
The first phone conversation with a recruiter is also a great opportunity to sell yourself. If your recruiter thinks you’re a ‘hot candidate’ they will move mountains to get you in front of as many clients as possible, which will likely increase the number of available opportunities and potential interviews with their clients, which could lead to more opportunities to choose from.
It’s actually the recruiters that will settle for a two minute phone call or an email that you should watch out for. A short phone conversation is simply not enough to know you properly, and as a result the service will probably fall short of expectations!
Recruiters are just in it for the money!
Alright, so a lot of recruiters are money-motivated, but it’s important to remember that most are only paid a fee after a successful placement. A recruiter who invests significant time into getting to know you, help you along the process and do everything they can to get you an offer is doing so because they want to provide you an excellent service and develop a long term working relationship with you. They’re less interested in the short-term payoff.
Recruiters tend to be very passionate about their market and vertical specialism so they might be able to provide you with some interesting and useful insights, and offer some relevant and helpful career advice.
Recruiters don’t care about me or my situation
As I said above, a 10-15 minute conversation with a recruiter lets them grasp who you are, what drives you and what would signify a positive move in your career. Good recruiters do care about you and will treat you well as they want to develop a long-term relationship with you.
These recruiters will spend a lot of time helping you along every step of the way - from talking you through each company and role they think could be a good match, to helping you with your CV and interview techniques, speaking to clients on your behalf, selling your strengths and chasing feedback once the application is in progress.
A recruiter can also persuade an employer to interview you even if you don’t meet their exact requirements on the job spec, as they’re able to argue why your particular strengths and qualities would add value to the team. We put our neck’s on the line here – not yours – because we genuinely believe in you.
I can just apply directly
Many candidates apply directly to job roles alongside working with agents. There are certainly some roles with employers who don’t use agencies as a policy but a good recruiter will have strong relationships with key decision makers so they can make the process way more efficient and transparent.
I know this from personal experience. I called a candidate about a role I was working on for one of our biggest clients. Unfortunately he had applied directly, three weeks previously, before the role was released to agencies. He hadn’t received any feedback despite being a good fit for the role. We received feedback on the candidates we put forward within 1-2 hours (positive or negative) so it’s his CV was probably lost in the sea of hundreds of other direct applications.
So next time you think that recruiters are a waste of time, think about the effort that goes into every step of the process and remember that most of us want to take the headache out of the job-seeking process, not exacerbate it!
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