Anyone who’s actively looked for a job knows that working with recruiters can be a very viable route to top job possibilities. Recruiters often have access to job leads that otherwise wouldn’t be available to a job hunter. These specific jobs may not be advertised or otherwise listed on job websites — including the company’s own website, often because the company is looking for a skill set that is very specific and feels as though they need to really do some sleuthing to find the right person. Or, it could be that they don’t want others in their company to know that they are looking to fill a particular position. Therefore, dealing with recruiters, the right way, needs some elaboration.
Being contacted by a recruiter can feel flattering. That’s because often they will go after candidates who already have a great job since they are looking for the cream of the crop — and they might feel like the best place to find that person is looking for someone who is already employed, whether to steal them from a competitor, or just acknowledging that they already have the experience and expertise that is needed. But as flattering as it can seem to have them reach out to you, don’t forget that recruiters are not working for you — they are working for the company that has the job.
Because this is how recruiting works: The company retains the recruiter. That means that the recruiter doesn’t make his or her money until the job is filled, and often there is a requirement that the candidate stay on the job for a certain length of time. Recruiters don’t necessarily have your best interest in mind — though they also won’t misrepresent a job because if they send a candidate to a company who ends up not being interested in the position, no one is served.
But even though it’s important to understand that the recruiter is not working for you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from their expertise and attention. Besides opening that initial door, they also have the inside track on exactly what talents and expertise the hiring manager is looking for. That is valuable information that can help you do the best you can in the interview.
In addition, a recruiter will give you feedback after the interview on what went well and what areas maybe didn’t go as well. Even if you don’t ultimately get the job, that feedback can help you do better in subsequent interviews. Further, you can parlay your relationship with the recruiter into other job opportunities. That can especially work well if you find a recruiter who specializes in your industry.
For those reasons, any chance you have to help out a recruiter is bound to be a win. Even if a particular job isn’t of interest to you, make sure you call the recruiter back and formulate a plan to stay in touch. Effectively dealing with recruiters can be one more effective option in the job search tool box.
Articles on dealing with recruiters:
- Working with Recruiters (WorkBloom)
- How to Understand and Adapt to the Current Job Market
- Beware of Career Marketing Firms
- Working with Search Firms and Recruiters in Your Job Search