Should you use a recruiter to find a job?
Recruiters can be a valuable addition to your job search strategy plan—if you’re at a certain point in your career. In general, recruiters may not be the best option for you if you’re an entry-level job seeker (a new graduate or switching careers) or if you’re in a very common job. They are a good resource if you have specialized skills or if you have job experience.
What kinds of recruiters are there?
There are two kinds of recruiters. Internal, or in-house, recruiters work for the company, so they recruiter people only for that company. Outside recruiters (also known as third-party or contingency recruiters), recruit for multiple companies and only get paid if a company hires their candidate.
How recruiters work
It’s important for you to realize that both internal and external recruiters work for employers, not for job seekers. That means, you can’t hire a recruiter to help you find a job, and you can’t expect that a recruiter will look for jobs for you.
Instead, recruiters have jobs to fill and look for people that could be hired to fill them. If they don’t think the company is likely to hire you, they won’t present you as a candidate.
If a recruiter doesn’t have a job to present you for at the moment, they’ll put you into their database for job placements that may come up in the future.
Even if you know a recruiter likes your resume and seems interested in talking to you, you can’t assume they will come up with a job for you. That’s not how they work. Send your resume to as many recruiters as possible, but keep looking on your own.
How to find a recruiter
Get recommendations from experienced people in your network to find good recruiters. It’s great if you can find someone who’s worked well with someone you know.
If you’re looking on your own, the best place to find recruiters is on LinkedIn. Recruiters spend a lot of time there looking for good candidates to present to clients. Search for recruiters in your field with the name of your industry and ‘recruiter.’ For instance, you could search for ‘medical sales recruiter.’ When you find them, check them out and ask to connect with them.
Twitter is another great place to find recruiters. When you do, make sure you follow them so you are notified if they tweet about a job opening.
You can also do a Google search for ‘recruiter’ or ‘search firm’ with the name of your career arena attached (medical sales search firm).
How to talk to a recruiter
Remember that, to a recruiter, you’re essentially a product (just like you’re a product in a job search).
Each time you speak to a recruiter, think of yourself in interview mode. They are your first interview with any given company. They’re the gatekeeper you need to get past in order to speak with a hiring manager.
If you don’t represent yourself professionally, they may not feel comfortable presenting you to the company. However, if they do move you forward, they will give you pointers and tips to help you succeed.
Keep recruiters in your active network
If you find a good recruiter, work to maintain that relationship. Keep them up to date on your job changes and current contact information with a quick email once or twice a year—along with a current resume. You never know what kinds of opportunities they’ll find that could be the perfect new job for you.
There’s a lot to know about working with recruiters and utilizing them for your job search and career. Check out my book available on Amazon – How to Work with Recruiters Effectively: Get Headhunters to Market You.
Best of luck!