Job seekers have many options and various resources to rely on nowadays when conducting a job hunt. These include professional job boards, social/networking sites, and personal referrals, as well as others. Given all of these options, one might ask if it is still necessary to work with a recruiter.
And the answer is a resounding: YES!
It is a fact that many of the most selective opportunities available are often not publicly posted or widely announced. The way that these positions are filled can be accomplished in many ways, one of which is through the advice and services of a recruiter.
By relying solely on a job board or any other single resource, you are limiting your opportunities. And of all the options to select from, working with a recruiter can be one of the most valuable to what can turn out to be an exhaustive job hunt that itself alone feels like a full-time assignment.
Recruiters have inside knowledge to positions, companies and contacts. That’s because their eyes and ears have access to places that you often don’t. Recruiters can also help evaluate ahead of time if your experience and skills will get you through to certain job opportunities, which will help save you time and effort.
Companies like to work with a recruiter – and the broad expertise and industry insight they offer – to help filter through talent and to determine the best fit for a position. If you do not have the right experience and skills for a position, you can count on the recruiter to have a point of view early on. Just as every minute of your time is valuable, recruiters put their reputation on the line each time they refer candidates to companies that they have been retained by. The recruiter also does not benefit from coordinating an interview if you are not the right fit since they are typically compensated according to successful placements.
Types of Recruiters
There are two types of recruiters: generalists and specialists. The ones who can truly help you, especially if you are in the mid to advanced stages of your career, will be specialists.
Recruiters Who Are Specialists
Recruiters who are specialists have greater contacts and connection within your industry/field and will devote the time to help you find a good fit. Some specialists operate based on geography or region that they have chosen to focus their placements on, while others work nationally across markets. Specialists based on geography are beneficial especially in fields where there is a high demand for certain professions.
Think, for instance, about examples like Silicon Valley. It helps to know that a recruiter who “speaks the language” of this technical industry and focuses all of their time and energy on specialized assignments in that particular region has the know-how and insight about the latest opportunities available to help you progress your search as efficiently as possible.
Recruiters Who Are Generalists
On the other hand, generalist recruiters generally do not have a specific focus area. Therefore, the job opportunities they are privy to may be few for a particular field. These recruiters also may not have the knowledge and contacts to help you at the deepest levels that specialist can.
What are the Benefits of Working with a Recruiter?
Recruiters who are specialists often have contacts within your field of interest and inside knowledge of companies that you might be keen to be a part of. When you work with a recruiter, you will have a professional who can help you through the many challenging stages of a job hunt, interview process and negotiation process.
When you work with a recruiter you receive additional benefits:
- Access to opportunities you may not find anywhere else. Many employers work exclusively with recruiters to find the right talent and will not post the position elsewhere. This is increasingly the trend as the market has expanded to accommodate a growing number of those unemployed who are seeking to rebound or switch careers. By working exclusively with a recruiter, hiring companies receive the assurance of a select number of qualified and carefully vetted candidates for review versus an avalanche of unfiltered, and possibly unqualified, candidates that would simply take up time, resources, and effort.
- Better preparation for interviews. Recruiters will have unique insight about the position, company, and interview process – as well as possibly personal tips that you might need in preparing for the first interview. You will come away with a better understanding and assessment of how the employer evaluates candidates, what they consider the most important qualities, and the additional criteria they are looking for so you can highlight these areas of importance. A recruiter is there to coach you through these steps so that you leave a lasting impression with the key decision-makers at the hiring company.
- Unbiased feedback. Following an interview, your recruiter is in a position to communicate with the company for feedback. How many of us have been through the experience of coming from an interview to only wonder what the next step will be? Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, it will be unbiased, constructive feedback that can help you improve your presentation for future interview opportunities. The recruiter also benefits from this feedback as they will have a better sense of the right candidates to send over.
- Better leverage during the negotiation process. When a company is ready to offer you a position, the recruiter can be integral in the process to negotiating the best offer for you. Recruiters typically receive a commission based on a percentage of your salary, so you can feel confident that the recruiter has an incentive to look out for your best interests.
How Can I Find a Recruiter Specializing in My Field and/or Industry?
There are a number of resources available to locate recruiters specializing in particular industries and fields. You may start by conducting a search on Google or any other search engine. For example, if you conducted a search for “procurement recruiter,” you would find the top result to show Teldar Group for procurement and supply chain recruiting. You can also ask for recommendations from colleagues and coworkers in the field and they may have suggestions on who they have worked with previously. There are also other resources, such as The Riley Guide, that assist with identifying respected recruitment firms by specialty.