The Ins and Outs of Using a Recruiter

So you’re thinking about using a recruiter.  Why not get someone else to do your job search?!  A recruiter could be a great asset in your job search plan, but you need to do your homework.  There are some questions that you should answer before taking this step.

1.  What is a recruiter?

A recruiter works for the employer.  The employer hires them to find and screen candidates for any open positions.

2.  Why use a recruiter?

A recruiter is particularly useful if you are working in a field where employers typically use recruiters to hire.  You can easily discern this by speaking with people working in your field.  Also, anybody who finds that their job search is in a rut, and would like to try a new strategy may find a recruiter to be helpful.

3.  How should you choose a recruiter?

The best way to select a recruiter is by word-of-mouth.  Ask around and see who has a good reputation.  The best recruiters usually focus on one or two industries, so you need to find one that works in your field.  Recruiters often take out job advertisements, so if you notice that a particular recruiter is advertising for your target job, it may be a good idea to approach them.  Meet with them before signing up to make sure that you are comfortable with their professionalism and the way that they treat you.

4.  Do’s and Don’ts when working with a recruiter

  • Do be accessible and return phone calls quickly.
  • Do follow-up with the recruiter at least once a week.
  • Don’t become a pest by calling the recruiter every day to ask them if they have found you a job.
  • Do be open and honest with your recruiter.
  • Don’t tell a recruiter that you are interested in a position if you are not.
  • Do consistently maintain a professional appearance.
  • Do tell the recruiter if you are working with other recruiters.
  • Don’t contact the client directly.  Always go through the recruiter.

5.  How do recruiters get paid?

Recruiters either get paid directly by the employer, or they take a percentage of the employee’s earnings.  It is extremely uncommon for the job seeker to pay the recruiter to find them a job. 

6.  Signs of a bad recruiter

Does the recruiter pressure you to accept a position that does not interest you?

Does the recruiter treat you like a number?

Does the recruiter seem unprofessional?

Does it seem like the recruiter has no idea about your field?

Is your recruiter unable or unwilling to provide references?

Is the recruiter asking you for money?

If any of these sentences describe your recruiter, it may be wise to move on.

Now that you are knowledgeable about how to use a recruiter in your job search, you can add it to your arsenal of tools.  Good luck!

(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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