If you are looking for a new job, you may need to understand the role of job recruiters in your job search. Your expectations will be realistic if you understand their role.
You should not be disheartened if a recruiter isn’t overwhelmingly positive about your prospects! Their job is NOT to be your friend, your coach or your advocate. A job recruiter’s job is to put the right person into a position that they have been asked to fill. That “right person” is the person the company believes to be the perfect fit for that job. It doesn’t matter how badly you need the work. Nor does it matter how great you think you’d be in the job. The recruiter isn’t working for you. The recruiter is doing their job….and that is to do their best for the company that is paying them.
What Recruiters Do
Recruiters may work as part of a recruitment company or within an organization’s human resources department. Most recruiters in recruitment companies specialize in permanent, full-time, direct-hire positions or contract positions. The recruiter’s responsibility is to filter candidates. This filtering is based on the requirements of each client/company which they represent.
Types of Recruiters
An internal recruiter, or corporate recruiter, is employed by the company or organization for which they are hiring. They typically work in the human resources HR department.In the past this was known as the Personnel Office or just Personnel.
Contract recruiters tend to move around between multiple companies, working at each one for a short stint as needed for specific hiring purposes. Retained recruiters work for the organizations who are their clients, not for job candidates seeking employment.
Within a recruitment company a recruiter acts as a contact between its client companies and the candidates it recruits for a position. These firms or individuals specialize in client relationships and finding candidates. They usually have minimal or no focus on other HR tasks.
The client company, that is the company that is hiring, are always paid by their clients and never by the candidate or job applicant. It is important to remember that their job is to fit the “right person” in the “right seat”, and this often narrows their view of who could do the job well. If you respond to a job advertisement and can show the recruiter that you have successfully performed a similar task in another company you are likely to be put forward for the position, depending on your competition. However if you are perfectly capable of performing the job, but your work history doesn’t demonstrate this adequately, it may be difficult to convince a recruiter that your skills and experience are as transferable as you believe them to be. Many people find this a major obstacle when they try to make a significant career change.
What You Bring to the Table
Many falsely believe it is the recruiter who is responsible for their success. Although recruiters are a valuable asset the responsibility of landing the job rests on the individual who is searching for the job. Among the things you can do as job seekers to maximize your time with a recruiter are:
- Have a professionally written resume. Make sure you have a professional email address. Ensure that your contact information and references are up to date
- Brush up on your job interviewing skills.
- Solicit the help of a career coach. Career coaches can assist in helping you define/redefine your career goals. If required most career coaches can also help you with resume preparation and job interviewing tips as well.
- Follow up when required. Recruiters usually have hundreds of candidates they are working with so their time is valuable. You show them that you are committed to your job search success.
- Make sure you have cleaned up all your social media. Always be aware that recruiters are very likely to check you out on social media. As a mature adult it is unlikely that you will have problems with a Facebook or Twitter account that is undesirable. But is your LinkedIn profile reflecting who you are in the workplace? Does it demonstrate what you are capable of? Have others shown their support of you through recommendations and testimonials?