Understanding the Role of a Recruiter

Financial advisors may tell you that the best approach to saving for retirement or investment strategy would be to have a diversified portfolio of assets that will help you reach your goals.  A similar approach should be adopted as you embark on your job search strategy.  Don’t rely too heavily on one job search approach but instead utilize many different resources to help you generate more interviews and ideally land the new job of your dreams.  Online job boards, career fairs, friends, family, networking events, company databases, and recruiters are just a handful of useful options you have in a job hunt.
The purpose of this post will be to highlight and educate you on the role of a recruiter during your job search and why they are a valuable asset to companies and candidates alike.

What is a Recruiter?

A recruiter’s role is to help companies fill open positions.  Typically they are paid by a particular company who has recruitment needs or they work for staffing agencies that have clients who need to fill positions.

How does a Recruiter operate?

A recruiter’s first responsibility is to understand the needs of the company and the position they are trying to fill.  Their next responsibility is to find and engage with a qualified group of candidates for that position.  They may work with online job boards to post positions or search through resumes to find these qualified candidates.   As a job seeker, this means that your initial application and resume may be screened by a recruiter to determine if your qualifications are a good fit for the position.  The recruiter, therefore, is a filter of sorts to ensure that only the most suitable applicants move on to the next stage of the interview process.

Why do companies use Recruiters?

The main reason companies use recruiters is it saves them a lot of time and resources when searching for candidates to fill open positions.  Recruiters are able to quickly and effectively generate a small but qualified group of candidates to be interviewed, and many times are helpful in the scheduling and initial coordination process.  Shortening the time it takes to fill open positions can save the company a lot of money and diligent recruiters will find candidates who will stay in their new roles long term, making the company’s investment even more worthwhile.

Do job seekers have to pay Recruiters?

Recruiters are typically paid by the staffing agency they work for or by the specific company they are working with to fill a given position.  This means that as a job seeker, you do not need to pay a recruiter since they are already incentivized by the company upfront.  With that being said, some recruiting agencies also offer services of recruiters to act as an “agent” for you in your search.  Typically these services do come with a fee since the recruiter will be working on your behalf to land you interviews.

What does this mean to me as a job seeker?

Putting yourself in the shoes of a recruiter may ultimately help you in your job search in a few different ways.  First, this information should really stress the importance of a well written resume.  You want to make sure your resume, cover letter, references, and application are all in top shape and tailored for the position the recruiter is filling.  Second, you will understand that a recruiter wants to fill the position so they are more likely to engage with you if your credentials are up to par.  Third, many times you can search a recruiter or staffing agency database to see what current positions they are trying to fill for their clients.  You can use these databases as just another resource in your diversified portfolio of job search strategies.

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