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Refuting Common Myths About Recruiters

Refuting Common Myths About Recruiters

I recently came across an article written for job-hunters titled, “5 Myths about Working with Recruiters,” and to be perfectly honest, it put me into crazy time mode. While many times it is true that some in our profession have served to add fuel to the thought that recruiters are “glorified used car salespersons,” it is more often true that recruiters are hard-working, honest and ethical people whose jobs are to play “matchmaker” and pair the perfect job with the perfect candidate.

The author of this article came up with what he called the “five common myths about headhunters.” My personal favorite on his hit parade was “…the recruiter’s job is to help a job hunter find employment…” He calls this a myth and uses the reasoning that “…recruiters work for employers, not job hunters.” Well, that is partially correct in that our FEES are paid by the employers (if you have spoken with a firm or recruiter who doesn’t do business this way, RUN!), however if you don’t think we “work” for you, you need to truly understand more of what happens AFTER we’ve screened you.

  • We review your resume and the position requirements, making sure to highlight the experience matching those requirements. We may assist in revision, additions, or sometimes even a complete revamping of the resume.
  • We then go to work on a presentation piece for the prospective employer – we want to make sure to present you as a uniquely qualified, superb and compelling “fit” for the job. This is no easy task, as we have spoken with you only a few times, and briefly at that. From those conversations we need to build a real case for getting you an interview.
  • Once we’ve completed this, we need to present you to either the client firm directly, or to the person managing the client account for our firm. We “sell” them on your candidacy and assist them in presentation to the hiring manager.
  • We (the good ones) keep in touch with you very closely to monitor progress and keep you up to date on feedback and where we stand.

I would counter many of the “myths” about recruiters that are out there by letting you know that most of the time:

  • We’re not the people who write the job descriptions, nor are we the people who create the required skills and/or experience for the positions we’re trying to fill. Usually if a recruiter tells you that you’re not a great fit for the particular position, they’re right – remember, we WANT to fill the job, it’s how we’re paid. Most of us would also like to have you in our network for when we get a position that is a great fit for you, so we want to be honest with you.
  • We are professionals; this is our career. If we have been in the business more than a couple of years, chances are we are among the very best at what we do, because it is a very tough and competitive field. The fact is that most of us truly love what we do and take great pride in our work; our reputations as pros are very important to us, so please give us an opportunity to prove that to you.
  • We can only move as quickly as the client firm allows us to move. The truth is that the hiring managers have other things on their collective plates than just hiring for this position – they still have jobs to do and are typically extremely busy people, just like you and me. Add to that business travel, time off, family lives, chain of communications, etc. We will do our best to make things happen as quickly as possible, but we’re limited in what we can do as well.
  • We appreciate, as candidates/job hunters, that you are as honest as possible with us. If you’ve spoken to the client company recently, if you’ve been submitted for the job or have applied directly, please tell us. It does neither of us any good to put you forward again. When we ask you for your compensation history, it is because we’ll be asked; many companies these days will ask for W2s or proof of previous income, so it is imperative that you be honest with your recruiter. Another important thing to let the recruiter know – if you are working on other opportunities, where are you in that process? Are you close to an offer? Many times that will allow us to create a “fast track” situation, or at least let the client firm know that we may have to move more quickly to “get you,” if they’re interested.
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