In a demanding market where candidates are hard to come by it’s difficult to understand why people still scrutinise agency recruiters. Surely every industry still needs help finding people for jobs, yet, we still see candidates, hiring managers and HR not respecting what a recruiter does.
I always presume these people have had bad experiences with a recruiter but let’s face it, we all have bad experiences daily yet most people don’t hate that personal trainer who didn’t show up for one class and then post negative comments online about them?
Then, I think from all the bad publicity online about recruiters, people must think we’re the lowest of the low. Building people up only to dash their hopes and dreams after they fail to get the job they’ve always wanted.
This isn’t the case. We aren’t a bad bunch really and it’s a pity the industry we work in is always in the limelight. To help ease the bad rep of recruiters and make candidates lives easier I’ve pulled together the main advantages of working with a recruiter.
1. Recruiters help you get paid more
Most recruiters in agencies are paid on commission, earning a fee based on your first years’ salary. (Before you panic – It doesn’t come out of your pocket. It’s just an added expense for the company who hires you.)
This works in your favour. Since the fee percentage is typically 15%-30% of your base salary, your recruiter will do their best to get you a great offer. The more money you make, the higher their rate will be too. However, if you don’t land a job, they get paid nothing.
To make sure you get what you’re worth, have a chat with them in advance about what salary you think is reasonable. If you’re unsure don’t be afraid to throw a figure out to discuss or have a look at our salary guide.
At an offer stage, clients can still low ball which can be totally out of a recruiters control. If they offer a salary that’s lower than you deserve or expect, say something like: “I’m really excited about the position, but I was hoping the offer would come in higher. I would accept on the spot if we were able to get it €3,000 higher on the base salary.”
Also, if you ever feel like you’re being persuaded to take a role that’s not right for you, say so. Don’t let anyone pressure you into taking a job you don’t actually want.
2. Recruiters save you time
Companies expect candidates to know their business and understand what they’re all about. But, is the employers branding material easily accessible and do you really know what’s important to learn?
Recruiters will not only know the company well (from being onsite, conference calls with hiring managers etc.) but they might even know the exact interview questions and how best to approach the answers.
Recruiters also have material such as the Cpl Interview Handbook that will help reduce the time you spend online researching. Finally, recruiters may have placed other people in the team, so can give you an indication on how to build a rapport with them on the day. This all saves you time and effort prior to your interview.
3. Recruiters know what the client wants
Job seekers often refer to themselves as the “clients,” and recruiters are trained not to correct them. The truth is: the company who is doing the hiring are the people who pay for the service, not the job seeker, so they are the client. So, while helping people is the most satisfying part of our work, it’s our job to find candidates who have a chance of getting an interview.
That sounds pretty grim and I know what’s it’s like to be on the other foot, but this can work in your favour if you’re a candidate who is suitable for the job. Recruiters want to coach a candidate to be more appealing to hiring managers so take advantage of their suggestions!
If they recommend you change your CV or layout it’s because they think it’s going to get you more interviews. Or if they recommend meeting you for coffee to do an interview preparation or discuss your experience in more detail, go!
4. Recruiters will find you the job you want
A lot of recruiters have never worked in the field and therefore need to get comfortable using the right lingo for your industry. However, the more he or she understands your field, the more of an expert they become and the more likely they can find you a great-fitting job.
I recommend explaining what you do and when they say, “Tell me about your experience” try to avoid being smart by saying, “Have you not got my CV in front of you”.
9 times out of 10, recruiters will take notes based on the phone call. The more elaborate and informative you are the easier it is for the recruiter to write you a great application form should you wish to be put forward for the role.
Also, a little extra tip: ask them a couple of questions to see how well they understand the space you work in:
- Why do you think my background is a fit for the job?
- What can you tell me about the backgrounds of the other people in this group?
- What can you tell me about the culture of the company
The best recruiters will stand out because they know the company they work with, the hiring manger’s story and so on. If they don’t know specifics, ask them to find out. Companies can be very vague with us recruiters and provide us with very little information (remember they can use 3 or 4 agencies for any 1 job, therefore are very busy). The better questions you ask the more recruiters will know so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you are a candidate who has the relevant experience for the role I would always recommend working with a recruiter. Agencies can have longstanding relationships with clients and access to jobs that are “unpublished” which means you may not ever see them on the open market. This, on top of the other points, would be the main reasons I suggest working with a recruiter.