Originally published on http://www.exponentialprograms.com/
Businesses looking to fill their highest paying roles often use job recruiters or search consultants to seek out the best prospective employees. [i] From a candidate’s point of view, recruiters are a great source for finding jobs that aren’t posted on the Internet (or anywhere else). Recruiters are an idea job search option for 20-something college graduates looking for their first job to top professionals looking for the next rung on the career ladder.
Experts say that around 80 percent of jobs are never even advertised.[ii] Often working with a company’s top personnel executives, recruiters hear about the best jobs before anybody else. The recruiter’s job is to seek out and pre-interview top-quality talent and put that talent in contact with the employer.
Many recruiters work only in specific industries. This is beneficial to job seekers because they will get to the source (businesses) much more efficiently than if they did it on their own.
Recruiters are often contracted by a business’s human resource department to help the company fill specific roles and positions. Sometimes, recruiters are hired to help fill a position that is supposed to be kept secret from the general population as well as current staff. Businesses see recruitment services as more cost effective than the “do it yourself” alternative to advertising and interviewing on their own.
Most recruiters have accumulated a candidate pool that can be tapped into quickly and easily, often adding qualified candidates to a short list without advertising. This improves the quality of the short list candidates and is one of the primary value-add propositions for an employer to use a recruiter.
Why Use A Recruiter?
Modern job seekers could use social networks to find work, but a recent “Employee Insights Survey”, conducted by Robert Walters, found that out of 500 Australian white collar job seekers, 68 percent use recruiters “as the medium they most commonly use for finding a new job”. [iii] Further, of Australian members of the business social network Linked In, only 11 percent used the site to search for new employment opportunities and also surprisingly, only 20 percent preferred direct online contact with potential employers. [iv]
Working with a recruiter doesn’t just save the employer time, it also saves job seekers valuable time and effort. The recruiter uses his or her time and resources to find jobs for their target audience of candidates. This means you need to focus on recruiters who specialize in your field, profession or industry. There is no point getting up close and personal with a specialist recruiter in the engineering and construction industry if you’re a dentist or an accountant (and vice versa).
A recruiter is especially valuable if you’re currently employed but want to change jobs. Discretion and confidentiality are important when you don’t want to openly publicise your intentions online.
Most of the time, a recruiter’s fee is paid for by the potential employer. That means it’s free for you. Of course you need to keep this in mind remembering that a search consultant works for money and will be focused on where that is coming from. A common metaphor used to explain this relationship is that the demand and payment comes from an employer, but you as the candidate are like inventory. Without candidates to place, a recruiter has nothing to “sell”. Therein lies the delicate balance to be played by an experienced recruiter – building a great candidate pool for a group of prospective employers.
Some recruiters may help you negotiate the terms of your contract, once you’re offered the position. An experienced recruiter can use his/her substantial knowledge of the job market to help you discuss the terms and conditions of your new employment. It’s been reported that recruiters can help new hires receive 15 to 20 percent higher salaries and benefits.[v] That being said, it’s imperative that you remain aware of the recruiter’s relationship with the employer. He/she is being paid to fill a position but the complexity is that he/she wants you to be offered as much as possible since his/her fee is almost always dependent on the first year’s compensation. To make things even more complicated, the employer obviously wants the best candidate at the lowest cost.
A quality recruiter will inform you of specific information that can help you present yourself as distinctively as possible from others who are interviewing for the same job. This helps you and the employer make the best decision based on your key features and characteristics. Recruiters have unique information that can help you put your best foot forward; such as the interviewer’s personality, the specific qualities they are looking for and in some cases will reveal where other candidates or previous employees have failed to impress.
The average HR personnel specialist can receive up to 500 email replies to an online job posting. If he/she uses a recruiter, only 2-5 percent (10- 25) of the applicants will be contacted for the role. [vi]That’s why registering with a recruitment firm greatly enhances your chances of getting on that all import “short list”.
One of the biggest advantages of using a recruiter is that the potential employer and the applicants are both serious about the job. You know the employer is sincerely seeking to fill a position because they’ve hired a recruiter and the employer knows you’ve contacted the recruiter with genuine interest in finding a job.
The average person hunts for a job about 6 times over the course of their career. Experienced recruiters make hundreds of job placements during their career.[vii] They know what to do because they are involved in the process day in, day out. They will have suggestions and recommendations about what your resume should look like, what to say during an interview and how you should present yourself. Listen to them – take notes and prepare accordingly.
An established recruiter in a well respected recruitment firm gives you an edge over your competition, an edge that often lasts long after they’ve helped you with your first job placement. Your relationship with your recruiter can mature into a lifelong professional association that can help you with future job searches. There are many stories of recruiters finding obscure jobs for candidates that otherwise would never have been within their scope or reach. That’s why making friends with your industry’s top recruiters in a valuable investment in your career.
Nurture your relationship with recruiters – it’s an investment that can pay off over a lifetime.