Unlocking the Secret about Recruiters: Recruiters Do Not Work with Job Seekers

Unlocking the Secret about Recruiters: Recruiters Do Not Work with Job Seekers

Have you been considering sending your resume to one or more recruiters, whom you believe will help find you a job? Recruiters are exceptional professionals who know their markets well. They know how to research a company, identify its needs, and present several candidates whom they believe have the right assets and approach to fulfill a company’s expectations–and then to be paid by the company doing the hiring. You, as the executive job seeker, do not hire the recruiter to work for you, and you do not pay the recruiter. Thus, your needs, wants, and expectations do not play strongly into the way a recruiter does his or her work until you are a powerfully viable candidate. Read on to learn more about the ways recruiters can help executive job seekers like yourself succeed–and the many ways they are not invested in any one job seeker, until the company offers the position to the candidate.

Recruiters Are Paid by the Company Seeking to Hire

Recruiters receive their fees from companies when they agree to hire a candidate. This means that they do not work for you, the job seeker, and they have no obligation to help any single individual who is considering a job change. Rather, recruiters are more likely to follow the money and attempt to position candidates whom they believe have a strong likelihood of being hired, which then translates into their earning a fee for placement faster. That means, according to Lisa Rangel, former recruiter and current managing director of Chameleon Resumes, that candidates need to demonstrate that they can uniquely fulfill a hiring executive’s needs. And this is the rub if your skills and assets are marketable but, frankly, fairly common.

Unique versus “Fabulously Average”

Rangel goes on to differentiate between the working candidates who have scarce, unique skills –and those who do not. Translation: The best candidates are at the top of their game, currently working, and have a skill set that is uncommon in the marketplace. These candidates are more difficult to find, and they certainly are not throwing their resume around to every company and every recruiter in the industry. If they are looking for a new role at all, they are doing so discreetly and privately. These candidates are extremely valuable to companies; hence, they are extremely valuable to recruiters, who could receive fees for placing candidates in roles with highly specialized requirements.

As an executive job seeker, your key to working with recruiters successfully is to realize who pays them and how they benefit from placing unique and unusual candidates.

As an executive job seeker, your key to working with recruiters successfully is to fully understand who pays them and how they benefit from placing unique and unusual candidates in specialized roles.

The rest of the candidate pool fall into what Rangel calls “fabulously average.” She maintains that there is no shame in being fabulously average, but it does mean that candidates who have fairly common skills are not likely to be the candidates whom companies are willing to pay fees to hire. In terms of simple economics, the supply of these types of individuals meets or exceeds the demand, driving the price (the recruiter’s fee) downward, perhaps asymptotic to zero.

You Can Win Either Way

Whether your skill set is entirely unique or the work you do is more common, you can take advantage of this knowledge about the way recruiters think and work.

First, know that a smart recruiter will find you if your skills are sufficiently out of the ordinary, and they need to fill a company position requiring someone just like you. So if you are approached out of the blue by a recruiter who knows of a role to be filled, absolutely take him or her up on the opportunity to learn more about the position.

On the other hand, if you are considering simply giving your resume to recruiters in hopes that they will find you a job, stop right there. Recruiters are not likely to take the time or energy to position candidates for roles for which there are hundreds of viable candidates–companies simply will not pay the fee for talent they could easily scoop up on their own. Moreover, remember, if a company initially rejects your candidacy because you presented via a recruiter, whose fee would be owed several months beyond the initial introduction if the company hired you, the company might not have the privilege of hiring you without the attendant fee for quite some time. Therefore, you must take control of your own job search and not assume that a recruiter will do your heavy lifting for you. Create a target list of companies you want to investigate and become the first point of contact on your own. When the company sees that your candidacy does not come with a 15% to 30% price tag, they might be willing to look twice at your highly marketable assets.

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