5 Things Job Seekers Must Know About Recruiters

Updated: October 05, 2010

Here are 5 things job seekers must know about recruiters.

  1. A recruiter is not a headhunter. Real headhunters do not work for job seekers, they work for their clients so don't waste your time trying to hook up with headhunters and don't be offended if a headhunter doesn't return your unsolicited email or cold call. They are not intentionally being rude; they are just very busy seeking out exactly the right person to meet their client's requirement.
  2. Recruiters operate differently; theirs is more of a matchmaking role. They need both jobs to fill and people to fill jobs with; in the perfect world in equal number. Knowing how they operate is key to getting recruiters to work for you.
  3. Recruiters are salespeople. They sell to employers to convince them that they can help them fill jobs quickly. In some circumstances, they sell to job seekers to convince them that they are their best route to their next job and they sell candidates to employers. Good recruiters, like good sales people, qualify hard and work out how and where they are most likely to make their next sale. To get a recruiter to really work for you, you need to convince them that you represent their next sale.
  4. Not all jobs recruiters advertise are real. Some recruiters prefer to get great candidates and market them to employers rather than get a job vacancy to fill from an employer and then try and find a match. Good recruiters will do a mixture of both. If a recruiter runs out of what they call MPCs (Most Placeable Candidates) they will sometimes run a spoof job advertisement for an attractive job to tease out more candidates.
  5. Recruiters only make a fee if you get the job, rather than a candidate from another recruiter. They will often go the extra mile when you get down to interview stage to try and give you the edge. However, if you decide for whatever reason the job is not for you; don't expect the recruiter to have a sympathetic ear. You are just about to cost them a fee and most recruiters will do almost anything to avoid losing a fee, even if that means convincing you to take a job that you don't really want!
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