I was speaking with a member of my staff the other day regarding a search assignment project we were working on, and as we were speaking I had told them that we (our firm) continue to battle the various stereotypes that surround our profession. The fact is that every profession has stereotypes; some not so flattering. But the professional recruiting profession seems to have more than our fair share. I find it frustrating that there are recruiters out there who still practice with limited knowledge of those they serve, and practice the “resume dumping” technique. Then you have the job posting chasers. And the ones who operate under the practice of throwing the job out on a job board and just referring on to the client company anyone who responds verse actually “recruiting.” Although that kind of stuff really does happen, there are certainly very reputable and knowledgeable recruiters. So this goes out to all the great professional recruiters that share the love and passion for helping out individuals reach their career goals, helping families get closer together, and helping individuals better their financial position. And also to those professional recruiters who enjoy an excellent partnership with their clients because they are knowledgeable and truly care about sourcing and securing the best talent for their clients.
Here is a list of common recruiting myths from a candidate perspective as well as hiring manager/employer perspective, and the truth about those myths!
MYTH: You should only work with one recruiter at a time.
You can work with multiple recruiters (2-3) at a time. Recruiters often have a relationship with many companies but certainly not all companies in an industry. So working with a few recruiters simultaneously can help you be exposed to multiple opportunities. However be certain you tell your recruiters who else you are working with and what companies they are submitting you to.
MYTH: A recruiter will find me a job.
Working with a recruiter is just one piece to a job search. Just one tool in the job search tool box. (along with networking, direct contact with employers, and other methods).
MYTH: Recruiters can help me make a career change.
Recruiters are often working from very specific search assignments where the employing company’s criteria is well-defined. Therefore, they are looking to find candidates with those specific qualifications, not someone with an interest in the field. The better your credentials meet the search assignment specifications, the more likely you will be considered as a candidate, and the more likely you will be successfully placed in the role. If you want to make a career change, working with a recruiter isn’t likely to be an effective strategy.
MYTH: It doesn't matter which recruiter I contact, they all do basically the same thing.
Some recruiters are generalists, but most are specialized. Specialization may be by industry, role, professional area of focus, region or location, experience level, or other factors. It’s important to understand what a recruiter specializes in, and whether that’s a good fit for you and what you’re looking for. One of the largest factors is whether they work with the clients or types of clients you’re interested in.
MYTH: If I’m interested in a company I should apply online or give my resume to a friend first. If that doesn't work, then I’ll try a recruiter.
If your resume has already been submitted to a company, then the process has likely already moved beyond the point where a recruiter can get involved on your behalf. If you’re working with a recruiter that has that company as a client, contact them first. Or figure out what recruiters that company uses and get in touch with them. The recruiter can help you evaluate whether the position is indeed a good fit for you, and present you to the client to get primary consideration. If that position is not a good fit, they might know of other roles the client is looking to fill that would be better suited to your needs and experience.
MYTH: The recruiter doesn't need to know what I've applied for, or all the details of my background and career.
A recruiter can be a strong advocate in helping you gain consideration for a position you’re interested in, but they are only as good as the information you share with them. If a recruiter contacts you about a position that you’ve already applied for, let them know right away. Details of the situation matter…how long has it been? What job did you apply for? Did you have an interview? Nobody likes surprises--if the recruiter knows what’s important to you. If you keep them in the dark, you’re not helping them help you.
MYTH: You make less money when you are placed by a recruiter.
Not true. Companies who seek the assistance of a professional agency pay the agency based on a pre-negotiated contract. Those fees are completely aside from the candidate compensation. No fees will be taken out of your base pay or annual compensation to pay the agency. If a company were to reduce your salary to cover part of the recruiter fee, that is not a good company to work for anyway.
MYTH: I can recruit myself.
You certainly can recruit candidates yourself, but have you ever wondered why even companies with large HR departments still work with recruiting agencies? It takes a lot of time and effort to recruit effectively. Improve your efforts and get more quality candidates quicker. Recruiting takes two things companies don’t have in excess: A lot of time and specialized skills to dedicate toward just one vacancy. Even if you have an amazing recruitment team and/or HR department, they can’t dedicate the equivalency of a full-time job to filling each vacancy that comes up. A recruitment agency, on the other hand, can.
MYTH: Recruiters don’t specialize in my industry.
Actually, you probably can find a recruiting agency in your industry. A niche recruitment agency is always your best choice. So be certain you partner with an agency that understands your business and industry.
MYTH: Recruiters take a huge commission.
Obviously recruiters get paid for what they do, and if you want the best recruiting agency on your side, that’s going to cost you. Break down the cost-benefit analysis, and ask yourself what the best workers are really worth. In the long run, those commissions aren't as costly as you think. Time taken out for background checks and interviews all add up quickly. In the grand scheme of things, it can cost several thousand dollars to hire a new employee, so the fee paid to a professional recruiter is actually pretty comparable.
MYTH: Recruiters don’t work.
A recruiter isn't a magician, and if you don’t treat the relationship as a partnership then even the best agency in the world isn't going to be able to fill your opening. There is no pixie dust. There is no magic wand.
Scot Dickerson, CPC
President Capstone Search
President Capstone Search