Job Hunting Questions: When Are Recruiters Good, And When Are They Wasting Your Time?

A Recruiter is a valuable resource for obtaining employment. Find one who understands your goals and qualifications.

Looking for employment is not an easy task. At times landing a job may take weeks. And sometimes it may take months. Multiple methods of landing a job are employed, such as, answering ads, using online job sites and using the services of a professional recruiter.

Professional job recruiters match job seekers with prospective employers. The recruiter, upon placement of a candidate, receives a commission from the employer. Rarely, does a job seeker pay for the services of a recruiter. This was more common decades ago, when a job seeker would agree to pay a certain amount of weeks salary when they landed a position.

Most recruiters are full time employees of temporary and/or permanent employment agencies. The agencies have contracts with employers, to fill their staffing needs. Agencies are usually categorized by industry and only fill positions for companies in that industry. But the positions being filled can be as various as entry-level clerks and CEO's.



When an applicant registers with an agency, they are assigned a recruiter who will assist them with finding employment that is suitable to their education, background and current career goals. A good recruiter will intimately understand your qualifications and career goals. They will also thoroughly understand the philosophy and hiring process of the employers that they contract with. This knowledge will enable them to coach the applicant, as to how to present themselves during the interview process. Knowing what a company's philosophy is before the interview will aid the candidate in landing the position.

A good recruiter will also highlight the applicant's strength's before sending the applicant to meet the employer. An efficient recruiter is able to sway both employer and potential employee towards each other. But the recruiter must be careful not to exaggerate an employee's capabilities. If so, the candidate may be hired for a position that they are not eligible for. Another thing that an unethical recruiter may do may be to try to convince an applicant that they are suitable for a position that is out of their range or goals.

Because recruiters work on a commission and/or quota fulfillment basis, they are sometimes over zealous in sending applicants out for interviews. This is hazardous for both recruiter and applicant. An applicant, who is unqualified for a position, may eventually fail and become terminated. This is a waste of time for the applicant, who could have pursued other employment opportunities. Also if an applicant is pressed into taking a position out of their career goals, they may grow resentful in that position, and quit. Once again, this is a waste of an applicant's time.

Be cautious of recruiters who are eager to send you on interviews for positions, which you have no background in. Some recruiters are ruthless enough to lead you to an unwanted career change. Also be cautious of recruiter who tries to place you in temporary positions, instead of permanent positions. Make sure that your recruiter explains the terms of a temp to perm job thoroughly. Some positions are automatically permanent after a temporary trial period, and some are not. An unethical recruiter will lead you to believe the position will be yours, unconditionally. So, ask a lot of questions, and preferably get a written contract before taking a temporary to permanent position. Recruiters sometimes offer more than job connections.

The larger agencies may offer training in certain software applications. By enhancing and expanding one's skill base, the more jobs an applicant becomes eligible for. Other selling points are interview skills and proper presentation. A skilled recruiter, if necessary, will briefly overview a proper career wardrobe and accessories. The recruiter should also be able to coach the applicant on interviewing skills.

Recruiters are a valuable resource for obtaining employment. But it is a relationship that must be established on trust and honesty. If one does not feel that their recruiter is honest or trustworthy, it is best to seek an alternative recruiter. Find one who understands one's goals and qualifications. The recruiter should not only understand, but should respect one's goals. This will lead to a harmonious job placement for both recruiter and applicant.

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