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Working with a recruiter can be a great benefit in your job search, but only if you understand exactly what they do, how, and why. Too many people have the wrong idea and the wrong impression! We’re here to clear the air and clear up five common misconceptions about recruiters:

1. A Recruiter’s Job is to Help People Find Employment

Not exactly. Recruiters actually work for both employers and job hunters. They’re hired by an employer to find the best talent for the position the employer needs to fill. If they’re successful, they’ve helped someone find a new job, but they aren’t paid to help job hunters find positions, or to transition to new fields.

2. All Recruiters Are Paid the Same Way

This is absolutely not true. There are two types of recruiters that help companies fill full-time permanent jobs:

  • Contingency recruiters aren’t paid unless their client company hires a candidate they submit. Competition among contingency firms can be intense, because employers will frequently offer multiple recruiters the opportunity to work on the same job opening and only the recruiter who finds the right person gets paid. However, many contingency recruiters form networks to cooperate with each other, sharing job listings and splitting the resulting commission—much like realtors share commissions for the sale of a home. These alliances allow them to tap into a wider geographic area, often giving them nationwide reach, as well as access to niche talent that they might not possess themselves.
  • Retained search recruiters work exclusively on a specific search for the hiring company, with the understanding that they will provide a higher level of service and more complete candidate vetting than contingency firms typically offer. These firms are most often used for executive-level searches. Fees for retained searches are generally higher than for contingency searches.

3. Recruiters Don’t Care How Much Candidates Get Paid

Generally, recruiters’ fees are based on a percentage of a new hire’s first year base salary—the more a job hunter earns, the more they earn—but they do not come out of the new hire’s compensation. Also, they usually know what the hiring company is willing to pay, so they can often obtain the right candidate a higher salary than what the candidate thought they could get.

4. Recruiters Are Unresponsive

The truth is, recruiters, like anyone else with very limited time, have to prioritize who that they need to speak with, and for how long. They tend to focus their efforts on clients, potential clients and strong potential candidates for their job orders. They simply don’t have the capacity to respond to the hundreds of unsolicited resumes or phone calls that they receive every week.

5. Recruiters Are Only Out to Make a Deal

Nothing could be further from the truth! Recruiters are in a relationship-building business. Successful recruiters only achieve long-term success from building a network of relationships. They stay connected to candidates who help them with their searches, and they cultivate strong relationships with employers so they can enjoy repeat business. The bottom line for a recruiter is that they want to create win-win situations, with satisfied employers and employees.

Would you like to find out for yourself whether working with a recruiter is right for you? Contact the experts at Smith Hanley any time, to see how we can help you find success.


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