Why to Use a Recruiter, and How to Get the Most out of Them

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In my prior life as a consumer insights professional, I viewed recruiters/headhunters as part of my network of professional colleagues. I was always happy to take their calls to hear about jobs being offered. Since I’ve transitioned into a recruitment role, however, I’ve been exposed to a multitude of research professionals who have a more limited perspective on their relationships with recruiters.

While times have changed and employees have more responsibility than ever before, it is important to build a relationship with a trusted recruiter, whether you are in the market or not. No position is 100% guaranteed safe anymore and it’s in your best interest to keep your options open.


Why You Should Use a Recruiter

  • Keep you informed on the job market
  • Know your value for title, salary and, most importantly, responsibility
  • Have a pulse on industry trends
  • Keep you active.  According to the Indeed Talent Attraction Study of 2018 employers feel that active candidates are more driven.

Best Ways to Build a Good Relationship with a Recruiter


  • Be Open – The recruiter wants just a few minutes of your time to get to know you. Going back and forth on LinkedIn is not the most productive way to accomplish that mission.
  • Be Honest – about relationship parameters. If you’re not currently open to considering other positions, let the recruiter know when they should re-contact you.
  • Be Upfront – about your true qualifications. If a position requires pharmaceutical experience and you’ve managed one project, please do not embellish your credentials.
  • Be Realistic – Tell the recruiter what type of position would get you to ‘make a move.’
  • Be Specific – Let your recruiter know what you will and will not accept so that there are no surprises. Let them know what your deal breakers are upfront. For example, don’t interview for a job that requires you to relocate in the hope that the client will love you so much that they will offer you remote work. If you won’t take one penny less than $2 million, let him know that, too.

Rely on our Expertise

  • Please do not send a resume riddled with typos, they get discarded early in the process. Do a quick spellcheck prior to forwarding.
  • Recruiters have seen a multitude of resumes and can provide constructive criticism. Please don’t be offended if we offer improvements, we want you to put your best foot forward.
  • I’m not sure who the crazy person is who told people that you must have a one page resume, but if you have many years of experience you can go to two pages.

Listen and Negotiate

  • If the quoted salary range is between $80,000 and $100,000, remember that this is a range. A salary offer can be anywhere in this range based on your specific experience. Don’t be disheartened if the offer is in the low range of the scale, keep in mind there is significant room for financial growth.
  • Let your recruiter help you. Tell them what you are thinking and feeling about a job and a situation. They will negotiate for you. They know their client better than you do and can help you understand what’s possible and what isn’t.


  • 5 out of 10 of the last candidates that we placed, were not actively looking for a new job
  • 3 out of 10 were friends that you referred

The recruiter candidate relationship should be a win-win for both parties. If you are in the market, Smith Hanley Associates would like to create that relationship with you.  Contact Market Research and Consumer Insights Recruiter, Lindsey Bartlett, at lbartlett@smithhanley.com.

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