Recruiters are a fantastic resource for job-seekers…they spend much of their time developing and maintaining relationships with hiring managers…meaning they often know about requirements before the internal HR people do, and can use their credibility with that manager to get candidates they represent interviewed for jobs.
Every professional should work on building relationships with recruiters in their area of specialisation. But don’t be naive…recruiters work for you only as long it is in their best interests. You should go into the relationship understanding exactly what is motivating your recruiter.
The first thing to understand is how recruiters are remunerated. Most recruiters are extrinsically motivated..by $$. A candidate who interviews to work at a recruitment firm, and says they want to be a recruiter because they “want to help people”, will be laughed out of the room.
Most recruiters are payed a large commission on top of a relatively small base salary, so their results really make a difference to their take-home pay. Some firms pay bonuses based on group performance, and others on individual performance. In some firms the recruitment fee is split between the person who found the candidate, and the person who deals with the client. Some recruitment firms will work mostly on “retained” assignments, where the client pays a portion of the fee up-front…others work on a 100% success fee basis. Sometimes one recruitment firms works exclusively on a role , other times multiple recruitment firms work on one role.
The relationship with the client, and the way they are remunerated, will impact how the recruiter behaves during the screening, interviewing and offer processes.
Ask the recruiter what their relationship with the client is, and how they get paid…this will help you understand how they are motivated…and how you can use them, to help you.
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