Many professionals think that working with a recruiter is a simple process: You’re looking for a new job, so you reach out to a recruiter, who then connects you with opportunities and helps you make a career move. In some cases, that can be how it works. But the truth is, having a relationship with a recruiter can be so much more valuable and helpful than that.
There’s a difference between working with a recruiting vendor and a true recruiting partner. When many people think of recruiters, they think of a vendor relationship – the recruiter collects a paycheck by connecting a professional with an open position. So what differentiates a true recruiting partner from a vendor?
A Recruiting Partner...
Gets to know you over the long term.
A recruiting partner isn’t a short-term contact; they take a Career-Directed Approach™️ to recruiting, focusing on your long-term career growth rather than prioritizing short-term job opportunities. Sometimes, recruiters build relationships with candidates over months or years before an appropriate career opportunity presents itself. The key is, when those perfect opportunities do come up, a recruiting partner has known you, has followed your career, and has listened to your long-term goals and priorities, so you can feel confident that when they bring you an opportunity, it’s something you should seriously consider. With a vendor, an open position might sound great – but without really knowing you and what you want and need from a career move, that recruiter can’t know for sure if it’s a great choice for you.
Offers more than just job-search assistance.
Having a strong partner relationship with a recruiter has a lot of benefits to employees, including perks that have nothing to do with a job search. You might be perfectly happy and confident in your career path – and a recruiting partner is going to have plenty of ways to support you in your current role. For example, they might be able to offer market salary data to assist you in negotiating for a raise. In other cases, having a recruiter in your back pocket can help the people in your network – if a position becomes available, the recruiter may ask you for referrals, or you might have someone you want to assist in finding a new role so you refer them to the recruiter. Through your recruiting partner, you can support the career development of your friends and coworkers. Whether or not you ever decide to look for a new job, a recruiting partner is a great resource – and if you do decide to explore your options at some point, you’ll have someone you know you can trust, who knows exactly how to help you.
Has your best interests at heart.
When it comes down to it, a recruitment vendor is trying to make a sale. That doesn’t mean that they won’t also be trying to help you, but their top priority is going to be filling a position. A true recruiting partner’s top priority is building long-term relationships, so they will always put your needs and interests first. If a great position opens up but isn’t in your ideal location or would be a challenge for you with your family obligations, a recruiting vendor might encourage you to consider it – but a recruiting partner is going to ask you to consider all your options and understand whether that a career move is really the right decision for you right now. Even if the answer is no, a recruiting partner will support your decision and continue to find ways to help you grow along your career path with timing and decisions that are best for you.
Ultimately, all recruiters earn their living by helping candidates get hired. But while a recruiting vendor might be happy to put their energy into short-term connections and successes, a recruiting partner’s top priority is always going to be building long-term relationships. And that means putting the candidate’s needs and desires first, and only making candidate-client connections when the fit is truly in everyone’s best interest.