“I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
We hear this sentiment a lot from the clients and candidates we work with because there is a lot of information (and misinformation) out there about the experience of working with a recruiter. The hiring process can be very stressful for both job-seekers and employers, and the right recruiter can help make the process efficient and painless for all parties -- but there are a few important things that you should know as you choose how and when to engage a recruiter. Here are some of the most common myths about recruiters, and the truth about what clients and candidates should expect.
Myth #1: Recruiters Are All the Same
The Truth: Recruiters (and the companies they represent) vary as widely as professionals in any industry. From geographic region to industry sector, everyone’s area of expertise is different. Some recruiters work as independent consultants, while others represent multimillion-dollar international firms. Every recruiter has a different personality, different networking techniques, and different opinions on the best ways to serve their clientele. So to make sure you have a successful experience with a recruiter, you need to start by doing some research and finding the right recruiter for you -- someone with strong communication skills, a commitment to service and integrity, and a proven track record of successful placements within your industry and desired market.
Myth #2: Recruiters Are All About the Sale
The Truth: Recruiting is not just about making sales -- it’s about building relationships. Great recruiters don’t want to force a placement. They want to facilitate rewarding, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial matches between clients who need exceptional talent and candidates who want to grow their careers and add value to companies. Successful partnerships between recruiters and the clients and candidates who work with them can last decades, because a good recruiter builds meaningful relationships that far outlast short-term hiring needs or career moves.
Myth #3: Recruiters Can Hand You a Same-Day Perfect Fit
The Truth: Recruiters don’t have a drawer full of ready-to-move candidates from which they can instantly pluck a perfect fit for a candidate, or a spreadsheet of career opportunities from which candidates can pick and choose. What they do have is a network of strong relationships among the industry’s top talent and leading companies. But it takes time to find the perfect match between a client and a candidate. When a client has a need at their company, the recruiter has to reach out to promising candidates they know who have the right experience and personalities to be a great fit. But the perfect candidate might be halfway through a project that they want to finish, or their son may have just won the starting quarterback position at their high school, making relocation difficult. On the other hand, candidates who contact a recruiter need to understand that while they may be ready to make a move as quickly as possible, the recruiter’s clients may not have openings that suit the candidate’s long-term career goals at that time.
Recruiters are in the relationship-building and career-building business; they do not want to simply shuffle candidates around from job to job. The best way to ensure a successful and rewarding working relationship with a recruiter is to do your research, plan ahead, and be patient. The perfect fit will be well worth the wait.