Thursday, 26 July 2012

Why So Down on Recruiters?

Recruiters it seems are getting a bad rap.  I can't read an HR/employment blog anymore without coming across at least one negative remark about recruiters.  I don't know where this is coming from.

Sure, like in any industry, there are good and bad recruiters.  So let me break down what it is that a recruiter actually does.

First of all, it needs to be said, that a Recruiter is not there to find you a job.  There, I said it.  Whew!  That feels better.  This is a huge misconception and I think the source of all of the negativity about Recruiters.

A Recruiter, whether corporate or agency, exists to fill vacant positions.  They get paid to source and screen candidates.  They are not paid by the candidates, this would be illegal - at least in Canada.  If you do not have the skills required for the position(s) that they are looking to fill, you will not be getting a call.  It's as plain as that.

A good recruiter is someone who builds strong networks that they then turn to when sourcing.  A good recruiter does not simply throw resumes at a position in the hopes that one candidate will fit the bill.  A good recruiter find her candidates via referral and direct sourcing.  If a recruiter is doing her job properly, it may only take one or two candidates to fill a role.

I know that it can be upsetting to invest an hour of your time speaking or meeting with a recruiter and not get a job.  But you know what?  That's life.  Currently in the USA there are 4 - 6 qualified candidates (not applicants) for each available position.  The odds are not in your favour.  In Calgary (where I live) we are in a labour crunch, but you know what?  Employers are not going to hire you just to fill a seat if you don't meet their needs.

When you meet with a recruiter, use the time to your advantage.  Treat it as good experience.  You should take that time to ask the recruiter for advice on how to improve your job search.  Ultimately it is  you and your skills and abilities, that will get you a job.  A recruiter may be able to get you in the door, but can't get you a job!

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