There seems to be a large, growing population that views the profession of third party recruiting as a useless industry. They find recruiters to be greedy, selfish and caring more about the commission checks they cash than the people they place. Used car salesmen are starting to get better reputations.
As a seasoned recruiter I take offense to this. It pains me to hear people talk so poorly about a profession I have worked so hard at and take so seriously.
At the same time, as a seasoned recruiter, I’ve seen enough to know these people deserve to look down on the recruiting industry. They are well within their rights to put a recruiter down and diminish the profession. Unfortunately there are recruiters out there that are proving them right. If you have a LinkedIn account, a few hundred bucks to get set up on CareerBuilder and a working phone line you can call yourself a recruiter. There is no degree to get into the field. And for most agencies there really aren’t any specific qualifications to be hired either, which means anytime you receive a call from a recruiter you are either about to work with someone who can change your life, or waste 5 minutes of your time.
It’s that latter part that causes such ill feelings about the profession. Dealing with someone who doesn’t value your time or more importantly, your career, can cause these negative opinions, and I don’t blame candidates for feeling this way.
I want to highlight 5 points to ensure that when you do get that call, you will know if they are worth working with or not:
1) Do they understand what is important to you?What I am about to say here is no surprise: recruiters are compensated by their clients, and, as such, the loyalty lies where the money stream flows.
The bad recruiter only sees this and their process is pretty simple. They will get you on the phone, determine if you are a fit and move on.
The good recruiter sees the bigger picture. They will make sure that they are gathering the information that is important to your career, and if it matches the open job, then great, we are one step closer to a placement. If not, that’s OK too.
Knowing what is important to the candidate will help the recruiter determine what future positions make sense to approach you about. Bad recruiters will sacrifice the long term relationship for immediate results.
2) How much do they know about the job?Give me 10 minutes with the most entry level recruiter and I can get them to take a half decent job order from a hiring manager. Believe me, it’s not difficult.
"But what do they really know about the job?"Of all things, this is probably the top complaint from candidates. However, candidates must be realistic. Some information is just hard to get as a recruiter because a client does not want to give too much to a third party.
But a good recruiter will dive deeper – they should understand why the position is open, how many people are on the team, how long their client has been in business and what personality traits are important to the hiring manager among many other things.
If a recruiter is just reading off of a job description and hasn’t done their homework, look out.
3) Knowledge of your skill sets:Another popular complaint from candidates is recruiters not understanding their industry. This is an easy thing to be angry about because you take pride in what you do – to have some person you never met try and tell you if those skills that took you years to acquire match a few bullet points on a piece of paper can feel intrusive and offensive. Recruiters aren’t Web Developers, CNC Machinists or Executive Assistants, they are recruiters, and their job isn’t to pretend to be something they aren’t.
However, a good recruiter should do some research on what they are hiring for – they should be able to talk to you with some level of understanding what it takes to get the job done for the position they call you about and they should be comfortable enough to be honest about not having the same knowledge of your industry as you do.
Points 4,5, and the complete "TheUnderCoverRecruiter" article