Job Recruiter: Can Help You?

Today’s beleaguered job seekers, quite understandably, are exploring virtually every avenue to gaining any kind of advantage over the competition, i.e., other job seekers. They attend job/career fairs, visit the Internet job boards, etc. And, of course, they also consider “headhunters” (recruiters) as a possible source of assistance in finding a new job or career. Unfortunately, none of these approaches works very well in today’s job market, including seeking assistance finding a job from a recruiter. Let me explain why that is true.

Most of us “headhunters” work a very well-defined “niche” market and we can–and do!–therefore only provide assistance to well-qualified applicants in our area of market specialty.

The “niche” for job recruiters, for example, is the chemical industry. That means, of course, if you are an accountant or a programmer, etc., then we will not be able to represent you. Moreover, just because a recruiting firm is located in your geographical area doesn’t mean that the firm necessarily considers the geographical area its “territory.”

Just so you will have an even better understanding of what’s actually involved in working with a recruiter, let me put it in even further perspective for you.


When a company hires a person through the services of a recruiter, it pays that recruiting firm anywhere from 25% – 33% of the successful candidate’s first year base salary. As an example, if we place an engineer at a base salary of $80,000, then we earn a fee between $20,000 – $25,000.

So here is an important point–recruiters work for the company, not the job seeker. Weekly I receive phone calls and emails from job seekers along these lines: “I have done some research and I have identified your firm as a firm that I would like to work with in finding my next job.” What these professionals actually are asking for are the services of an outplacement firm and that is NOT what recruiters do.

Here is another important point–In today’s economic environment, companies will seldom hire an unemployed person from a recruiter. Understandably perhaps, this often tends to upset job seekers when they learn this truth. That does NOT mean, however, that you can’t find a position. Rather, what it DOES mean is that you must find it on your own. Why? Let me elaborate a bit.

Companies today only pay recruiters $20,000 to $30,000 to bring them “currently employed people with a proven track record of success in the field of interest.” This comes straight from Human Resource professionals. They feel that if you are unemployed, you should have reached out to them yourself, not through a recruiter. Also, in the current market, they want someone who can “hit the ground running.” So, if you have to be trained to be brought “up to speed,” they will hire you and train you but they aren’t going to hire you, train you and also pay a recruiter $25,000! So, no, if you are a great salesperson for clothing, I can’t place you into the chemical industry. I don’t care how good your transferable skills are, I simply can’t place you, and neither, incidentally, can any other recruiter. You, yourself, will have to sell the company on your “transferable” skills.

One more very important consideration–most companies are NOT going to pay a recruiter to bring them someone they consider a “job hopper,” either. (Generally defined as a person who has had a different job every two to three years.) Again, that does NOT mean you won’t get hired. It simply means that, if you do get hired, it most likely will not be through a recruiter.

None of what I have said here, however, is meant to upset you. Rather, I am providing you this information about what’s really involved in working with a recruiter, so you don’t waste valuable job-hunting time using methods that won’t be effective!

Bottom line, then, is that relying upon a recruiter to help the majority of today’s job seekers is actually not a very realistic approach at all.


Remember this: there really are only TWO reasons companies will hire you–you can make ‘em money or save ‘em money, or ideally, do both! That means that, among other things, you have to craft approaches, e.g., telephone calls, emails, etc., that clearly present a “value proposition” to prospective employers. That means you have to forget telling a company what you want from a job and instead tell them, specifically and in unmitigated terms, what you can do for them, not the other way ’round! That means you are going to have to do things differently from the vast majority of the other job seekers who are your competitors.

THE THREE MOST EFFECTIVE methods for finding your next job opportunity are these:

• Networking
• Direct Mail
• Phone Calls

THE THREE LEAST EFFECTIVE methods for finding a job today are these:

• Job Boards (Internet)
• Job/Career Fairs
• Recruiters

That means you have got to put a laser-like focus on these THREE MOST EFFECTIVE Channels to Market if you want to be the successful candidate for a position! By all means employ certain elements of the other three channels to market, but do so sparingly and within reason. In other words, stop relying upon the LEAST EFFECTIVE channels exclusively, or even very heavily. That’s the ONLY way you are going to be among the job WINNERS for the foreseeable future.

Related posts:

  1. Self Recruiter® Series for Workforce Developement
  2. How to Get a Good Job : How to Use a Recruiter to Get a Job

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