5 Recruiter Secrets You Should Know

Shaun Enders

We want to help everyone we meet but we can’t

Recruiting as a profession is extremely rewarding. It’s certainly competitive but nothing compares to receiving honest feedback from a candidate you helped to change the trajectory of their professional career.

Recruiting agencies consistently balance meeting candidates for a current requisition they are working on and meeting candidates they strongly believe will have a job opening for in the near future.

Of course, we can’t place everyone we meet into their next position, but we most certainly want to. In the end, it’s extremely valuable to invest some time with a good recruiter because if they don’t place you, you should still be able to learn about the market place, understand your current value and gain some new interviewing techniques.

We can help candidates understand the culture of the company you are interviewing with, to a point…

Over a span of close to two decades, there have been times where I have gotten it wrong. I didn’t match the right person to the right job. Or, I missed how this person would fit culturally. At Transition Staffing Group, we make it a point to visit every client we work with, but this doesn’t ensure we are always able to grasp the culture…or future culture.

I remember a Controller I placed nine years ago (yes, it still bothers me), who really wanted a balance in her work/life. She didn’t mind long month-end hours, but she didn’t want long day to day hours. I understood and when she had lunch with the CFO for her final interview, I encouraged her to be honest and ask about expectations of overtime.

Well, two months after she accepted the offer, the company landed several large projects and overtime became a necessity. She was upset but understood I couldn’t have known.

Moral of the story, good recruiters will do their best to match you both technically and culturally, but it doesn’t always go as planned. There are often uncontrollable aspects and we do our best to plan for these changes.

Companies pay our fees and to some extent, dictate the type of background(s) we submit

This one can draw a lot of controversy because of how recruiters are compensated for their efforts. Truth be told, we have two clients and because we are paid for our services and it’s illegal to charge our candidates for their job search, the company hiring us pays for the services.

Our job is to take a black and white job description and create grey. We do this because most of the time, the ideal candidate for a job doesn’t always match exactly to the job description. We ask “what if” scenarios and work at broadening the definition of a “perfect” candidate for their opening.

In the end, the company hiring us has the final say. Even if we personally feel you are the perfect fit for a job, we may not be able to present your resume or line up an interview.

We don’t get rich placing you

I believe sometimes there is this misnomer that recruiters just want to close the deal and collect their commission. Let’s face it, we all go to work for a paycheck and yes, financially we benefit when we find you a great job. How we make most of our money though, is from repeat customers. Companies we have built trust with, which can take years to establish.

Believe me when I say, any quality, career-oriented recruiter is playing long ball, so they are looking beyond the immediate placement. They are considering how this placement reflects on their reputation.

We don’t have the final say on whether a company hires you but if things don’t work out in the first six months after accepting the position, our reputation is tarnished. We both want/need you to succeed.

Pulling together is always more efficient

If we feel this is a collaborative effort, we will always feel compelled to go the extra mile. I had a candidate tell me this week that he was putting his faith in me and would work hard to help me succeed for him. That statement was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

Let your recruiter know that you realize this is a team effort and don’t hesitate to follow-up, share your desires, fears, concerns or ask for guidance. Recruiters love knowing you are serious about your job search and being a partner through it all. Talk about interview strategies and ask questions. Together, you’ll  go a long way.

About the Author

Shaun Enders is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Transition Staffing Group located in San Diego. Shaun is extremely passionate about recruiting and developing others to bring out the best version of themselves. Please follow us on Linkedin!