Tips For Working With Recruiters


After working as an external recruiter or ‘agency recruiter’ for several years, I realized that many job seekers are not familiar with what agency recruiters do and how to maximize their job search potential by utilizing a search firm. As opposed to an internal recruiter that works on positions that are determined by the need of one company, an agency recruiter works on roles from multiple companies.

Staffing firms come in all shapes and sizes. When you are looking for a firm to work with, think about what type of firm makes the most sense for your particular search. Not all firms are created equal, some are global or national, and others work within a regional market. Some firms handle all types of jobs; however there is a growing trend towards specialty or boutique firms that cater to certain groups of professionals, such as nursing, engineering, or financial services.

If you are taking on a national search, you would likely want to reach out to a large firm with national or global reach. However, you must understand that you will be in a highly competitive talent pool and that recruiters in these firms are dealing with thousands of individuals, so don’t expect too much personal attention. You may also want to look into regional firms that specialize in your career field. Often these firms have excellent local relationships with the companies within their practice area and can offer a more personalized experience, give advice on company culture, and other nuances that may not be readily known by the national firms.

A recruiter can help you land a job. From helping you identify opportunities that fit, to providing you with insight on the company, research and interview advice to help you present at your very best on your interview. I like to think that recruiters are in a long term relationship with the candidates we place. If we help you find a great opportunity this time, we hope you will come back and work with us on your next search as well.

Here are some things you may not know about the recruiting process to help you make the best of your experience working with an agency recruiter:

Communication is Key:

Communication is the key to success in any relationship, whether business or personal; and since the relationship with a recruiter can often be a little of both, it’s important to keep the communication lines open. If you are not comfortable with the process of interviewing, the job description, the company, or the salary, let your recruiter know. A good recruiter will help you prepare for interviews, find opportunities that meet your requirements and never attempt to ‘force’ anything on you. By being open in communication, you not only look out for yourself, you also help the recruiter manage relationships with their clients. If you receive a job offer and accept outside of the agency, it is courteous to call or email the recruiter and let them know so they are no longer presenting you to their clients.

Don’t apply on your own:

When a recruiter reaches out to you and makes you aware of a job opportunity, this has come from a lot of time invested by the recruiter, as well as others within their agency. From establishing relationships with clients and hiring managers, to searching for the right individual, they have eventually been lead to you. After all of this, the last thing you want to do is apply on your own. This could be likened to an individual representing themselves in court when they have an attorney working for them. Most candidates are not aware of how the agency recruitment relationship works. By applying directly through the company after talking with the recruiter about the position, you most likely unknowingly bypass the recruiter; who worked for the company relationship, searched for you; the perfect candidate for the job, and brought to your attention the opportunity with this company. Many recruiters work on commission and a large portion of their income is based on performance, bypassing their hard work and applying directly is known to be in poor form within the industry. Besides, you want the relationship to be working for you and not placing your resume in ‘the stack’ of applicants, leaving the companies ATS system to determine who the best candidates are.

Be Patient During the Process:

Recruiters do not govern the company’s timeline for hiring decisions. Though we are all excited when an interview takes place, many large companies have their own timelines on making a hire. It is often out of the recruiter’s hands on how long or short the process is. I have had experiences where candidates receive an offer in the interview, over the phone on the way home from the interview, a day, three days and sometimes a month or more after the interview. Patience can be a virtue, even when that new opportunity is sitting right around the corner. Your recruiter understands the client and knows how the client processes flow, they also have spent time building relationships with various teams at the company, so the bast way to get understand the process is to consult with them about their experience with the client.

Using an agency recruiter as part of your job search is an excellent way to have great opportunities that line up with your interests brought to your attention. Many working professionals are so busy with their professional responsibilities that it is nearly impossible to perform a proper job search in today’s competitive environment. By choosing the right firm and right recruiter to work with and understanding the value they add and how to maximize this value, you will be able to balance both your current responsibilities and find your next career move.

Matthew is an AVP with Staffing By Choice, a Human Capital Solutions firm headquartered in Miami, FL. When midsized companies are in need of the best accounting and finance staffing services, they look to Staffing By Choice. When seeking out interim financial management, our consulting practice, CPA By Choice, is an excellent choice.

Feel free to connect with Matthew on LinkedIn and share your experiences with external recruitment or anything else related to Human Capital, Accounting or Finance.

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