Working With a Recruiter

The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Indianapolis Star, November 2006.

It’s the job of the recruiter, who is hired by the company, to weed out candidates, search for outstanding potential employees and narrow them down based on a profile from the company. The recruiter then hands over a best-of-the-best list to the client.

If you never have worked with a recruiter, it can be intimidating. But if the job you seek is connected to a search firm, you want to know your stuff. Here are five tips that will help you deal with recruiters:

Research the search firm
There are generally two types of search firms: Retained and Contingency. Retained search firms are hired and paid by a company to identify and recruit employees with a specific skill set. A contingency firm is paid only when a company hires a candidate it found. Both accomplish the same result.

Pretend the recruiter is the employer
When you are dealing with the search firm, act no differently than you would if your dream company were calling.

Respect the search
In hiring a search firm, a company has basically outsourced the search. It is not usually a good strategy for the candidate to call the company directly.

Know the expectations
Each recruiter is different, and a candidate must find out how the process is going to work at the beginning.

Don’t take advantage of recruiters
If you are going to put your name in with a search firm, you should be serious about changing jobs.