Job recruiters of all types can be very helpful to potential job applicants who are looking to move to the next level of their careers. BUT! Several factors should be kept in mind if you (as a job applicant) want to work with a recruiter.

“Whether they call themselves executive recruiters, headhunters, or executive search consultants, they’re the people who help companies fill open positions by finding the best candidate for the job. That means plenty of time spent prospecting for companies, searching for candidates, and staying glued to LinkedIn. We spoke to a few executive recruiters to learn their secrets—from how much they get paid to why they sometimes have a reputation for being less than polite.”


  1. “They work for the company, not the job seeker.”
  2. “They can earn big bucks for placing one candidate.”
  3. “They spend a lot of time with Excel. Recruiters will make and update lists of potential companies, job openings, and candidates Even if a company passes on one of their candidates, recruiters keep the names and contact information of good candidates in their spreadsheets for future opportunities.”
  4. “The word they hear most often is ‘no.’ On the candidate side, you are selling yourself as someone worthwhile to speak to—to open up and share intimate information about career dreams, compensation, and personal/family goals.”
  5. “They’re addicted to LinkedIn. Executive recruiters lurk in LinkedIn every day.”
  6. “Dealing with dejected or dishonest job seekers drains their energy.”
  7. “The burnout rate is high.”
  8. [Some] companies use them as a last resort.
  9. They’re spin doctors. Most recruiters are honest, respectful, and professional. But some  may be brusque when making cold calls or dealing with a candidate who isn’t a good match for an open job.”
  10. “They’re less competitive (with each other) than you might think.”
  11. “They accept the reality that the best candidate doesn’t always get the job. A mediocre candidate may beat out an outstanding candidate.”
  12. They love solving problems for their clients, working with people, and matching a job seeker to a company.”


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Photo by iStock.
Photo by iStock.


2 Replies to “Are You Thinking of Using a Job Recruiter?”

  1. As a job seeker, using a recruiter to find the next opportunity may seem like a good idea. However, I am extremely reluctant to use this method for the very reasons mentioned above. Recruiters place individual candidates into roles as the proverbial piece that should fit into the company puzzle. As a potential employee, I am looking for a perfect fit as well. Will recruiters be able to deliver what I need? That is not their primary objective, so I may end up with a job that matches my skill-set, but not with a career that I am excited about.

    Ultimately, the recruiter should be looking for a good match from both perspectives in order to build credibility within the human resources industry. A company will be grateful to acquire a successful candidate and the employee will be thankful that the recruiter found a position that inspires them. This scenario may only happen in instances where there is no commission for the recruiter, or where bonuses are not paid until the candidate meets certain benchmarks within the new company.

    The bottom line is that every company is different, every recruiter is different, and every candidate is different. With that in mind, I most likely will not use a recruiter to find a new position for me. I have been successful finding new companies on my own, and I feel more committed to them because I sought out these employers myself. I am sure there are good recruiters out there, but I do not want to be chosen for an interview because the company could not find me on its own. If I am not the perfect fit for the open position, let me explain why I should still be considered, not a recruiter who is trying to make a commission by gambling with my career.

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