7 Things Recruiters Won’t Tell You

seeking a new job

Recruiters might be the ticket to your dream job. They’re well-connected, always trying to fill multiple positions, and they know the “ins” of the industries and top companies you aspire towards. If you’re lucky enough, they may even have a position that you are a fit for. There is no downside to better understanding the nature of their work.

Here are 7 things recruiters will never tell you, but that you should know:

You could probably negotiate

In a lot of cases, a recruiter could have gone higher, had the candidate only negotiated.

Many candidates will not be bold enough to do this, but it is generally welcomed and a healthy part of an effective hiring process. Typically, a recruiter would get a salary range for each position and it’s unlikely that their initial offer would be at the top of that range. Do your research, get an idea of what you’re worth on the market, and don’t be afraid to name your price.

At the end of the day, the recruiter wants to make the placement. This means they will support you in getting what you want if that’s what it takes to fill the position.

They only skim resumes

You spend hours adding keywords, triple checking for spelling errors, then importing to Photoshop for finishing touches. But that doesn’t mean the recruiter will spend any more than the usual few seconds skimming your carefully-crafted, perfectly formatted CV.

The reality is, there are more resumes to read than they have time for and the majority are usually not a good fit anyway. So unless your qualifications perfectly match the job descriptions, don’t expect a recruiter to spend more than a minute scrutinizing your profile.

 They can only influence—not decide

In most cases, the hiring manager (or their boss) calls the shots. The recruiter is simply there to discuss and offer their professional opinion on the candidates.

If you can, find out who else is important in the hiring process. Build relationships with those people and know who to direct your thank-yous and follow-up questions to. There is always more than one person to impress.

 But they still have A LOT of insider info

So don’t be so quick to dismiss them. They know who the hiring managers are, what they’re like, and what they’re looking for. It should still be a top priority to dazzle the recruiter and establish a strong connection with them. After all, they were hired to make that placement.

 You may be the Plan B

Already on your third follow-up email? If a recruiter or hiring manager seems to be dragging their feet or delaying in giving you a final decision, chances are there is another candidate in the pipeline.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Take it as a challenge to convince the recruiter of your fit for the role.  If you are really interested in the position, it wouldn’t hurt to express your enthusiasm. This alone would put you ahead of an equally qualified candidate.

Another possibility could be a delay on the employer’s side. They may put things off, cancel a position, or even ghost their recruiter. It happens. If you have been interviewed and haven’t been given the red light, the best thing to do is to ask the recruiter for an update. They will usually give an honest answer if this is the case.

Remember to maintain an upbeat and positive tone in all follow-ups.

 They don’t work for you

It often comes as a surprise to job-seekers that we work for the companies, not the candidates.

While it is the recruiter’s job to place someone, it doesn’t necessarily have to be you. Needless to say, it is on you to do your due diligence, conduct your own research, and find sources that may be less biased (eg. Glassdoor). Look out for your own interest, as the recruiters are human and are being paid to fill the position.

 Don’t expect feedback

Recruiters are generally not interested in critiquing rejected candidates. Whether that’s due to a lack of interest in telling you that jeans won’t cut it or a fear of negative reaction to honest feedback, it is often more trouble than it’s worth.

On the other hand, if you receive feedback from a recruiter, take it as a compliment. It means they really like you and think you have great potential.

If you do wish to ask for feedback, the key is to ask a specific question such as “What is the main reason I wasn’t considered as a finalist?” Questions like these are easier to respond to and take the guesswork out of open-ended questions.

Recruiters can be the best thing to ever happen to your career. If you are actively job-hunting, know that they are only one part of your career search. They can only help if they have positions that fit you – so don’t rely on them too much!

If you do end up working with one, do your part by researching ahead of time, giving the recruiter as much as possible to work with, and building strong relationships with the key players. In doing so, you will both be better positioned to find success.

This guest post was authored by Henry Goldbeck

Henry E. Goldbeck is a certified personnel consultant (CPC) with more than 30 years of recruiting experience. He is the President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc., which is one of the leading recruitment firms in Western Canada. He founded the company more than 18 years ago and has since grown the company into a well-known global recruitment agency.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.