The Top 4 Things You Should Know About Working with a Recruiter

I’ve worked as a recruiter for almost two decades. My job involves helping people and often sharing good news.

I enjoy telling candidates the company they just interviewed with loved them, or they have advanced to the next round, and of course, when an offer is heading their way!

But, being unable to share everything that’s going on behind the scenes is one of the hardest parts of my job.

Here’s what I can tell you.

1. We Want You to Get the Job

recruiterMost staffing agencies pay recruiters based on commission. The recruiter earns a percentage of your salary when you’re hired. Your new employer paid to find & hire you, hoping it will pay off (i.e., You will be a good fit and the company will benefit from your hire).

Typically, this works in your favor. Commissions generally range from 20-25% of your salary, so it benefits them to get you a great offer.

Don’t get the job, they don’t get paid so, if there aren’t any other positions available for you to fill, you may experience the recruiter’s attempt to encourage you to take a lower offer than you were expecting.

Always discuss your expectations and let the recruiter know what you have in mind for an acceptable salary range. And if at any time you feel you are being influenced to take a role you feel isn’t right for you, say so. Never let anyone pressure you into taking a job you don’t want.

2. Company Interests Come First

When looking for a job, you may see yourself as the “client,” and recruiters won’t correct you. But, the companies that hire them to find you foot the bills (and pay them). So,resume changes while helping you is the most rewarding part of our day, it is literally our job to present qualified candidates.

It may seem cruel but it can work in your favor because recruiters may coach you to be more appealing to hiring managers. So, take advantage of their recommendations! For example, if they suggest a change to your resume, it’s due to the fact that they think it will get you more interviews.

3. We Can’t Tell You Everything

Sometimes, we can’t share with you that we were asked to search for things other than professional qualifications. Maybe the department is mostly men, and they would prefer to hire two women.

So, there are often multiple factors that influence hiring decisions. Don’t assume it’s you if you’re told a company isn’t interested. Several things could have happened behind the scenes that have nothing to do with you.

It can’t hurt to ask the recruiter if there is any feedback they can share from the interview. If the changing your resume is brought up again, it’s a pretty clear indication that it had to do with your application; however, if they mention that there isn’t anything you should be doing differently, it’s a safe to say the circumstances didn’t involve you.

4. We Don’t Always Know Your Job

Recruiters learn to use the right language for your field. But technical jobs could mean the recruiter doesn’t really know what you can expect each day.

The more the recruiter understands your industry, the more likely they can land you a position that’s a great fit. So, engage with them and ask questions to understand where they are coming from. You should know how long the recruiter has been recruiting in tech. It should be clear why they think you are a good fit for the position. Make sure you know some of the biggest technical challenges of the role and the group’s culture.

The best recruiters know the history of each company they work with, the hiring manager’s history, etc. Trust your gut against the recruiter’s answers.

A good recruiter understands a candidate’s background, career goals, and motivations. Working with a recruiter can be a great way to advance your career. Keep networking and building your brand but don’t leave this resource untapped.