The job search can be stressful and tiresome. It can feel like endless applying, all to have crickets blowing up your phone at the end of the day. This begs the question, are recruiters the way to go? Maybe a recruiter will help land my next position. Then on the other hand, do I need a recruiter? Should I stick to job boards?
Like many things in the world, there are always arguments to both sides. We decided to dig into both why you should work with a recruiter and why you should apply to company websites and job boards yourself. It can be easy to categorize this topic as an “either or” situation, but we’d like to challenge that idea. Doing both can maximize your success in landing your dream job.
Recruiters Get to Know You
Good recruiters spend their time getting to know you. They seek out your career goals and what interests you. Placing a candidate in a position that they are unhappy in, often results in a lot of frustration on both your end and the client’s end. The ultimate goal is to find you a job that satisfies both parties involved.
“Getting to know you” calls may seem like a waste of time, especially when you’re not interviewing for a specific position. However, this is an excellent opportunity to network and express your career aspirations. Even if these goals are far fetched, a recruiter can help you build a path towards your dreams.
For example, you’ve worked in the digital marketing space for about 3 years. Since a child, you’ve dreamed of becoming a marketing director for a non-profit agency. Mentioning this to a recruiter will not necessarily get you that marketing director role any time soon. What a recruiter can do for you is help set you on the right path. Maybe working in a small agency is not going to set you up for future success. A recruiter can point you in the right direction.
Recruiters take the time to get to know you for who you are. Unlike formal interviews with most companies, recruiters are just as interested in getting to know you as they are placing you in a role. This means when the right opportunity presents itself, they’ll know who to reach out to.
Recruiters Can Save You Time
After the initial “getting to know you” call, you’ve now been entered into the recruiter’s database. Be sure to keep in touch with your recruiter. Sending a monthly email with updates, career changes and goals will help keep you at the top of the recruiter’s mind.
When a new position comes in and the recruiter has gotten the chance to fully understand the ins-and-outs of the role, it is time to reach out to their pipeline. If the position sounds like an opportunity you’d thrive in, the recruiter will reach out. There may be an additional interview to nail down the specifics of the role and how it relates to your experience, but at this point the recruiter has a good understanding of your interests, personality and cultural fit.
After this short interview, the recruiter may decide to pass you along to the hiring manager. Good recruiters send over candidates with high-level points as to why you would be a great fit for the organization. If the client decides to move forward with your application, the recruiter will prepare you for an interview. Using the knowledge they know about the client and what they know about you, they will help set you up for success.
Recruiters Give You Access to New Opportunities
If you are passively looking to change jobs, you may not be searching on job boards daily. With so many companies hiring and so many opportunities coming and going, it helps to have someone looking out for you.
Recruiters can expose you to a wide variety of positions you may never have considered. They can also get your foot in the door of companies that may alter your career path. Recruiters have connections within these companies and are happy to introduce you to the right people. At the end of the day, we are professional matchmakers. The goal of recruiting is to make the candidate and client happy.
Carrying on with the previous example, you have your mind set on becoming a marketing director for a non-profit agency. A marketing manager position opens up at a well-known non-profit in your town. You’re not actively looking at LinkedIn or Indeed so you’re unaware of this opportunity. It just so happens that they are looking for an individual with 3-5 years of agency experience. They also want a candidate with x, y and z experience. You’re a shoe-in for the position so the recruiter reaches out to you.
It is nearly impossible to keep an eye out for all the opportunities coming and going out there. Having someone you trust on the lookout never hurts. Who knows, it could change your life in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
No One Knows You Like You Do
On the other hand, you should be applying to companies yourself. No one knows you quite like you do. Recruiters make a great supplement to your job search, but only you know exactly where you want to work and what you want to do.
Unfortunately, recruiters do not have connections with every company in every industry. We would like to say that we have superhuman powers like that (and maybe one day we will), but for the time being that is not reality. Recruiters understand that candidates apply for positions elsewhere, and we recommend that you do. Remember, we also want what’s best for you.
If you find yourself working with a trusted recruiter, they can often make introductions for you. Maybe the recruiter placed someone at the company you’re interested in in the past. They can reach out and maybe get your foot in the door. All to say, no one knows you like you do. Apply to what you’re interested in and find a career that’s best for you. Don’t worry; we will still keep our eyes open for you.
Take Control of Your Career Path
Recruiters can and will help. In fact, we want to help. We love what we do. We have years of experience and connections to support you. But, it is your job to take control of your career path (or job search). Know what companies or types of organizations you are most interested in. Know what roles or types of roles you are most interested in. Set goals and track your progress.
As recruiters, we only know what you have shared with us. So it is your job to take control. Know who you are networking with, where you have applied and where you have shared your resume. This can also make a difference in how a recruiter can support you. For example, if you have already applied directly to a role a recruiter is working on, they are unable to represent you for that role since the company already has your resume.
Applying directly to companies and using job boards is highly recommended. We want nothing more than to see you happy and help where we can. It is your future we are talking about.
There is success in working with a recruiter while doing some heavy lifting yourself. Recruiters can offer up new experiences that are highly customized to your unique skill set and even open doors to new, unheard of opportunities. While these are great things to have, you also need to do what’s right for you.
You know what you’re looking for and where you want to be. The reality is, things change (and that’s okay). When you apply to open positions and complete interviews, you are also building out your own network. You never know when that connection may pop up again in the future.
Remember, recruiters are on your side. We want what’s best for you and want to help in any way we can. But think of how much we can accomplish when we work together. If you have any questions about what a recruiter can do for you or you’d like to get to know one another, schedule a consultation with us today. We look forward to hearing from you.