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Dispelling the 7 Most Common Misconceptions About Recruiters

Talent Newsletter - Workign with a Recruiter

Being in the staffing industry for over 30 years, we’ve heard our fair share of misconceptions about working with a recruiter. These misconceptions often keep many job seekers from utilizing our services, so we think it’s high time to dispel some of the most common.

Misconception #1: Salaries tend to be lower as a result of recruiter fees.

Our fees do come out of our clients’ pockets, but this has no impact on your salary. In fact, our fees are often based on a certain percentage of your first-year earnings, so we’re highly motivated to get you the best possible compensation. In other words, our compensation is tied to yours.

Plus, we’re usually made aware of how much a client is willing to spend to secure top talent. If not, we can pull localized salary information on the going rate for the role. Either scenario can go a long way to help in your salary negotiations.  

Misconception #2: Recruiters only care about filling a role.

It’s true that we don’t get paid until we fill a role, but our ultimate goal is to fill that role with the right candidate. “We end up making a real connection with talent,” explains Sandy Nehm, National Recruiter. “We want to find them the right fit, and we’re excited to match the two together.”

We also work on a referral basis. When a new hire doesn’t have the skills to succeed and grow in a role, he/she won’t be happy with the placement — nor will he/she be confident in our ability to judge what position is best suited for his/her particular background. We lost all his/her potential referrals by just “filling” a role.

Plus, doing anything otherwise could greatly damage our relationship with a client. If we connect a company with an ill-fitted hire, its leadership is far less likely to come back to us with additional orders. Not the best way to do business.

Misconception #3: Recruiters have no control in the hiring process.

While we don’t actually do the hiring, we provide input into the hiring decision. That’s why it’s always important to make a good first impression with a recruiter. Many clients use us to screen applicants, and how you conduct yourself actually gives us an idea of your soft skills, like work ethic, communication, professionalism, adaptability, and attitude.

Misconception #4: It’s the recruiter’s job to manage my job search.

Recruiters are resources, not career counselors. That isn’t to say we don’t provide guidance and insights into where to focus your attention in a job search, but its management is up to you.

“It’s important for talent to track where they’re submitting their resumes,” explains Ishaan Morolia, Technical Recruiter. “If you recently submitted a resume, having a recruiter submit another one at that same company for the same position doesn’t improve your chances of getting that job. It can have quite the opposite effect. It’s much better to have your recruiter bring your submission to the attention of the hiring manager.”

Keep track of your job search in a simple spreadsheet, detailing the dates, companies, and roles for your submissions. Then, share this spreadsheet with your recruiter. A resume submitted a month or so back may no longer be active, and your recruiter can resubmit it when another opportunity develops.

Misconception #5: Recruiters don’t have the candidate’s best interest in mind.

Though we’re technically hired by employers, we work with both the client and the talent. It’s important to us that all decisions are in the best interest of the candidate. “We often go out of our way to help, making ourselves available 24/7 for questions and inquiries,” explains Maddie Shea, Technical Recruiter. 

“We always try to keep candidates informed,” adds Shea. “As soon as you finish an interview, you can expect feedback from me. I want you to know what’s going on with the position and how you’re coming off to our clients. In my opinion, the recruiter-candidate relationship works the best when both parties keep things transparent.”

Misconception #6: Recruiters only recruit for temporary positions.

As recruiters, we can place you in either a temporary or a full-time position. The decision is entirely up to you. If you only want to focus on permanent assignments, you’re not alone. That’s the goal for roughly 75 percent of job seekers, estimates Ashley Allen, Senior Recruiter.

But taking a contract position isn’t a bad thing. “It’s one of the easiest ways to get your foot in the door,” notes Allen. “Contractors often end up being hired into a full-time position or extended for another six months to a year. And if you’re a contract employee, you may actually have greater job security. When Target went through layoffs, most of the cuts were made to full-time staff.”

Working as a contractor also provides the rare opportunity to try out a job and beef up a resume without ever having to make a long-term commitment to an employer. 

Misconception #7: Recruiters only recruit for posted positions.

Inevitably, the first avenue we’ll explore is posted positions. It’s the fast track to getting you a job. But being in the business of building relationships, we have a fairly large network, and we’ll expand our search well beyond what’s currently available.

“When I meet with a candidate, five companies almost always come to mind that would be a perfect match for that person,” explains Dynette Majors, Managing Director. “If there isn’t a current posting at these companies, I’ll call them to see what could be on the horizon. I want to be a resource and create a partnership to find the best fit for the candidate. Sometimes, that fit has yet to be posted.”