11 Reasons to Use a Recruiter in Your Job Search & Common Misconceptions

Demystifying common misconceptions about working with a recruiter. If you are a job seeker trying to decide whether or not to work with a recruiter, here are some reasons to supercharge your job search. We will also address several misconceptions about working with a recruiter, search firm, or other staffing agency.

1. Recruiters Want to Get You Hired

People are hesitant to work with recruiters, usually because they’ve had a bad experience with one in the past. We’ve heard so many failed recruiting experiences where candidates didn’t get an offer or got negative feedback. Or worse yet, they were ghosted by a recruiter! Job seekers should keep in mind that the staffing industry has gone through a lot of changes in recent years; recruitment agencies and search firms become more industry focused, offering candidates expertise on hiring within a specific field, and sharing the same objective of long-term placement.

The pandemic economy caused businesses to shift gears and recruiting and staffing needs were easily outsourced. That means that working with a recruiter is like working with an extension of the company’s Human Resources department, except you aren’t locked in to just one company, you have many options available and only one point of contact. Third-party recruiters only get paid when they place a candidate successfully, meaning that they want to find people jobs. Not only that, but they want to find the right person for the right job. Maintaining client happiness requires good placements, saving time and money in the hiring process and relieving pressure for the employer.

2. Staffing Agencies are Free for Candidates

A common misconception is that recruiters are paid out of a candidates first-year salary, but that is not true. Staffing solutions do not impact a candidate’s salary in any way, so let’s delve a bit deeper into how a recruiters’ fee works. Most third-party recruiters are compensated on a contingency basis, so they are only paid when they fill a position, and their fee is a percentage of the position’s salary. It does not come out of your pay; it is an additional expense paid for by the firm for the recruiter’s expertise and services. It may seem like a lot, but firms who use a recruitment agency or search firm may not have a dedicated recruitment department and are actually outsourcing those services rather than keeping recruiters on staff all the time. They only pay when they need to hire.

3. Recruiters Offer Unique & Exclusive Opportunities

Not every employer advertises their jobs on public job boards and websites. Firms that already have a contract set up with a search firm, will reach out to their contact first and have them start a personalized search. This adds a level of discretion for firms who are seeking to fill high-level positions.

Job descriptions can be vague but collaborating with a recruiter gives you insight into exactly what skills the firm is looking for. There may also be un-posted details and key qualifications for a role you may not have considered for yourself. A recruiter can give you a new take on your experience and point you in a direction you didn’t think you could go.

4. Recruiters Advance the Process to Get You Feedback

Getting timely feedback means getting an offer sooner. Recruiters do the leg work of expediting feedback for you and getting you set up for the next interview. Scheduling can be difficult when you are searching on your own, but it is the recruiter’s job to follow up with hiring managers about moving you through the process. This is a win-win for candidates and recruiters because if an opportunity doesn’t work out, you know right away and can move on to different prospects.

5. Resume Assistance & Editing

Job seekers are advised to tailor their resume for each individual job listing. Using the same adjectives and terminology shows employers that you have all the necessary qualifications they’re looking for. Working with a recruiter can give you insider knowledge about what hiring managers want to see on your resume. Recruiters will help you make edits and highlight your skills and experience to best express your qualifications.

6. Confidentiality & Discretion

One of the biggest misconceptions about working with a recruiter is that they will immediately blast out your resume to hiring managers and firms without your consent. In this instance, choosing your recruiter wisely becomes extremely important. Do research on the search firm or staffing agency beforehand and make sure they uphold high standards of ethics and professionalism. In the legal industry, look for members of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC) which requires member organizations to abide by a code of ethics, establishing credibility. A good recruiter understands the sensitive nature of making a career move in the legal field and will approach each individual search with discretion, providing candidates the security they need to achieve their professional goals.

7. Industry Expertise

Some recruiters don’t know the technical elements of the job they’re hiring for. Finding a recruiter specific to your industry ensures that you are working with people who understand the nuances of workplace culture and industry standards. At Valiant Search, our recruiters have experience working with high level firm partners and specialize in the permanent placement of legal professionals and attorneys. Our recruiters are well-versed in legal terminology and understand the inner workings of firm culture.

8. Recruiters Have to Put Company Interests First

Despite the fact that recruiters are contracted by the employer, they are striving to build good, working relationships with their clients. Making the candidates’ interests a priority ensures a successful placement. Successful placements mean happy clients and repeat business. The staffing industry is rooted in human resources, and helping people in finding better, more fulfilling opportunities is our focus.

Some candidates don’t trust recruiters to follow through and actually submit them or they think they will get quicker feedback by cutting out the intermediary. Recruiters already have connections to the firm and have built rapport by sharing a vested interest. Reaching out to the employer directly is going over their head. Trust your recruiter to see you through the process.

9. Working with a Recruiter Leads to Miscommunication

Firms and candidates alike fear miscommunication and confusion when working with a recruiter. While having a middle person communicating between two parties can lead to details being lost in translation, there are ways to actively avoid this. Setting clear expectations and being open about specific requirements for your job search are a great start. If you are looking for great benefits, or have specific needs, communicate this to your recruiter. It is a simple email for them to ask the firm and save you time and energy if your needs will not be met. When a candidate gets to a second-round interview only to find out that the firm doesn’t offer some benefit or other, it leaves all parties feeling like they missed the mark. Clear communication and openness can help avoid unexpected pain points from surfacing deep in the hiring process.

10. Recruiters Can’t Tell You Everything

A recruiter should be able to share the name of the firm they want to present you to. It is a red flag if they cannot share any information with you. A good recruiter will share details about the firm and position to prepare you for your interview and put you in the best position to succeed.

11. Your Email Will be Flooded with Junk

Not all staffing agencies are alike. Some temporary staffing agencies or general, non-specific hiring firms may continue sending you job opportunities and promotional emails, long after you’ve stopped working with them. It is important to know what makes using a search firm different. Search firms are often hiring for permanent placement. They are looking for someone who fits a specific set of key qualifications and seeks to grow their career. While you may receive follow up communication regarding long-term job searches or opportunities, you are unlikely to receive an influx of promotional emails.


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