Top Tips For Working With a 3rd Party Recruiter

Two Business People Chatting

When you’re on the job hunt, there are some typical strategies that might come to mind when trying to find work. Talk to your connections and people in your network to let them know you are looking for employment. Search for and respond to ads for openings in your desired position or field. You may even contact certain companies directly and inquire about possible positions. There is another way that could be a major asset to your job search efforts – working with a recruiter. 10% – 20% of all jobs are obtained through working with recruiters. But what is a recruiter and how can you work with one effectively?

First let’s explain what a recruiter is. Essentially, recruiters are firms hired by a company for the purpose of finding and qualifying new employees for placement in an organization. There are three types of recruiters:

Retained Recruiter

  • These firms usually recruit upper-middle to senior level executives & concentrate on placing professionals with six figure salaries.
  • They are paid most of their fee from the company up front before any candidate is hired or interviewed
  • To be effective with retained recruiters, identify those that are active in your field of expertise. Then send your resume to as many retained firms as possible.
  • A retained recruitment firm will most likely call you only if your background fits the specific set of criteria. For the most part you won’t need to follow up with them.

Contingency Recruiter

  • These recruiters seek a broader range of recruits from lower mid-level to senior level executives & concentrate on placing professional with $75,000 and below. Some may also include positions with salaries of $100,000 and above.
  • Contingency recruiters are paid ‘contingent upon a placement’ or after a candidate has been placed.
  • Identify those firms that are experts in the fields and industries you have targeted. Then call the recruitment firm and obtain a contact name to whom you can describe your background. Then send your resume to that contact person.
  • Shortly thereafter & periodically, you should follow up with the contact at the contingency firm.

Temporary/Contract Recruiter

  • These recruiters operate on either a temporary or temp-to-hire basis.
  • Many companies decide to remain at lower levels of employment and add to their workforces temporarily as they experience increases in their workload.
  • Many temporary or contract recruiters specialize in certain industries or job functions, such as banking, advertising, sales, engineering, administrative, etc… As with retained and contingency recruiters, you will want to research and contact the firms that specialize in the industry related to your background.

Working with a 3rd party recruiter can benefit you as a job seeker in many ways, however keep these points in mind when working with any recruiter:

  • Recruiters are in the business of providing a service to companies. Companies will have a specific need for defined skills.  The recruiter is hired to find an individual to fill those needs. You are not their customer.
  • You will be of interest to a recruiter if you meet the precise needs of the position to be filled.
  • It’s not a good idea to give any contingency firm an exclusive “right” to work on your behalf as you may limit yourself.
  • There is no correct number of agencies to work with. The quality of the relationship you have with your recruiters should guide you in choosing the number you work with.
  • Select the firms you work with carefully. Research directories and networking contacts are good places to start.
  • Consider both telephone calls and online communication when contacting recruitment firms. Many firms now have websites that can collect your information as well as resume submission. Direct contact is a great idea to confirm if there are any immediate assignments within your background.
  • You may want to include a cover letter along with your resume to a recruiting firm. And unlike responding to job ads, you will want to include your salary history, as this will help the recruiter assess the match between your skills and their clients’ needs.

With realistic expectations of what they can and cannot do for your search, the selective use of recruiters can be a major asset to your employment search campaign.