Dispelling common stereotypes when working with a recruiter

Posted on September 30, 2022

By Dana Lamanna

Is this your first time working with a recruiter? Do you have questions about the process? Working with a head hunter/recruiter has many benefits over applying for the job directly. More often than not, when connecting with a candidate for the first time, they are unfamiliar with the process, don’t know what to expect, or have incorrect assumptions about how the process works.

Here’s a ”Cole’s Notes” summary of the typical process when working with a recruiter:

  • Step 1: Connect with a recruiter. They will either reach out to you directly or you can contact them.

  • Step 2: You will have an initial conversation with the recruiter so you can get to know each other. A recruiter will need to understand your goals, background, and motivations in your career search.

  • Step 3: The recruiter will evaluate your fit with any current positions they are recruiting for. If there isn’t a current match, the recruiter will put you on their radar and circle back when a suitable opportunity arises.

  • Step 4: When there is a suitable opportunity, the recruiter will reach out to discuss the details with you, assess the fit, and see if it aligns with what you are looking for. The recruiter will always ask permission before submitting your application. A good recruiter will always keep your search confidential!

  • Step 5: The recruiter will be the middle person between the candidate and the hiring company in all correspondence and contract negotiations. They will provide you with honest feedback and insight into where you stand.

  • Step 6: Stay in touch with the recruiter throughout the process and after in case your job situation ever changes. Working with a recruiter can be a great resource in your search!

Now that you have the short version of the process, let me dispel some common stereotypes that you may have heard about working with a recruiter.

Recruiters only hire for temporary jobs

This is FALSE. While some agencies specialize in hiring temporary or contract workers, there are permanent placement search firms like MacDonald Search Group (MSG) that solely hire for permanent and full-time positions.

I can’t work with a recruiter if I’m currently employed

This is FALSE. If you are currently employed, the recruiter will be very mindful and respectful of you by operating with a high level of confidentiality. Your recruiter will keep your search confidential and only release your information to interested parties with your permission.

There’s no benefit to working with a recruiter so I will just apply directly

This is FALSE. Sometimes, you can submit your job application directly to an employer. However, if they are using a recruitment firm like MSG, it’s more beneficial to you to go through the recruiter. This is because the recruiter will likely have insider knowledge about exactly what the employer is looking for, salary details, the interview process, etc. This will help you prioritize sharing the right information about yourself that best meets the employers’ needs, boosting your chances of being shortlisted or being offered the position.

Candidates are charged a fee to work with a recruiter

This is FALSE. As a candidate, there is NO charge for you to work with us. Recruiters are paid a fee by the company that hires you.

Working with a recruiter is a long process

This is FALSE but can be the case sometimes. A good recruiter will be your advocate in your job search, no matter how long it takes they will do their best to work around your schedule. Make sure to be responsive and maintain an open and honest dialogue with your recruiter regarding your time frame to get a job offer. They are always working on your behalf.

I should treat my recruiter like an employer

This is FALSE. While your recruiter expects an appropriate level of professionalism, conversations and “interviews” with your recruiter are generally more casual. We don’t want to hear your rehearsed responses to common interview questions. When we talk to candidates, we want to get to know the real you so we can make the best matches possible.

In short, you can get the most out of working with a recruiter when you are 100% open and honest with them. The more they know about you, the better they can be your advocate and trusted ally in your job search.

Do you still have questions? Contact me or one of my associates at MacDonald Search Group and we’d be happy to meet you.