Recruiters - What Do They Do?

By: Donalyn Leskosek Spisak


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What does a recruiter do? We see ads in the newspapers from recruiters advertising every imaginable type of job. The Internet is packed full of positions listed there by employment firms, recruiters and companies with names of individuals with an inc. on the end. Exactly what do these people do?

A recruiter is an individual hired to locate individuals with a very narrow list of qualifications. Companies pay recruiters wages. Companies have the option to hire recruiters in one of two ways--by paying them a certain amount up front to cover expenses and then the remainder when the position has been filled. Some of these types of arrangements cover a time span of up to one year to find the perfect person for a particular position. This is called a retained search. If you're working with a recruiter, you may ask them if the position you applied for is under a retained search or a contingency search.

The contingency search means the recruiter or recruiting firm has been solicited to locate an individual with a set number of specific criteria but will pay only if they hire a candidate sent by the recruiter for this position. Most recruiting firms work under a contingency basis. Knowing how this works-basically straight commission-you must then understand a recruiter needs to stick within strict confines of a description of an individual sought by a company in order to keep that company satisfied. The person hired also usually has to stay a certain number of days or months before the recruiter receives payment for his/her work. A recruiter may place a person into a position and never get paid if that person leaves before the guarantee period has elapsed. This places recruiters into a bad situation as they have probably paid fees for advertising, spent many hours pouring over resumes for the person with the perfect background, met with these individuals, scheduled and rescheduled interviews to find the perfect candidate has been offered another position with someone else who is paying more money than the company they represent is paying. That recruiter/recruitment firm will make nothing under these circumstances.

To make matters even more complicated, a recruiter may not be the only recruiter solicited to find an individual. A company utilizing the contingency basis for hiring and paying recruiters may have agreements with two or many recruiters for the same positions. This is a very stressful position to be in. A good recruiter will have a constant number of candidates coming through their offices and will also be working a steady flow of similar types of positions to keep monies coming in regularly. If a recruiter works only one or two jobs at a time, they could very well starve.

Recruiters make a lot of money if they're successful. They're not normally trainers. They seek individuals with a certain set of skills for a certain position. If you don't have that set of skills, your resume will be placed away until such a position becomes available. Why would anyone want to use a recruiter if it's so difficult? Recruiters know about positions before they're advertised. They have strong relationships with companies and are told about positions that never appear in any newspaper. You may visit a recruiter and not hear from them for a few weeks and then one day receive a phone call asking if you're interested in a new position. You may be the perfect fit for this position. Recruiters form alliances with other recruiters and network constantly with each other. They can do splits with each other when a position comes across their desks if they don't have a person who fits the description perfectly. Half a fee is better than 100% of a fee not received.

Recruiters are not trainers. They won't tell you how to change your resume to accommodate a particular position. We all have items left out of our resumes because we applied for a particular position that didn't require that skill set. Remember; take resumes for each type of position you qualify for when you get the opportunity to meet with a recruiter. Don't make them guess whether you qualify. Make more than one resume if you are interested in more than one type of position.

A recruiter doesn't have the luxury of spending hours with each candidate. They must get candidates in and out in order to get the right number of qualified candidates to satisfy a customer. When a recruiter doesn't send enough resumes to a company, they may go elsewhere for more resumes and the recruiter once again may be working for nothing. Don't take it personally when a recruiter doesn't call you immediately to interview when you send your resume. They're allowed to send x numbers of resumes for each position. The candidates have to have exactly the credentials listed and the recruiter normally doesn't stray from the formula in order to keep the hiring company happy.

The most important part of a recruiter's success is the ability to bring in a constant source of viable candidates. Even though the company who hired them pays a recruiter, they can't get paid without candidates to fill the positions. Use recruiters, they will help you if there is any way they can make you fit the criteria given for any position they're seeking to fill. A good recruiter will help you to change your resume to include information not there before which may be crucial to the position being filled.

Don't apply with every recruiter you see or hear of. If a company has hired more than one recruiter and they receive your resume from numerous recruiters, they may decide you're too desperate and pass on meeting you rather than have a fight between recruiters as to who gets paid their fee for placing you.

What does a recruiter do? A good recruiter will find you and make money helping you find your perfect position. They can only do this if they know you exist.


Donalyn Leskosek Spisak-Resume & Portfolio Writing Expert; Pharmaceutical Sales & Sales Management Recruiter; author of "How to Write Your Professional Portfolio", "Keeping Track of Interviews" & "Job Searching-What you Need to Know", Owner of http://www.recruitshop.com & http://www.pharmaceuticalsalesprep.com, trainer and motivational speaker. Phone: 724.831-0549..








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