Working with a recruiter can be discouraging if you come with unrealistic expectations for you and the recruiter. But, if you learn what to expect when dealing with a recruiter, it will be beneficial to you both!
How do they work?
Coming to a recruiter is a little bit of a double edged sword. First and foremost, recruiters are tasked with filling jobs that have been released to them by clients. Most clients come with a level of expectation on their end and a set of guidelines that they have given to the recruiter. The recruiter does not really have the ability to ‘find’ you, the candidate, a job. What this means is that that the recruiter cannot make you a job that is a perfect match for your skills. Instead, they can only conduct the preliminary interviews to see if you meet the requirements of the jobs that they already have.
What can they do for you?
This, however, does not mean that the recruiter does not work for you as well! On the contrary, the recruiter can do many things to help you in your job search.
Recruiters usually have many connections with companies that may only staff through recruiters instead of job boards or taking applications themselves. This can be a great thing for you if you are using a recruiter because it means that you can be considered for jobs that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to apply for. Not only that but a recruiter, even if they do not have a job for you today, can market you to other companies to help you cast a wider job search net!
What if they don’t call you with frequent updates?
A recruiter sees many resumes and is sorting through them and searching all day long on the jobs that they are currently trying to staff for. While communication is important, a recruiter cannot call every person every day to let them know that they don’t have a job for them. Expecting phone calls constantly from the recruiter is unrealistic.
Instead of waiting for the recruiter to call, monitor the jobs that the recruiter has posted and let them know when you see something you are interested in and qualified for. When you do so, try to consider the listed qualifications, the duration and the salary range on the job. Keep in mind what you told the recruiter your expectations were during the initial interview.
If you previously told them you would accept no less than $15.00 an hour, they are not likely to automatically consider you for a job that pays less, even if it is something you are really interested in. Because of this, make sure to let your recruiter know if your salary expectations change, because what you told them in your initial interview may be disqualifying you from jobs you want to be considered for.
Also, remember that recruiters get new jobs all the time. So, even though you may not have been a match for a job that they had one day, you could be a match for a job that they are working on tomorrow! Chances are, a brief time of silence from your recruiter does not mean that they have forgotten about you or that you are not important to them. Instead, it means they just may not have anything for you at that time.
Recruiters VS. Applying on your own
With these things in mind, you might be asking if you should sign up with a recruiter or if you should just keep applying on your own. The answer is that you should do both! A recruiter is just another resource in your job search. You should never rely solely on a recruiter to do all the work.
Instead, make sure to keep applying to positions on job boards or any other way you would search on your own while letting the recruiter help by marketing you and considering you for the jobs that might come across their desk. This will create a balance that gives you a higher chance of finding a job.
If you consider these things and keep realistic expectations, then you can have success with your recruiter as another resource in your search!