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Agency Recruiters: Friend or Foe

Posted on 21/09/2016 by


I recently made the transition from a Direct Technical Recruiter from a major telecom/technology company to a 3rd Party, Technical Recruiter for an exciting start-up, technology staffing firm. My entire career life has been spent on-site, working as an internal recruiter for medium to large sized companies, now I stepped over to the dark side ( Darth Vader breathing), the agency recruiter. Agency recruiters have a bad rap, so what’s the advantage of working with an agency recruiter? For one, agency recruiters have the inside track of what clients (the hiring company) are really looking for. How many times have you applied directly to a job and have not gotten a response? Maybe because it got lost in the Applicant Tracking black hole, or out of the 5 million resumes that came in, your’s didn’t stand out, or worse the “recruiter”, sometimes an admin, with little or no experience on selecting resumes couldn’t match your skill set to the qualifications (you’d be surprised how often this happens).  Perhaps you did get the interview, you met with the team, it seemed to have gone great, but you have no clue, and here you are 2 weeks later with no feedback or response to your e-mails or voicemails. Probably because you didn’t get the job, they’re in offer stages with someone else, the position got put on hold, or there was no real urgency to fill the position right away. Fantastic, you needed the job last month!

So here’s where the agency recruiter comes in. One, they have direct relationships with the hiring team, they know exactly what they want and what they don’t want, so their search is tailored to those requirements. If recruiters reach out to you, there’s a pretty good chance of getting an interview, if not, they will tell you right away to not waste yours or their time. Feedback? Nice, right? Second, agency recruiters (the good ones) can help you prepare for an interview instead of going in blind, trying to speak to a generic job description where the hiring manager doesn’t care about how great your coding skills are but how you can solve problems creatively. It’s nice to be able to highlight your achievements, experience and qualifications according to that hiring manager, because every hiring manager is different. Agency recruiters can also help you with salary negotiations to ensure it’s something you’re happy with because at the end of the day, the more you make, the more recruiters make, so you know that they’re on your side. Finally, if you interviewed terribly or were beaten out slightly by another candidate, agency recruiters let you know, you get feedback, and tips for your next interview. Furthermore, agency recruiters work with a variety of clients, so if one doesn’t work out, they may have another one they can submit you to. Agency recruiters can also market you to existing or potential clients to get you in the door with the same services as mentioned before, and the best part is that it is free to you, the candidate.

So next time an agency recruiter reaches out, take some time to hear what they have to say, it may be the best decision you’ve ever made.