I may be in the minority here, but my experiences with job recruiters range from underwhelming to below mediocre. I now shudder at the thought of leaving my professional future in the hands of someone else. Never Again!
First, I just want to be clear that this post isn’t a slam on recruiters. I’m venting more on the overall vetting process and the aftermath of dealing with a recruiter.
I looked into using a recruiter after my first lay off. I immediately got a callback and was super excited. My big mistake was not asking what the position was for. I was just excited that someone was interested in me. When I sat down face-to-face with this particular recruiter, he was wearing his desperation on his sleeve. He also didn’t do his homework on me. The job he wanted me to interview for was an administrative assistant position at a start-up company, despite my education and work experience clearly highlighted as journalism and marketing. Apparently, it was my volunteer work in high school for the Variety Club that ‘told’ him I would make a great receptionist. For the next 15 minutes, he was selling me on why I should do the interview and how there’s potential for me to move up in the company, especially in marketing. I’m quite certain my ‘Huh’ face offended him because he kept telling me that I would be squandering a great and amazing opportunity.
I politely declined further interviews and walked away. The next email I got from him was reminding me that it would only be fair if I didn’t work with other job recruiters because he was helping me find a job. He also wanted me to keep him posted on jobs/interviews I searched for myself. I never contacted him again.
Since then, other recruiters have passed my revolving door – all with varying competencies. I eventually fell into a pattern: I would be brought in to get vetted, then told that Company X was looking for someone with my skills. The fit would sound great and I would be waiting for an official interview with the company. One week would go by and nothing. I would contact my recruiter and each one would tell me that they ‘forgot’ to tell me that Company X had already filled the position. Asses.
I had another recruiter who wouldn’t tell me the name of the company or even the address until two hours before the interview started. It had something to do with their “confidentiality agreement” just in case I bailed on the interview (I’m still confused to this day). I didn’t bail on the interview, but the boss behaved like a sleazeball and it made me feel unsafe. I was disappointed in myself for not standing up to the recruiter’s crappy tactics and decline the interview.
But don’t let my lacklustre experiences scare you from using recruiters. Here are some reasons that you should use recruiters:
- Recruiters do the work for you, which means you can relax a little.
- Recruiters have a wider network than you.
- Recruiters work hard to get you work because then they get paid, too.
- Recruiters can fill you in on a company’s core value and culture before your interview starts.
- Some companies use recruiters exclusively to avoid wasting time by sifting through a pile of resumes.
- No part of your salary will go to a recruiter. It all comes straight from the employer.
In the end, using a recruiter is up to you. If you had great experiences with them, continue using them. If you’ve never used a recruiter before and are thinking about it, research and try it.