Can You Afford a Recruiter?

By: Donalyn Spisak


With today's economy and everyone watching a dollar, can you afford a recruiter? Maybe we should look into what it costs to work with a recruiter. If you're contacted by a recruiter directly, chances are they've been hired by a company to find candidates with a background similar to yours and they've gone to some lengths to locate you. In this situation the company they happen to represent at that time would be paying all fees. In this case, you can't afford not to work with a recruiter.

Let's look at another scenario-you have seen signs that your company will be downsizing and you've decided to be proactive and cover yourself just in case this should happen to you. Can you afford a recruiter? You can if you contact a recruiter whose fees are paid by companies they represent. Perhaps we should define recruiter first: A recruiter is a third party hired by individuals or companies to locate candidates for hire with a certain specific set of traits and areas of expertise. A recruiter may be hired either by the candidate wishing to be placed or by the company seeking to hire. Normally, all you have to do is ask when you're approached by or approach a recruiter--"Do you charge candidates any fees for placement?" If the answer is no-whala, you are in business. If the answer is--we charge the company-this would mean they work for the company primarily. If they work for the company and still charge candidates fees-be wary. The best way to not be surprised by any fees is not to sign any agreements which state you may have to pay a fee or any statements which include a schedule of rates that could be charged under almost any circumstances.

The only circumstance where you should be willing to pay a recruiter's fee is if that recruiter is hired by you to kick up interviews for you according to your criteria. The fee would be an amount agreed upon by both of you. In this case, can you afford a recruiter? Of course, otherwise do not enter into this type of agreement.

You may wonder-why would any company choose to utilize a recruiter. There are many advantages to a company who works with a Professional Recruiter, rather than advertising in Newspapers or on the Internet. If a company chooses to advertise in the newspaper or on the internet, they must also have individuals committed to reading many resumes, screening them and prescreening them-eliminating job hoppers or job shoppers. When working with a recruiter it is almost always more economical to hire them for their expertise in finding select individuals with specific skills than to do it themselves. Recruiters recruit every day all day long-this is their specialty. A lot of companies understand the need to delegate, to use a specialist and therefore hire recruiters. This enables them to do what they do best while utilizing recruiting specialists to do their best for them-the end result, the best of both worlds.

When working with a recruiter, a company ensures it will not be a target for this recruiter to recruit from. When doing business with a recruiting firm, the recruiting firm normally has an agreement not to contact that company's employees for hire under any circumstances. Job openings that are difficult to fill may require recruiting because there are limited numbers of unemployed people with the required skills who are available. The company has a choice of training someone, promoting someone from within the company, or using an in-house recruiter to recruit from one of their competitors. The latter is considered bad form. It is better to put the position out to search with a Head Hunter or Professional Recruiter. There are also situations when a recruiter gets involved in salary negotiations between the hiring company and the individual being interviewed. This type of negotiation eliminates a lot of miscommunication between individuals where a company doesn't understand the candidate's needs thoroughly and is not addressing them to their satisfaction. A recruiter can easily relay information pertinent to making a successful and satisfying hire in a timely manner. In this case, you would be very foolish not to be working with a recruiter.

The reality is when you contact a recruiter who does not charge recruitment fees you are adding another dimension to your job search repertoire. If you have contacted a recruiter in the past and that recruiter has not helped you, it is because that particular recruiter did not have an opportunity where you met their client's needs. If a recruiter has even a slight opportunity to place you, they will. Do not call a recruiter and then sit back and wait for a position to come to you. Recruiters work on the positions they have to fill today. Unless you are paying them for their time, don't expect them to set aside the money they will make with the clients who have agreed to pay them in order to make calls and drum up potential interviews you may wish to go on. Recruiters are a valuable partner to have in a job search. They are a tool to be used. They should never be your only tool. If you're asking yourself, "Can I afford a recruiter?" The answer is a definite yes. But you must first understand a recruiter's job and your job in this job search you're embarking on. When you understand how and why a recruiter works, you will better understand how they can work for you.

Choose carefully the recruiter(s) you decide to work with. Do not sign agreements requiring you to pay a fee. Do ask questions. Do contact recruiters and work with those who actually help you with advice, interviews or interview training. Some recruiters like Recruitshop offer additional services to candidates. These services include resume critiquing and writing, portfolio writing and critiquing and workbooks which make their interviews much easier and set the candidate up to be the person to compete with. Most recruiters will not tell you what you are doing wrong in the interview-will not give you constructive criticism unless they have a position to send you to today. Spend your valuable time with recruiters who are recruiters because they want to make a difference and help candidates as much as the companies they represent. These are the folks who will make a difference in you job search. These are the recruiters you cannot afford not to call.

If you're seeking a sales position or simply need to have your resume written or a portfolio done, feel free to contact Recruitshop at 724.772.1149 to make an appointment to discuss your employment needs.

Donalyn Leskosek Spisak
Author of "How to Write Your Professional Portfolio", "Keeping Track of Interviews", and "What You Need to Know about JobSearching". Also owner of these websites: http://www.recruitshop.com and http://www.pharmaceuticalsalesprep.com.