11 Little-Known Facts About Recruiters

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CameraEveryone knows what a recruiter is — or do they? Just how much does the average job seeker (or employer) really understand about what recruiters actually do?

Hopefully, after reading this list, the answer will be, “More than they used to!”

1. The Role of the Recruiter Is to Find a Good Candidate for the Employer

The role of a professional recruiter or headhunter is not to find work for job seekers or aid people who want to make career changes. A recruiter is paid, by an employer, to find a worker who meets the right requirements for the role and will fit into the organization’s culture.

2. Job Seekers Actually Work for Recruiters (At Least, They Should Think That Way)

A recruiter’s loyalty is slanted highly in favor of the employer — not the job seeker. Job seekers who wish to tilt this balance a bit can do so by helping the recruiter out.

Here are a few things that job seekers can do to gain some favor in a recruiter’s eyes:

– Ask recruiters and headhunters if they need referrals.
– Refer their employers to recruiters/headhunters.
– Tailor their resumes to meet the needs of local employers.

3. Recruiters Don’t (Often) Do Follow Up

If a recruiter takes the time out of their day to email or call a job seeker in order to give them feedback about an interview, then that recruiter isn’t doing their job. They are taking time away from their actual job of finding great candidates — and are often doing so at great risk to themselves. This is why most prospects will not hear from recruiters unless they are progressing through the interview process.

4. Recruiters Are Not Always Necessary

Recruiters don’t necessarily have close relationships with HR departments or other hiring authorities. The recruiter simply learns the requirements and goes out to find the candidate that meets those requirements. Resumes submitted by a headhunter or recruiter are not guaranteed to have any more clout than resumes submitted by employment agencies or individuals.

5. Most Job Seekers Aggravate Recruiters

LaptopJob seekers tend to want advice, mentoring, and relationships. Recruiters aren’t often interested in any of this. These things are not always useful or cost-effective for them. Most recruiters want to find a match, get paid, and move on to the next employer.

6. Recruiters Usually Do Not Specialize in Your Area

Just because a recruiter has one or two job opportunities in your area of expertise, that doesn’t mean they have any more than that. If your recruiter is not actively pursuing a relationship with you, it is usually because they simply don’t have anything in your niche.

7. Smart Job Seekers Can Pique a Recruiter’s Interest With Information

If you have information about hiring managers, open positions, and companies that are eager to find talent, you have something that is gold to a recruiter. This is the kind of information that will make recruiters remember you.

8. Many Headhunters Started in Sales

Many of the personality traits and strengths that help people in sales careers also help recruiters do what they do best. After all — they are selling you on the opening they have, and they are selling the employer on their ability to find the right candidates.

9. Most Candidates That Recruiters Find Aren’t Qualified

Recruiters must carefully sift through resumes and screen candidates to be sure that they only submit the most qualified applicants to employers. Submitting yourself to a recruiter when you are not qualified for their opening is a quick way to get on their bad side. Instead, try to get ahead of the career game early on.

10. Not All Recruiters Have Degrees in Business or Human Resource Management

The most common major among headhunters is psychology, according to LinkedIn. Marketing is also a fairly common degree choice for recruiters. Both of these degrees give recruiters many of the skills they need to succeed in their field.

11. Many Recruiters Prefer That You Do Not Contact Them to ‘Follow Up’

LeavesMany recruiters see this as a waste of their time and yours. Recruiters prefer only to communicate if you have something useful for them, or if they have something useful for you.

Of course, these “facts” are all generalizations. For example, not every recruiter feels the same way about follow up, and some recruiters do actually specialize in your area of expertise.

Take this list not as the perfect profile of all recruiters, but as a guide that can help job seekers and employers understand what recruiters do, what they care about, and how to get into a recruiter’s good graces.

Read more in Recruiting

Laura Callisen is an ambitious young writer. Today, she works as a freelance journalist and business consultant and absolutely loves blogging about education, job search, and professional development. Follow her on Twitter (@LauraCallisen) and check out her portfolio!
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