There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding recruiting, but one of the most pervasive hits at the purpose of the entire industry: we often hear candidates ask, “what’s the point of working with a recruiting agency when I can just apply to jobs directly on my own?”
Unsurprisingly, I have strong feelings about this question, but I’m not surprised to see it so often, because I think recruiting firms have not always done a great job in creating awareness around our exact value. Even candidates who think agencies are helpful may have trouble explaining how or why. As such, instead of just saying that recruiting firms can benefit your job search, I wanted to lay out some of the value we can provide that you won’t necessarily get going solo in your job hunt.
- Personality. Many candidates have the right skills for a job, but not the ability to represent themselves well on paper (like in a resume) and off (in an interview). A recruiter can be a big asset here, coaching on resume production and with interview prep — which I will give advice on in a follow up post.
- Credibility. A recruiter can sometimes do a better job on your behalf than you could yourself, as he or she acts as a third party giving you the credibility you need to stand apart in the application process. Good recruiters can back up credibility by informing their candidates important statistics like how many placements they’ve made with said firm.
- Negotiation power. Recruiters can give you a better view of the landscape and help you see market value of salary and benefits. And whereas you may be hesitant to ask for a better offer, we are more than comfortable asking the awkward questions for you. A competent recruiter is like a filter that actually works. You may be able to find your way on your own, but think of us as a matching engine.
- Relationships. Recruiters often have relationships with hiring managers, so you’re not going in cold. We make sure resumes get in the right hands, and we’re motivated to get feedback on candidates. Because we work with hiring managers on a consistent basis, the process becomes more personalized and more precise.
- Opportunity. Particularly in the tech world, everyone knows the big companies — Facebook, Amazon, etc. But there may be a great-fitting position at a small or mid-size organization you might miss on your own. Recruiters expand your options by finding these opportunities. We’re not suggesting to rule the big tech giants out. We’re not even suggesting to only work with only one recruiter. However, you should use all the resources you can to find the best job.
In the end, it comes down to receiving an experienced, professional helping hand to help you get the best deal possible, much like how most people use a realtor when buying property. If you have any other questions about working with a recruiting team, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evan Pollock is a managing partner at Objective Paradigm (OP), a Chicago-based recruiting firm specializing in the finance, trading, and tech industries.