Discover more from Job Search Guide Newsletter
Why Recruiters WON'T Help You Find a Job!
Unraveling the real reasons behind why recruiters won’t help you find a job and why they aren’t your personal job-finding service. Learn the truth job seekers must know!
In today's job market, finding the right position can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. As job seekers, we all look for guidance, hoping to find a compass that can help us navigate this complex maze. Many believe that recruiters can be that compass. But let's pause and ask ourselves, how much do we really know about their role, what matters to them, and what they can and can't do?
Recruiters, whether they work internally for companies or as part of recruitment agencies, have a crucial role in the hiring ecosystem. They bridge the gap between employers and potential candidates, making sure both parties find what they're looking for.
Why Recruiters Won’t Help You Find a Job
Here's the thing: They aren't exactly personal job-finding agents for job seekers. That's not their job. They are looking for the right candidate to fill a specific role, and that candidate needs to align with what the employer is looking for: experience, skillset, and culture fit.
Recruiters can be super helpful when you're looking for a job that aligns with your requirements or when they approach you with opportunities through LinkedIn. But here's the thing, they won't always be able to help you if you ask them to find you a job that's completely out of their industry, or if there aren't any open roles that match your expectations.
And sometimes, they might only have on-site or hybrid positions available while you're looking for remote roles. Or maybe you want to move to a country where you need a visa, but their company doesn't offer it. It's a tough truth, but most recruiters aren't there solely to find you a job. Why recruiters won’t help you find a job? Because they are paid and working for companies. So, it's important to manage your expectations and understand their limitations.
Before we delve deeper into what recruiters can or can't do for you, let's take a moment to recalibrate our understanding of their role and objectives. So, let's unpack the world of recruiting and explore the myths and realities that surround it.
1. Company Recruiters: Whom Do They Truly Work For?
The primary role of company recruiters is to serve their employer's interests. They are getting paid (just like any other employee) for hiring suitable candidates for their company's job openings. This means that they're on the lookout for candidates who perfectly fit the roles their company is hiring for.
Here are some key points to consider:
Recruiters Work for Companies, Not Job Seekers: Unlike career counselors or coaches who work to advance individual careers, company recruiters are employed to bring the best talent to their company. They are not employed to recommend you to other firms or find jobs in other businesses for you. Their loyalty and responsibilities lie with their own company, ensuring that they hire the best fit for their teams.
Matching Profiles with Open Roles: If a recruiter's company doesn't have a role that aligns with your profile, they won't be able to assist you directly. Their focus remains on the current requisitions they have.
Referrals and Recommendations: Trust is a prized commodity in the professional world. If a recruiter doesn't know you personally or hasn't worked with you in a professional capacity, they're unlikely to recommend you to someone in their network. Just as you wouldn't vouch for a stranger, they won't risk their professional reputation without firsthand knowledge of your abilities.
2. Agency Recruiters: The Fit Matters!
On the other hand, agency recruiters work differently. Agency recruiters, unlike company recruiters, work for firms that are hired by companies to find suitable candidates for specific roles. They get paid by the agency, but the main part of their salary is based on the number of placements and fees they receive from their clients.
They serve multiple client companies and will be able to help you only if:
Their clients have a vacancy that matches your profile and using their agency to fill this role.
You meet the requirements of the role(s) that their clients are looking to fill.
If your profile doesn't match any of their current job openings, you might be added to their database for future opportunities. However, this doesn't guarantee immediate results or any results at all. Your profile might stay dormant until the right opening appears.
Here's what you need to understand about their constraints:
Volume of Resumes: With an influx of hundreds of resumes each week, remembering individual candidates is a daunting task. Even with the best intentions, your request to "let me know if something comes up" might get lost in the sea of applications.
Specialization Constraints: Many agency recruiters specialize in certain industries or job types. If your expertise falls outside of their niche, they might not have the right connections or knowledge to place you effectively.
Limited by Client Requirements: An agency recruiter can only help if their clients seek a role that matches your profile. If there's no current fit, you'll likely be added to their database for future possibilities.
Contractual Obligations: Sometimes, agency recruiters have exclusive contracts with specific companies or are limited to filling a certain number of roles. This means even if they know of a position outside of their contractual obligations, they might not be able to introduce you to it and this is why recruiters won’t help you find a job if they do not have any openings for you.
3. Recommendations: Trust is a Two-Way Street
A common misconception is believing recruiters will readily recommend you to others. But put yourself in their shoes. Would you vouch for someone you barely know to a trusted associate or stakeholder?
Trust plays a key role in their profession. You see, blindly recommending a candidate they're not familiar with puts their credibility at risk. For them to really advocate for you, they need to get to know you, understand your skills, and have confidence that you're the right fit for a particular role.
Every week, I get dozens of requests like, "Hey, could you please recommend me to your network?" And while I'd love to help out, here's the thing: I don't know 99.99% of the people who reach out to me. I have no idea what they're up to, their work experience, etc.!
So, let's say I had only one question to ask. Would I go with “Could you please recommend me to your network?”, or would I rather pick their brain for some tips on companies that might be hiring? What do you think?
4. Understanding a Recruiter's Limitations
Why recruiters won't help you find a job in the way you might expect? Let me break it down for you and explain why:
Industry Match: If you're a PLC programmer reaching out to a sales recruiter, it's a misaligned approach. To increase your chances, always target recruiters who specialize in your industry. They will have the right insights.
Volume of Resumes: Asking recruiters to keep you in mind for future roles is ineffective. With hundreds of CVs pouring in weekly in some industries, it's nearly impossible for them to remember each individual request. Out of numerous such requests, only a few stand out due to unique circumstances.
Approach Matters: Merely asking a recruiter to help you find a job often lacks direction. Due to the aforementioned reasons and many more, this approach is ineffective. If your skills don't match their current requisitions, they're unlikely to go out of their way to assist. That's why it's important to know how to properly reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn.
Networking and Engagement: To foster a more productive relationship with recruiters, be proactive. Find those in your industry, ask for guidance, and even if many might not respond, a few might offer invaluable advice. Engage with them periodically, interact with their posts, and make your presence known. Remember, people are inclined to help those they're familiar with!
5. Resetting Expectations and Looking Ahead
While the above points might make the recruitment process seem daunting, understanding the dynamics can empower you and any job seekers to take charge of their journey.
Align Expectations: Recruiters, whether in-house or from agencies, work to find the best fit for companies. It's crucial to recognize that they are not career agents or counselors for individual job seekers.
Cooperation is Key: Collaborating with recruiters can be highly beneficial. Building genuine professional relationships, seeking advice, and understanding their constraints can put you on a better path in your job-seeking journey.
Approaching Recruiters the Right Way: Company career sites provide a comprehensive view of the current openings, job descriptions, and sometimes even the company culture and values. By thoroughly checking these sites, you arm yourself with specific information that can be invaluable in your interactions with recruiters. A generic message like "Do you have any roles open for me?" can come across as unfocused. Such inquiries might also suggest that you haven't taken the time to understand the company or its needs.
The Benefits of Being Specific:
Demonstrates Initiative: By referring to a specific role listed on the career site, you show the recruiter that you've done your homework. This proactive approach indicates your genuine interest in the company and the role.
Efficient Communication: When you inquire about a particular position, the conversation becomes more streamlined. Instead of the recruiter having to sift through their open roles to see where you might fit, you present a clear direction for the discussion.
Highlights Your Suitability: Discussing a particular role allows you to tailor your conversation, emphasizing how your skills and experience align with the job requirements.
Recruiters play a crucial role in the hiring ecosystem and can be your allies in your job hunt, but it's important to understand where they're coming from. As you already know, they work for companies whose main goal is to find the best candidates for their teams. So, it's like they're matchmakers for jobs.
It's a misconception to believe they exist solely to serve job seekers. As much as they'd love to help everyone, they can't assist an Accountant in finding a new job if their company is only looking for sales roles. Likewise, they can't help you find a job in their company if they don't offer visa/relocation assistance and you need one.
Cooperating with recruiters can be incredibly beneficial, but it's all about setting the right expectations. By understanding their role and establishing genuine connections, you can position yourself more favorably in the job market.
If you found this newsletter issue helpful, don't hesitate to share it with your own network.