Job hunting – Should you use a recruiter or go it alone?

There are mixed feelings among job seekers when it comes to using an independent recruiter to assist them to find a new job role. Some see it as an unnecessary hassle while others feel it is best practice to contact a company direct. Yet many organisations, small and large alike, only hire through a recruitment agency. Some of these job opportunities never even make it to a job board because the recruitment agency can fill the role from their current pool of job seeking candidates. If you’re not part of that pool, you don’t have a shot at the job. So I ask you, why would you negate the use of a recruiter to help find you a job when they are a well-connected job finding resource?

Whether you are unemployed or are unhappy in your current role and looking for a fresh start, your first priority is to get a job, the channel through which should not matter. There are hundreds of recruiters out there. That alone should tell you the demand placed upon them to find quality candidates for companies. And joining ranks with a recruiter to advance your career will cost you nothing but a little of your time. What may you get in return? A good recruiter will spend time getting to know your job preferences; location, salary range, job type, industry and so forth. They will advise if your expectations are realistic, speak to you about current market trends in your chosen field and recommend how you can best tailor your resume to make you more hireable. I meet candidates all the time who fail to recognise that their skills in a previous industry are still relevant to the industry they are now looking to work within. Removing these from their resume has only succeeded in reducing their marketability. The job market is tough even at the best of times so any edge you can gain over your competition can be the difference acquiring a new job role.

Registering with a professional recruiter cannot hurt your chances of finding employment, but avoiding them will. Broadening your job search network can put your name, skills, qualifications and expertise directly under the nose of a hiring manager that you may not otherwise have access to. Remember too, recruiters often don’t get paid unless they successfully place a candidate in a role. So you can be assured they are working very hard to find you a suitable role. I say suitable because it is not to their advantage to market you for a job that you are clearly not suited to. To do so would be to lose the repeat business of both yourself and the hiring organisation. So while you are not a recruiter’s customer, it is in the recruiter’s best interest to market you, their product, well. Personally I place great value not only in my hiring clients, but also my job seeking candidates. In some instances my job candidates have become hiring clients for as their careers have developed they have become business owners or hiring managers in a firm.

Recruiters often provide greater insight into a job role too. They more readily reveal the salary range, what their client is looking for in a candidate and why. You may also learn a little about your competition and your interviewers. Information is power. Just touching back on salary, candidates in general are not very good at negotiating this aspect of a job. A recruiter can take this burden from you and negotiate on your behalf. With their finger on the pulse, they will know exactly what your worth is.

At the end of the day you cannot delegate your job search efforts to a recruiter alone. It is your responsibility to manage this task. However the market is fierce so don’t be short sighted and discount the value of a recruiter. Take advantage of their professional advice, implement it and chase the future career that you want.

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SJ Personnel offer recruitment and HR services to businesses and candidates throughout Geelong, Surf Coast, The Bellarine and western Victoria region

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