The importance of using recruiters as part of your job applications
If a recruiter feels they can earn a fee through you they can be helpful. But if not, you are unlikely to find the relationship very productive. Nevertheless, even though networking remains the most likely route to getting a job, recruiters still handle a good number of opportunities and should be taken seriously as a source of opportunities when making job applications.
Many employers announce vacancies through recruiters only, and recruiters, particularly sector specialists, often have strong contacts giving them access to potential employers through speculative approaches. In addition, many companies give their preferred recruiter an open brief to find suitable talent.
The first thing most contingency recruiters will do when a brief arrives is a database search of existing candidates. This is a quick and easy way to identify any past candidates who may be suitable and interested, without spending money on advertising.
A good recruiter will interview you face to face before registering you or putting you up for a job. They should use the meeting to gain an understanding of your career background and objectives, which they will attempt to match to the requirements of their clients. They will then talk to you about any assignments that appear to offer a potential fit. If they do not suggest any opportunities you can assume they have nothing that is right for you. Try to assess if this is because you are not presenting yourself as their normal type of client or they just don’t have something for you at the time. If it’s the former, you may need to think about whether you should be positioning yourself differently, or going to a different agency.
Recruiters will always look for an easy route to make a placement. They operate in an extremely competitive market place. They will concentrate on candidates who look likely to be suitable for their clients rather than people who will demand more time and effort to place.
If you are making a career change your CV really does need to market you into your new role. Unless it does you are likely to find the recruitment consultant route very unproductive.
If you are submitted for a position the recruiter clearly wants you to succeed. They should help you as much as they can with background information and you shouldn’t shy away from asking them as much as you can. They might even conduct a mock interview with you. But you will still need to do your own research. Never rely on a recruiter to give you all the background information you need.