Recruiters, Agencies, and Professional Resources

16.01.2018 |

Episode #5 of the course Conducting an effective job search by Denise C. Allen


In an article by the Forbes Coaches Council, experts explain that networking is king and provides a more effective way of securing a job than using a recruiter. Still, in certain situations, a professional resource can help you find employment.


Using a Recruiter

Recruiters may represent companies with positions that you haven’t found. They’re sometimes used for professional and hard-to-fill positions. In the article mentioned, Dr. Sarah Stebbins describes two types of recruiters. Recruiters for most positions are paid on the contingency of hiring a candidate. Companies may hire retained recruiters called headhunters to find candidates for high-level positions, such as for executives. Headhunters are paid a set rate to search for the best people.

Recruiters most often find you through personal or online networking. LinkedIn is a source used by many recruiting or search firms, and if you’d like to contact a recruiting firm on your own, you can search the site or use a recruiting website such as Search for someone who works in your industry, and ask for a resume review and an interview. If you aren’t referred immediately, you may get contacted about a position in the future. Providing specific information on roles that you’ll accept, types of organizations that appeal to you, and locations that you’ll consider for work helps the recruiter filter out options that would suit you.


Working through an Employment Agency

As mentioned the previous lesson, some companies use agencies to save time and effort by outsourcing the location and processing of job candidates. Recruiters may work for an agency and as mentioned previously, get paid by the company when a referred employee is hired. Staffing agencies represent companies hiring part time, temporary, or contract employees. Kelly Services and Manpower are examples of this type of agency. The agency gets paid by hiring a person to fill the role, keeping a portion of the wages.

Agencies may handle various types of employment or may specialize, say, in creative opportunities, tech jobs, and other specific occupations. Some tips for working with either recruiting or staffing agencies include:

• If you are working with more than one, tell the recruiters.

• Don’t sign an exclusive contract with a particular agency unless you agree to all terms.

• If a recruiter tells you about a position and you’ve already applied, report it.

• After submitting your resume, ask for an interview.

• Use recruiter feedback to change your resume or improve interviewing skills.

• Follow up every two to three weeks during your search.


Valuing Mentors and Informal Interviews

Is there someone who’s guided you during your career, offering good advice? That person could act as a mentor to you during your job search and beyond. A mentor is usually someone you’ve worked with/under who is further along in their career than you. You might also find a mentor through a professional association, a personal connection, or an educational experience. A career mentor can be a valuable asset during a job search, listening and being responsive to your concerns by giving information and advice and helping you expand your professional network. A mentor might lead you to a hiring manager, provide a recommendation for a job, or inform you about opportunities for growth in your field. Approach your desired mentor to ask them for assistance.

Much like mentoring, you can benefit from an informal interview with someone in your industry. Use your network of personal, professional, and educational contacts to find an individual to meet with you. Ask the person for their perception of how your qualifications match up with the current job market. Prepare a set of questions designed to get information and advice on how to improve your qualifications and your resume, making yourself more valuable as a job candidate. The interview allows you to practice interviewing skills. You will learn about the interviewer’s employer. Also, informational interviews are a form of networking that can be valuable in the future.

Independent of your job search method, chances are that you must complete an application to the position. This is our Lesson 6 topic.


Recommended book

48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal by Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey


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