October 30, 2008
Sometimes entry level job seekers make the mistake of believing that they
are their recruiters' clients, but this is not the case. The employers,
who pay some pretty healthy fees, are the clients. The job seekers are
candidates, which is not to say that they aren't important. On the
contrary, the better recruiters are at providing employers with the best
candidates, and vice versa, the greater their chances of attracting more
employers and more high quality candidates.
Unfortunately, candidates and employers who seem like a good fit during
the interview process end up not working out later on. When this happens,
don't blame the recruiter, says Tom Ruff, founder of the Tom Ruff Company,
a company specializing in pharmaceutical sales recruiting. A recruiter
only suggests what companies he thinks would be a good fit, it's the
candidate who makes the final choice. And if a candidate suspects that a
recruiter isn't serving his best interests, "find another recruiter," Ruff
"Your job is the right job for you. These goals may not be aligned, so if
a recruiter is trying to force you into the wrong job for you, find a new
recruiter," advises Dr. Rachelle J. Canter, president of RJC Associates.
"And more important, don't depend on recruiters as your primary job search
"The recruiter's loyalty is to the employer," he explained. "The employer
is the one paying the recruiter's fee and if the recruiter doesn't find
candidates that match the client's criteria, the recruiter doesn't get
paid. Period. It is in the recruiter's best interest, however, to build
strong relationships with the top candidates in their respective field.
When the recruiter is contacted with a new job opening, a good recruiter
will already have a pool of well qualified candidates that they can
contact for the position."
Canter agrees. "A recruiter's responsibility to the client (the company
with a vacancy) is to find the best candidate for the opening, or at least
an appropriate candidate for the opening." Their responsibility to their
firm is to maximize placements so they generate money for the firm -- and
hopefully do so in an honest and professional fashion. And the recruiter's
responsibility to you, the job-seeker,," she concluded, "is to present
appropriate opportunities. But it is easy to think the recruiter is
working for you and that his/her job is to find the best job for you.
WRONG! You are the only one with the responsibility and the mission to
find the best job for you, so do not delegate this responsibility to
anyone else or you are apt to find yourself in the wrong job."
Ruff concluded with some guidelines for working with recruiters that bear
"Be careful and selective about choosing recruiters to whom you will send
Ask the recruiter to secure permission from you before presenting your
resume to any company.
Ask for advice about each person you are interviewing with.
Follow the recruiter's advice about preparing for an interview. Do what he
or she says to do.
Let the recruiter see your brag book and suggest ways to improve it.
Follow up with the recruiter after each interview.
"Do what you say you are going to do."
"Follow these guidelines," Ruff said, "[and] you will greatly increase
your chances of working successfully with a recruiter."