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The Ultimate Guide to Working With a Recruiter


What’s it like working with a recruiter? If you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, it’s likely you have misconceptions about the process. You also may be missing out on some amazing career opportunities. 

Partnering with a recruiter for your job search can be extremely beneficial for your career. You’ll learn about jobs only recruiters know about, expand your network, and gain an ally during your job search. 

But if you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, you may not know how to get started. Here’s your ultimate guide to partnering with a recruiter.

Get on a Recruiters Radar

The first step is to make sure recruiters know about you. Most recruiters utilize LinkedIn to find and evaluate candidates. If your LinkedIn isn’t up-to-date, you could be missing out on opportunities. Review your LinkedIn profile and add any new responsibilities or skills you’ve gained since the last time you updated it. 

While it’s true that most recruiters are actively looking for candidates on LinkedIn, don’t wait for them to find you. Instead, seek ot recruiters in your industry and connect with them on LinkedIn to begin building a relationship.

LinkedIn isn’t the only route to take. You should also find a staffing firm that specializes in your industry and contact them directly. 

How Much Does it Cost to Work With a Recruiter

For job seekers, there shouldn’t be a fee to work with a recruiter. If a recruiter asks you to pay them for their services, they don’t have your best interests in mind. 

Staffing firms and recruiters are paid a fee by the employer who contracted them to find the right person for their open position. Most of the time, that fee is paid only if the employer chooses a candidate brought to them by the recruiter.

Benefits of Working with a Recruiter

For job seekers, there is virtually no downside to working with a recruiter. A recruiter works as your advocate during your job search, getting your resume in front of employers and telling them the benefits of hiring you. 

Not only that, you will get access to jobs you wouldn’t know about otherwise. Positions on job boards like CareerBuilder or Indeed are only a fraction of the true opportunity in the marketplace. That’s because many employers work exclusively with a staffing firm to find candidates and don’t post their jobs online.

Recruiters also have strong relationships with employers. They can tell you specifics about what those employers are looking for, coach you through the interview process, and provide feedback from employers after the interview that you wouldn’t normally get.

Contingent Search vs. Retained Search

There are two main types of searches a staffing firm performs: retained and contingent. With a retained search, the staffing firm is paid upfront by the employer and is tasked with locating extremely specific fits to a role. With a contingent search, payment to the staffing firm is contingent upon one of their candidates being hired.

Both types of searches have benefits to job seekers. With a retained search, you will only find out about these jobs if you work with a recruiter. Because the employer is working exclusively with the recruiter, the candidate pool is smaller, thus there is less competition.

With a contingent search, there is no cost for them to view your resume and background, so they are more likely to interview and potentially hire you. Plus, you’ll have a recruiter telling the employer the benefits of hiring you.

How Long Will it Take for a Recruiter to Find You a Job?

This varies greatly depending on the job market, the type of role you’re seeking, and how fast the employer is willing to make a decision. While some employers want to hire quickly, others prefer to take their time. 

If you don’t end up getting hired, don’t worry.

Recruiters strive to build lasting relationships with job seekers. While they may not have the right job for you now, the perfect position may come along six months down the road and you’ll be happy to have maintained a relationship with the recruiter.

Take the First Step

You should start making connections with recruiters now, even if you aren’t currently looking for a new job. That way, when you’re ready to make a move, or the recruiter finds out about an opportunity that’s perfect for you, you will have already made that connection.

Contact a staffing firm in your industry to get in touch with a recruiter and start building a relationship. The recruiter will have a chance to get to know you and your career goals, so when a position comes along that fits your goals and background, the recruiter will already have the perfect candidate — you.

If you’re a finance or accounting professional in the St. Louis area, contact Burchard & Associates to get on a recruiter’s radar and start building the relationship today.

Burchard & Associates provides a personal approach to accounting and tax recruitment for St. Louis and beyond. We are ready to listen to YOU.

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