When Job Recruiters Are Worth It (and When They Aren’t)

Job recruiters can come in handy for certain situations. However, the internet has made it easy for people to conduct their own job search. Still, job recruiters do have a place in the job hunt, and they can be worth it at times.

When are job recruiters worth it? In most cases, working with a job recruiter is worth it for job applicants. A recruiter can send an applicant’s resume to more jobs than the applicant can on their own. However, some companies may only think a recruiter is worth the investment for certain positions.

Keep these ideas in mind as you read:

  • If there’s not much competition for a job, a recruiter can help.
  • Companies can benefit from a job recruiter if they need an applicant with special skills.
  • Because recruiters can charge a percentage of the starting pay of the new hire, they are more worth the investment for higher-paying positions.
  • Contract recruiters can help find independent contractors and other temporary workers.
  • Some job recruiters also work with colleges to find applicants for entry-level jobs.

While job recruiters can be helpful for both applicants and companies, there are some disadvantages to working with one. The cost and methods of communication can be problematic when it comes to using a recruiter. Whether you’re looking for a job or to fill a job, knowing all of your options can help you decide on whether a job recruiter is worth it.

Why Job Recruiters Are Worth It

When you’re the one applying for a job, you typically don’t have to worry about paying them. That can make recruiters an excellent way for some people to find the perfect job. You contact the recruiter, they send out your resume, and you can wait until you get an offer.

Sometimes, job recruiters may have job leads that aren’t open to the public. Depending on the recruiter, working with one may give you a leg up with open jobs. If the recruiter has a particularly good reputation, employers may look more into the recruiter’s applicants.

While that can mean that a recruiter is well worth it for you, employers may not always want to work with a job recruiter. Companies have to pay for the recruiter’s services, so some may not want to accept applications from a recruiter. Still, you can make the most of working with a job recruiter, especially if you are in a unique job search.

“Recruiters work for the company, not you,” says Career Sidekick.

If you can work with a job recruiter, it’s not a bad idea to make it part of your job search strategy. To find out more about the benefits of job recruiters, click this link.

You Have Experience

While most job applicants can benefit in some way from a job recruiter, there are situations where you definitely want to work with one. The first example of that is when you have experience in your chosen industry. That experience can help you get a job, but it can also motivate your recruiter to find more jobs.

  • People with experience tend to apply for higher-paying positions. Since job recruiters usually get paid a portion of your starting salary, they’ll be more inclined to find jobs for you where they stand a chance of making more.
  • While some job recruiters work with entry-level job applicants, it’s still important to have some relevant experience. The more you can show your recruiter, the more they can show the companies they send your resume to.
  • If you have more experience, especially in your chosen field, that will open you up to more positions. A job recruiter may not want to spend the time sending an entry-level resume to positions that require experience.
  • Tell your recruiter about any relevant experience you have, but don’t lie. Even if you want a job, they shouldn’t have to share false information on your behalf.

As you advance in your career field, a job recruiter can be particularly helpful. You can gather your experience and format a resume that will attract employers looking to fill higher positions. Of course, you shouldn’t include any experience you don’t have, but you should be as detailed as you can.

You Have Unique Skills

You can be the most experienced candidate in your field, but special skills are what will make you stand out. This is true of any employer and any job recruiter. Employees will special skills are almost always in high demand, and a recruiter will be able to help match you with a company that needs you.

  • With the growth of the internet and digital marketing, people with skills in areas like SEO (search engine optimization) and social media marketing have an edge in the job search.
  • A tech company may be more inclined to hire someone with skills that the company currently lacks, be it an operating system or a piece of software.
  • In most industries, specialists are more appealing to employers than generalists. That’s probably why you see a specialist if you need to treat a serious medical condition.

If you’re looking to build some unique skills, consider specializing in a field inside your current field. You can use that specialization to your advantage, but you can still remain eligible for more general job positions. If you don’t know what to specialize in, think about the classes you had to take for your major.

Try to remember what classes you really enjoyed or what related interests you have. You can probably come up with an in-demand specialization within your current field.

You Work in a Growing Field with Little Competition

Some fields are full of new graduates and experienced people looking for jobs. That can make it hard for a job recruiter to focus enough on you and your resume. However, if you work in a growing field that has little or no job competition, you have an advantage.

  • Engineering, especially computer or software engineering, is a growing field. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many qualified applicants as there are jobs to fill.
  • The field of software development is expected to grow by 30 percent over the next 10 years.
  • The medical field is another area where competition isn’t all that high. If you go through school to work as a nurse or doctor, you may not face as much competition for your next job.
  • A shortage of talent is a real problem. In fact, 72.8 percent of employers have a difficult time finding skilled candidates.

If you work in a career field with little competition, that can make it much easier for you to get a job. Of course, you may still need skills and experience. However, a job recruiter will be able to focus on sending your resume knowing that there’s a higher chance you’ll get a job.  If you don’t get a job, they won’t get paid.

When you work in a growing field, a recruiter can help you find those open jobs where you won’t have to worry about that much competition. You can read more about hiring and recruitment statistics here.

You Work for a Large Company

If you work for a large company with a big pool of talent, you can look more appealing to job recruiters and other employers. While you may not want to leave your company, having experience with a successful business can add some credibility to your application.

Most smaller employers would love to hire someone who has worked for Google or Apple. You can learn some important, marketable skills when you work for a big company. The reputation of larger companies is hard to ignore when comparing two otherwise equal resumes.

If you have Microsoft or Facebook on your resume, your job recruiter will probably know that gives you an edge as an applicant. That means your recruiter might be more willing to spend time sending your resume to different companies. After all, most job recruiters don’t get paid until you get a job offer, so they want to spend more time on people who are more likely to land a job.

You Are a Contractor

If you’ve ever worked as an independent contractor, you know it can be hard to find and negotiate a job. These jobs can be more flexible for the contractor, so more people might want to apply. Still, there are tons of contractor positions out there, and a recruiter can help you find more positions that might not show up in your own job search.

According to Jobbatical, more than 35 percent of the US workforce is comprised of “gig workers.” Soon, that number could jump to 43 percent.

Some recruiters specialize in finding contract positions, so they may know where to look to find relevant jobs. As a contractor, you should contact multiple job recruiters and look for ones who work with contract workers. The more you broaden your job search, the easier it will be to find and land your next gig.

Contract workers can be especially intriguing to job recruiters since the positions are often short term. That means you may go back to your recruiter in a few months for help finding a new gig. For each new gig you land, your job recruiter will get some extra money.

Since you, the applicant, don’t have to pay for the help of a job recruiter, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it. A recruiter can help you find more jobs, and they can relieve some of the pressure of finding a job.

Why Job Recruiters Aren’t Worth It

As much as a job recruiter can be helpful, there are times where working with one may not be worth it. Now, since a job recruiter is typically free when you apply, that may sound ridiculous. However, you may want to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective employers.

Someone has to pay for the services of the job recruiter, and companies have to decide if it’s worth it to pay for those services. At times, a job recruiter can be beneficial for the applicant and the company. Unfortunately, there are some times where companies may choose not to hire someone through a recruiter.

If a company has a chance to hire someone for free, they’re probably going to go that route. So that means that you need to make your application stand out if you work with a recruiter. Not only will your company need to see the value in hiring you specifically, but they also need to see the value in paying the recruiter.

According to Forbes, “a well-prepared candidate can always excel without the use of [a] recruiter.”

You Don’t Have Experience

If you don’t have experience in a given field, it can be hard to get a job no matter what. That can make working with a recruiter something to consider, but it can hurt you. When you have less experience, you qualify for lower-paying jobs, and that can cause problems from multiple sides.

  • If a job recruiter gets paid a percentage of your starting pay, they may not put as much effort into finding jobs for you. They probably have a client who will land a higher-paying job, and the recruiter will want to devote more time to that client.
  • On the other hand, companies may not want to hire for lower-level positions through a recruiter. While companies will want to save money, they may not find the investment worth it for entry-level positions, especially if they get a lot of applications.

Some job recruiters do work on college campuses, and they can help you find entry-level jobs. However, these recruiters may have a lot to juggle, and they may not have much time to focus on helping your job search. Still, visiting a college career center can help you with some elements of finding a job, even if they don’t send out your resume for you.

Not having experience isn’t something to be ashamed of. But it does mean that working with a job recruiter may not have as many benefits as you might think. Luckily, you can send your resume to a few recruiters to supplement your own job search.

You Are in a New Field

If you want to change career fields, go for it. However, a job recruiter might not be worth it to find your new dream job. As mentioned, companies are more likely to invest in a job recruiter for higher up, more experienced positions.

Even if you have years of experience in one field, if that experience doesn’t translate easily to your new field, you’ll have to work your way up. That means getting your first job in your new field without the help of a recruiter. Luckily, you can take steps to make your application stands out even if you apply on your own.

  • Share your experiences in your old field, and make them relevant to the new field. If you worked in customer service, and want to move to a training position, focus on your experience working with people.
  • If you have to go back to school to enter your new field, use that time to build some relevant experience. While you may still have to take an entry-level position, any experience you can have will make it easier to land a job, recruiter or not.
  • Work on building transferable skills. Everyone needs to manage their time, communicate with their team, and stay organized. You can build these skills no matter what career you transition to.

When you change careers, it can feel like you’re going back to square one. Because you’re new to the industry, a job recruiter may not have the means to do much for you. However, gathering your experience and skills and making them relevant can help you in your job search It doesn’t matter if you work with a job recruiter or not.

You Face More Competition

Even if you have a ton of relevant experience in your field, you may not be able to control factors like the competition. Some fields, like data science, have a lot of demand but not a lot of openings. While a job recruiter can get your resume in front of more employers, they can do the same for other job applicants.

The more people that apply to a job, the more resumes the employer has to look through. That can take time, and if there is enough demand for the job, the employer may not consider applications from a recruiter. We can’t stress enough that employers will avoid paying recruitment fees if they can.

Put yourself in the shoes of an employer that receives two equally good applications. If one application came through a recruiter and the other one didn’t, the employer will probably choose the candidate who applied without a recruiter. It’s nothing personal, but if a company can avoid paying recruitment fees, they probably will.

When a job has a big pool of applicants who apply directly, they have no reason to choose someone who went through a job recruiter. So if you’re in a competitive industry, a job recruiter could do more harm than good.

You Want to Move

When you have years of experience and plan to stay in the same field, it can make sense to work with a job recruiter. However, there’s a situation where even the most experienced candidate might not benefit from the help. If you want to find a job in a new city, even the best job recruiter may not be worth it.

  • Companies tend to prefer local job candidates. It’s easier to meet up for an interview, and the company won’t have to worry about paying to relocate the new employee.
  • If you want to find a job far away, you have to convince the company to hire you specifically. That could be with a unique skill or for a job without much competition.

Remember, job recruiters want to get paid. For them, that means spending the bulk of their time on applicants who have skills and experience to land the job. If you don’t live where the job is located, it may take more work for you or your recruiter to get you an interview.

How to Work with a Job Recruiter

Even if you don’t have much experience or special skills, working with a job recruiter can’t hurt. As the applicant, you won’t have to pay anything for the help of a recruiter. However, you can’t just send your resume to a recruiter and expect to land a job.

At the end of the day, you’re the one looking for a job. While many job recruiters will want to help you, they have other clients, and they will want to maximize their chances of getting paid. You can learn more about how to work with a job recruiter here.

Find Multiple Recruiters

As you start to work with a job recruiter, you can begin with one. However, consider sending your resume to multiple job recruiters. No two recruiters have the exact same resources or client base.

That means one recruiter might have access to jobs that the other doesn’t. Or one recruiter might attract more experienced candidates than another.

  • Look for recruiters in different parts of your nearest city. They might have access to companies physically closer to them.
  • You should also find recruiters in slightly different industries. For example, if you want an accounting position, every industry needs accountants.
  • The more recruiters you can send your resume to, the more job opportunities you might find. Every recruiter has their own methods for finding jobs and submitting resumes.

While working with multiple recruiters can’t guarantee you’ll land a job, it can help to broaden your overall job search. The more people you have helping you, the more likely you are to find the right job for you. Plus, you can still do your own job searching.

Consider the Company

While most of this article has covered agency recruiters, some companies hire in-house recruiters. These recruiters work for a specific company, and they may have a salary rather than hire-based pay. In-house recruiters don’t send your resume to any and every company that might take it.

Instead, in-house recruiters focus on finding the right applicants for their company. If you have a dream company that you want to work for, you should see if they have in-house recruiters. In that case, you can contact their recruiters directly, rather than going with an agency recruiter.

An in-house recruiter can usually answer more questions about specific jobs than an agency recruiter. As an employee of the company, the recruiter will likely know more about what it’s like to work there. You can ask more detailed questions about the hiring process and the day-to-day.

These recruiters can also focus more on finding you a position that aligns with your goals since they will probably get paid no matter what. On the other hand, agency recruiters might want you to take the first offer you get so that the recruiter can get paid.

If you want to learn more about working with a job recruiter, click here.

Choose the Right Person

Not everyone is cut out to be a job recruiter. Finding a job recruiter could mean the difference between landing your dream job and being stuck in the same old routine. If you decide to work with a job recruiter, you should be careful about who you choose as your recruiter.

  • The most important quality of a good job recruiter is communication. If your recruiter doesn’t communicate with you regularly, you won’t get updates on your job search. Your recruiter should keep you updated every step of the way.
  • While some job recruiters work with a variety of people, they should know at least the basics of your dream job. The more a recruiter knows about a job, the easier it will be for them to find the right applicant, which could be you.
  • Any good job recruiter is patient and will work with you to find the right job for you. Avoid recruiters who want to place you ASAP just so they get their paycheck.
  • You should also avoid a recruiter who makes high promises, like getting a job in a week. In most cases, that isn’t possible, and you want someone who can be honest and realistic.

These are some of the more essential qualities you can find in a job recruiter. You can learn more about those qualities here.

Do Your Own Research

While job recruiters can help you find your perfect job, you shouldn’t rely on them completely. Even if you work with multiple job recruiters, you can find and apply to jobs on your own. You can utilize your own network and research skills to find jobs to apply for.

That way, you don’t have to sit around and wait for a call from a recruiter. You can be your own advocate, and you can have some control over where and when your resume gets sent out. Thanks to the internet, there are tons of websites where you can set up an account and upload your resume.

You can use those accounts to find and apply for jobs in almost any industry. Applying on your own is also a great way to diversify your job application process. Sure, a recruiter might find you the perfect position, but applying on your own can be an essential step to landing your dream job.

Final Thoughts

In general, job recruiters are a helpful tool for job applicants. The right recruiter can help you land your dream job, and you won’t have to handle the job search on your own. However, you should still do your own research and don’t be afraid to apply to jobs without a recruiter.