The Truth About Recruiters That the Recruiting Industry May Not Want You to Know About

10 Truths of Recruiting and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

The Truth About Recruiters That the Recruiting Industry May Not Want You to Know About

That’s right… I’m outing some of the secrets of the Recruiting Industry! Why? To help YOU…the job seeker. I’m sure you can relate to that black hole that recruiters often suck you into. The recruiter contacts you, you have a great conversation, you feel validated and then NOTHING!

How can I say such things? As a former recruiting professional, I’m here to offer some strategies that will help you foster and make the most of your relationships with recruiters. Strategies that will expedite your job search process whether you are currently employed or otherwise.

So here are the

10 Truths of Recruiting and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

1.) Know and remember that recruiters are not paid to help you – the job seeking professional. They are hired by companies (internally or via contract) to fill those company’s positions…period! Do they need you to fill those positions? Of course, but are there a number of qualified individuals out there right now to choose from…again, YES.

2.) Because the companies are often under contract to pay the recruiting firm or recruiter an exorbitant amount (up to 35% of the annual salary for the open position), they only seek perfection – which doesn’t exist. I suggest that a current job seeker stand out by branding themselves in an authentic way in order to overcome this situation. Be yourself….the best version of your self.

3.) Recruiters have an easier time placing currently employed professionals. So what do you do if you’re unemployed? If recently unemployed, you should still be considered ‘placeable.’ Especially with a stand out personal brand. If you’ve been unemployed for longer than three months, be careful when approached by recruiters. (See Truth #4)

4.) Recruiters will use you to market your resume to get new contracts. This doesn’t mean you’ll get placed but your resume will likely get passed around within your industry and others, resulting in saturation without strategy. Protect your Personal Brand…be picky.

5.) Working with a recruiter that you’re aligned with and a have a good working relationship with can be an excellent strategic alliance when utilized properly. Apply a vetting process to determine who is truly your advocate.

6.) Before everyone gets too upset, not all recruiting professionals are bad. The good ones are established, and have expansive networks of connections in your desired industry. Again, ask questions before you share your unique value position. Create a strategic partnership that is a win-win-win!

7.) Become desirable so that ideal recruiters will want to partner with you. Develop your unique, authentic personal brand and remain consistent along all of the platforms you utilize.

8.) Include these relationships as part of your career path strategy. Notice I said relationships? I didn’t say send your resume to every recruiter out there. Use them as leverage. It’s ok…they are doing the same thing with you. It can truly be a symbiotic situation.

9.) Build relationships with recruiters. Start by going where they are and meeting them in person. On-line relationship building is not enough. Although it’s great for keeping in touch and apprised of new things, it’s just not the right way to start a working relationship. Having said this, a newly unemployed job seeker may be thinking…I don’t have that much time. You’re right! Relationship development within this platform, needs to be started and nurtured when you are currently employed even if you’re not looking for a career path shift. (The good news is there are other alternatives that are effective for this particular situation.) Which leads me to Truth #10.

10.) Finally, recruiters are ‘people’ people. They are outgoing, personable and of course professional (at least the ones you want to partner with). So maintain these relationships especially after the job offer! If a recruiter facilitates a new job for you…thank them!

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Gary Chaplin says

    Good blog, if a little generalising, but some good tips on there. Most of the points serious recruiters will welcome as well as seeing them as tricks to get the jobseeker ‘ahead’.

    One area you miss – engage social media. If your recruiter/headhunter is on LinkedIn, look at there background, activity get a feel for who they are. If they tweet, even better, you can really get to know if they are the right partner for you.

    Furthermore, engaging and contacting through social media is infinitely more likely to get a relationship going, and get it going quickly.

    (Twitter: @GC_HeadHunter)



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