The Inside Scoop on Recruiters
As your career grows in the tech world, your path will eventually cross with a recruiter one way or another — I know this because I was one of them. I would send 50 LinkedIn messages a day to potential candidates to tell them about some “exciting new opportunities.” For this blog I will be talking about using a recruiter in your job search and explain why they do the things they do and why they ask certain questions. Recruiters won’t only reach out to you about new jobs, they will also reach out to you to about any open roles at your company so they can help you fill that position with other candidates that they are working with too.
First off let’s dive into the different types of recruiters. There are two types of recruiters, internal and external. Internal recruiters are employees of the company and hire only for their company. Usually the bigger companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Bloomberg, etc. have internal recruiters because they are always hiring. External recruiters usually work for a recruiting firm and they work with multiple companies to fill positions. The way they make money is the company they are working with pays a fee which is usually a percentage of the yearly salary of the candidate that they hire.
External recruiters can either be your best friend or the most annoying person in the world. Recruiters are the middle men between the candidate and the client that they are working for. They need to keep both sides happy and will be asking a lot of questions on both sides so everyone is on the same page. A good recruiter will be honest with you no matter what and should be able to let you know what the client is thinking but they are expecting the same when they are talking to you so they can let their client know what’s going on.
One of the first questions that makes candidates uneasy is compensation. I don’t know why but for some reason when you start talking about money people get squeamish. However, there are a couple of reasons that recruiters want to know what compensation you are looking for. First off they know how much the jobs they are working can pay and they won’t tell you about jobs that can’t pay what you are looking for. They don’t want to waste your time or their’s. Secondly a lot of companies want to know what you might cost if they do want to hire you and don’t want to go through the whole interview process to find out at the end that they can’t afford you. So when the recruiter sends your resume over to the hiring manager they usually say what you cost too. Now remember the more money you make the more money they make so they will always try to get you the most that they can.
From my experience the next question that makes people hesitant about recruiters is when they ask about their other interview activity. Remember they are the middle man between you and the company and they need to keep both sides happy. They need to let the client know what you are doing so if the client does like you they can speed up their hiring process and interview you quickly. Also if it comes down offer stage they may have to make a more competitive offer. The other reason they ask you about your interview activity is more selfish in nature. If they know a company is using other recruiting agencies and still hiring they are going to reach out to that company to see if they will work with them too. This should not worry you. First off it is very hard to get companies to sign an agreement and get them to work with multiple agencies. Secondly the company is going to hire the best person possible. If they like you they are not going to want to meet with other people and waste their time.
Most recruiters are good people although some candidates think of them as sleazy used car sales people. They want to find you a job because that is how they make money, and many of them are genially happy when they can find the job that best fits you. So if you choose to work with them it can be very beneficial but if you choose not to remember they are people just trying to make a living.
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