| Track 4
Guerrilla Tactics for the Job Search
Working with Recruiters
Success rates for obtaining work through recruiters can vary tremendously depending on the position and industry you are pursuing. Individuals in fields enjoying high employer demand will have much more success utilizing recruiters than those in occupations where employees are more plentiful. Sometimes, you are likely to experience greater success with recruiters if you are currently employed.
Most recruiters specialize in certain fields or industries. They may focus exclusively on technology, finance, public relations, not-for-profit, or administrative support, to name a few. Therefore, you must select agencies that work with candidates in your field. To find the best agencies for you, peruse classified ads, both in print and on the Internet, and relevant periodicals such as trade magazines. Look for agencies that regularly advertise the kinds of positions you seek.
It is also important to distinguish between two different types of recruiters. Those types are called contingency and retained. Retained recruiters are contacted by employers and hired to help that employer fill a specific job. That job is often a very important or difficult to fill position in the organization. Most retained recruiters are working on jobs with salary levels above $100,000. These recruiters get paid by the company regardless of whether one of their candidates gets selected or not. They are paid to do the hard work of hunting for a person with exemplary credentials and often one that is currently working for a competitor. Most times, these recruiters don't advertise; they use their highly developed networks to seek out and find you. If you are contacted by a recruiter and they are pitching a job to you, ask if they are on retainer or operating in a contingency mode. Knowing this will help you understand how their advocacy works.
Contingency recruiters will present your resume to employers but get paid only if the employer decides to hire you. Their placement fees, paid by the employers, are typically around 25% of your annual salary. It is standard industry practice that both types of recruiters are paid after the candidate is on the job 90 days.
I advise that you make it clear to any recruiter you work with that you do not want your resume sent to any employers without your specific consent. You don't want to get overexposed (meaning the employer gets your resume from multiple sources). Finally, request detailed information about positions before you agree to go on interviews. It is in everyone's best interest that you are well suited for the job opening.
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