Recruiters don’t have the best reputation. In fact, type “recruiters are…” into Google and the first suggestion you get is “trash.”
I do understand where some of this animosity comes from. As someone who has been in the recruitment industry for quite some time, I’ve seen it all and we at Raymond George – where we recruit for the recruiting industry – know that there are recruiters out there who do their jobs very badly. They approach people for jobs they’re not even remotely interested in or a fit for, send unwanted emails and messages, and, (probably the biggest complaint we hear), ghost candidates even after lengthy application processes and rounds of interviews.
I don’t have excuses for these people. But you can’t let a few bad apples spoil a bunch, as they say. Recruiters can be incredibly valuable to your job search and career growth. When you find the right recruiter to work with, we do our best to find the perfect fit for both company and candidate and can be a great source of support to you.
In large part, a lot of the negative perception and criticism of recruiters is based on misconceptions about the industry and how it works. Let’s clear up a few of those misconceptions, including that recruiters only care about the commission and not about people, that recruiters are not decision makers, and that our jobs are easy.
Some of the most common misconceptions about recruiters.
Recruiters only care about the commission and don’t care about people
Let’s start here. This one hurts. While there are, surely, recruiters out there who only care about their commission – like there are people in any industry who only care about the paycheque – I’d like to think that a vast majority of recruiters care deeply about people. I think people go into this industry because we are people who like people, and because we’re empathetic, conscientious, and good connectors. These aren’t traits of selfish people, but rather the opposite.
Good recruiters have the ability to read people in ways that other people don’t, almost like another sense. We can read not only what you’re telling us about your skills and qualities, but we can also assess the sort of role in which you would excel and the company culture where you would be a good fit. We care about matching people with the right leaders and that they find satisfaction in their jobs and careers. Sure, this is because it’s how we make our living, but it’s also because we’re intuitive and like to see others succeed. When you do well, we feel good.
It’s an easy job
Some people might think all recruiters do is look at CVs/ resumes and read job descriptions, and that all you have to do from there is send over a few people and take a nap. But there are a lot of truly challenging requirements when it comes to recruiting. Like we discussed above, it’s a lot about reading people, but there’s more to it than that. We’re salespeople, mentors, advisors, and hand holders.
Maybe one of the most difficult aspects of the job is managing the expectations of company hiring managers and job candidates. People on both sides of this equation can sometimes expect miracles with inflated job requirements and salary expectations. And we find ourselves having to bring them back down to earth and help them set realistic goals and targets.
People skills are everything. Every conversation is different and the results of these conversations matter. Being an expert communicator has never been more critical and ensuring that someone has an accurate understanding of the situation is paramount. There is no manual on what to say or when, so recruiters need the skills to know when to push and when to pull, engaging with two sets of customers who must be eased along a path at the right speed and direction for them.
Another challenge is having to tell candidates that they didn’t get the job and the company has decided to go with someone else. Nobody enjoys having to let people down. So, some people avoid having to do it – which is not an excuse for this behavior. But it happens.
But it’s worth it when you place that right candidate in the right role at the right company and can watch them thrive!
Recruiters are not decision makers
While we don’t have final say in the hiring process, recruiters can actually have an influence over hiring managers and their decisions. In best case scenarios, we are regarded as trusted advisors with the required experience to spot a good match for a job that will stay long term and grow in the company. When this happens, everyone has a better experience with the recruiting process.
After all, if a company’s leaders aren’t going to listen to a recruiter’s expert advice, what is the point of hiring a recruiter?
Recruitment is not a long-term career choice
Sometimes recruitment is not regarded as a long term career choice because it’s relentless. A lot of people cannot hack the day in day out grind of what we do. It can be a long term career choice, but it needs to be in your blood. Recruitment is not for the faint hearted.
One might think there’s no room to grow in the recruitment industry but this simply isn’t true. If you’re good at your job, there is always room to advance.
If you start as a 180 recruiter, you can then grow into a 360 role where you will manage client relationships and do business development to try and win new business, and close deals yourself. You can also get into a management role where you will hire, lead, and mentor other recruiters and salespeople. Or you could become an entrepreneur and open your own agency. A lot of recruiters change their careers into project management or marketing because there are lots of transferable skills. There are lots of growth opportunities in recruitment. Like any industry, you just have to know where to look for them.
At Raymond George we have been working in the recruting industry for more than three decades and have held many different roles. We have the insight that comes with this experience. We help find the people who find the people who make your business a success.