The role of a recruiter in job search can be confusing, and there are times that they can facilitate the hiring process well and other times they just add another layer to the decision making process.
To clarify, there are internal recruiters which are employees of the company and are often a part of or are an extension to the Human Resources department. Then there are external recruiters, either contingent or retained, that are external to the organization but are hired specifically to identify candidates for a specific job. I have many business associates in each capacity, and the seasoned ones are highly skilled in seamlessly facilitating the selection and hiring process. But on occassion I see external recruiters sometimes “get in the way” during the process. Remember the hiring manager has the ultimate decision making power as who to hire. The recruiter’s job is to create a pool of qualified candidates and present them to the hiring manager, but may also be tasked with presenting the job offer. This can make it very difficult for the job seeker because now they are one step removed from the ultimate decision maker.
My advice to job seekers as to how to make the sure the recruiter is helping and not hindering the process, keeping in mind that the recruiter is hired by and is paid for by the employer.
1. Early on establish all the players in the selection process. Sometimes it can include both internal and external recruiters, human resources and the hiring management.
2. Clarify who is the primary person driving the process. This can vary per search.
3. Understand what parts of the selection process the external recruiter will be involved in. It may be just creating the pool, or it may include setting up and prepping you for the interviews, all the way through offer negotiation.
4. Make sure the recruiter is presenting you in a way that showcases your strengths. Also know how they are presenting your differentiators. It is not uncommon that the recruiter will be presenting several candidates for the same position.
5. Lastly, don’t lose sight of the fact that your number one goal is make a good connection with that hiring manager and that at the end of the day it is their hiring decision to make.
By understanding the role of the recruiters in the hiring process can help you make sure they are helping you move forward in the process and not hindering you.