Having a Recruiter in Your Job Search Isn’t Just Smart, It’s Necessary

Hiring is no longer a run-of-the-mill activity performed by Human Resources. It’s an art form.

For every job advertised, there are hundreds of candidates who are fighting for the same spot. While you may think you are the perfect fit for that position, those other applicants believe they are better than you. You need something to help you stand out from the rest. Something that puts you in front of that hiring manager and says, “You need to hire me. Now.”

Having a good recruiter in your back pocket can set you apart from the pack. Below are 6 key reasons why working with a recruiter will put you at the head of the class.

     1. Direct contact with a hiring manager.

Recruiters spend their careers building relationships with the people decide the fate of your future employment. They devote that time to learning what not only makes someone a good fit technically, but also culturally. They can tip you off to talk about football because the hiring manager is a huge Giants fan. By the time your first phone call with a recruiter is over you know if you have what it takes to be the company’s next employee and how to use that to your advantage.

      2. Recruiters know the “ins and outs” of the job description.

When you review a job description what are you doing first? Identifying if you match the bullet points advertised. You read the first seven bullets and think, “Well I match five of them so I should be perfect!” Unfortunately for you, those two you didn’t match are actually the most important for the job. Don’t get lost in the job description wish list. A good recruiter will know what areas of the job description are most important to the person you’ll be working for, and which ones are secondary.

      3. Provide Career Advice

Recruiting is much like a batting average. Success is determined by failing more than winning. Recruiters know what a bad interview looks like, and how it can be prevented. If you are an average job seeker, chances are you’re only interviewing with 3-4 companies. That means you have a few shots to be the best. Working with a recruiter gives you the chance to learn from other’s mistakes. Spending 10 minutes with a recruiter will help you figure out what makes a job applicant attractive to hiring managers saving you hours of wasted interviewing time.

     4. Up Front Honesty

The fact is that companies usually don’t tell you why you are not getting the job. They want you to believe that there was a “better applicant” or they ignore you completely. Hiring managers aren’t afraid to tell recruiters the real deal because it spares them from breaking the news to the applicant and hearing any backlash or worse, disappointment. Recruiters aren’t afraid to tell the candidate this information because ultimately they are not the ones who feel this way. It’s not fun, but a good recruiter will give you the black and white truth to provide as much clarity, closure and coaching for the future.

     5. Interview Preparation

The average job seeker is not an expert at interviewing, at least they probably shouldn’t be! Recruiters, on the other hand, make a living off of interviews. They know if the hiring manager prefers someone who dresses down, shows up 15 minutes early and has a very firm handshake. This knowledge is pivotal in this day and age of job searching. I’ve seen a candidate lose out on a Vice President position for not knowing how much stake the company held in a post-interview thank you note. Working with a recruiter gives you inside knowledge and tips on how to stand out from the rest of the applicants

     6. Resume Assistance

If you are like most professionals you have acquired a multitude of different skill sets throughout your career. Although it would be nice to label all of it, there just isn’t enough room and no hiring manager will read a 15 page resume. Even the best writers can use a leg up sometimes. Recruiters know what each manager views as most important to see clearly on the resume. They will ensure that the first thing the hiring manager reads is the exact experience they are looking for in the perfect candidate.


Working with a recruiter will get you closer to your dream job by separating you from the herd, but don’t just work with the first recruiter who calls! Understand their market, clients and industry. If you are an IT Director looking for an executive level position it makes no sense to work with a Financial Recruiter who staffs tax accountants. The recruiter/ candidate relationship should be one of understanding what the two of you can do for one another. Like every partnership, a good match makes for a good life.


Chadd Balbi , Full-Desk IT Recruiter



Views: 3786

Comment by marc edward nolan on July 21, 2013 at 7:07pm

As an old timer full desk person, these might seem like great tips to the younger group, but in all fairness, some of these tips really depend on the recruiter- and many of these us old timers have been using for many years. But there are some holes that need to be addressed here as well.

For instance, recently I received an e-mail from "Sam" who told me I was a "perfect fit-for a PeopleSoft development position" and then he called me two minutes later as well. What shocked me, was that even though I have been involved with PeopleSoft for many year- the LAST time I used it was back in 2007-and then I was a PM? So for fun, I just asked him some basic questions.. i.e what version are they currently running- and "Sam" did not have the answer to that one. Recruiting in IT for instance, is very specific and many recruiters don't have the functional knowledge of the industry- and I would venture to say that in other "niche" markets, the more successful recruiters, not only are recruiting (which I coined the GAFAR business (Get-A-Req_Fill-A Req) back in 1994) but BUILDING relationships-and to me that is the number area a great recruiter has in his pocket.

In 1995 I wrote the very first book on the IT staffing industry-and yes what is amazing is that many of these are still in existance today. We are now working on an "app" that we beleive is going to change the dynamics for the candidates in the marketplace, and sadly might really shed some light on this industry- but we feel it has to be done.


Comment by Chadd Balbi on July 22, 2013 at 8:27am

I am a firm believer that spirited, intellectual debate drives progress and change, so as such I am happy to engage in this. 

We (Myself and Recruiting Animal) clearly have a different way of viewing this article. At no point in this blog did I make a reference to the quality of the candidate. At the end of the day, if you are not an ideal fit for an open position, the best recruiter in the world wont be able to get you an interview. 

The point of this article is to show how the recruiter/ candidate relationship can be effective if utilized properly. As I stated, if your an IT Director looking for that next career transition and you call an Accounting and Finance placement agency, you are spinning your wheels. As a candidate it makes sense to understand the agencies in your market, and realize which one will be best for you. It is best if you find and work with the recruiter that places candidates in your field, in your geographic location and works with the companies you want to be hired by. 

The point of this article was to show how working with a recruiter can give you that edge, much like the comment made by "IT Recruitment". The recruiter knows what the hiring manager likes and what they don't when it comes to getting that face to face interview. I personally have seen VP level candidates get declined positions because of something as small as a thank you note. Had that person known how important a thank you note was, makes or breaks the interview. The recruiter knows that. 

And to your point Recruiting Animal, this is my first article, however it is not my first week in staffing. I wrote this to spark this exact debate and am happy to speak to people with opposing view points. I look forward to writing many more.

Comment by anna on July 23, 2013 at 6:46pm
Well put!


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