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: 3856

Comment by Rebecca B. Sargeant on July 15, 2013 at 11:55am

I love point 6 ~ We are the Interviewing Experts and we take the guess work out of what you should cover in your interview!

Comment by Derdiver on July 16, 2013 at 2:21pm

Great post man.  All of the points are valid. Being in a VERY specialized space I get calls from people outside of my industry and I tell them to contact people within theirs first.  I can help with most of what you wrote about but if you are not in my industry I don't have the contacts. 

Comment by Will Thomson on July 16, 2013 at 5:07pm

Chadd,  this is your first post right?  I think I can say pretty confidently that you hit it out of the park.  Looking forward to reading your blogs! This was great.

Comment by Chadd Balbi on July 16, 2013 at 5:14pm

Thank you Will. It was my first post. I am looking forward to continuing!

Comment by Nicky Unsworth on July 18, 2013 at 12:52pm

Great article!  It's nice to see someone put a positive spin on having a recruiter contact you!

Comment by Chadd Balbi on July 18, 2013 at 12:55pm

Im glad you enjoyed it Nicky. The recruiter/ candidate relationship can be very beneficial if both parties understand how each can be a benefit to the other. Too often recruiters are looked at like the view of the used care salesmen, "What do I have to do to get you in this job today?". It doesn't have to always be like that. And if the recruiter treats you that way, move on, there are plenty of us good ones out there :)

Comment by Joy Naui on July 19, 2013 at 3:50pm

I agree with your article. However, there are recruiters who don't try to understand the requirements first before reaching out to candidates and I think this is one reason why we get a bad rap. A partnership between a good recruiter and the candidate is essential so they know what skills and career goals can be matched  with the right openings.  Whenever I go to networking meetings, I try to build up precisely this idea of how important it is to work with a recruiter in one's job search.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 21, 2013 at 4:48pm

This is a joke. It reminds me of all the career coach articles telling job hunters to build a relationship with a recruiter. Why? If you're a good candidate the recruiter is going to put you forward with the same enthusiasm whether you're his old pal or a new found friend. Because placements mean money.

And even if you're an old buddy who has done him lots of favours by giving him countless referrals that made him a pile of dough, if you're no good for the jobs he has, he can't do anything for you at all.

The key way for a job hunter to relate to a recruiter is to make herself findable.

There is one exception to this rule. If you are a great candidate in a certain field and ready to jump ship, a recruiter might market you to the industry. That's not done with many candidates. And, sometimes it's done only to pull in a job order and, in the end, place someone else.

To have a recruiter market you, she has to know that you are becoming active so you have to contact her and let her know. But beyond that you don't have to do anything. And it's long odds that the recruiter is going to market you. But she might

Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 21, 2013 at 5:05pm

By the way, I see that this is your first posting. I don't want to discourage you from writing. You just can't expect everyone to agree. If you really believe what you are saying and want to come on my radio show and defend your ideas let me know. But first see AnimalShowBasics.com

Comment by IT Recruitment on July 21, 2013 at 5:29pm

In working with Dallas IT recruiters, I have found that using a recruiter will give you an edge over other candidates. To find the recruiter that is right for you, research the staffing firms in your area, just as you would any employer. Review local business publications and websites, and tap your network for their recommendations. When evaluating your options, look for a firm that specializes in your field and has a history of success.


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