Recruiters-we get it, you don't work for candidates

I just posted this to my wordpress blog-disclaimer, I wrote this from a candidate's perspective. I offer this for your consideration after reading last night's twitter discussion on #tnl.

Today, on Paul Paris’s radio show Janet Worthington and her son Jeremy discussed job search strategies. I am a new volunteer on This site is free for people in transition. While is it is not a resume hub, it is a place where a person in transition can seek advice from professionals in their industry.

The current job market is beginning to turn around. However, it is still up to you to be your own recruiter. Last night there was a heated debate on twitter among recruiters about candidates, clients and priorities. There were those saying, “we should spend more time with candidates.” There were recruiters shouting, “we have to prioritize our time with those who pay our fees.” It is sad that recruiters do not represent candidates in the US as they do in the UK. NEWSFLASH: You are NOT the recruiters priority. Never lose sight that recruiters follow the money, they are retained by the client, and their allegiance is to the client, not to you. Therefore, it is important to reach out to jobsearch focus groups, your contacts on linkedin, twitter, professional associations, and people like us who are willing to help you for free, without strings, or fees. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming down hard on recruiters. They have to earn a living. Finding candidates for employers is what they do. I like my colleagues. Many of them will spend time with people in transition. People like Paul Paris and Jeff Lipschultz and @animal are great resources to jobseekers. But, people in transition have to be realistic. The recruiters job is not to help you find a job. Their job is to help the employer find the perfect candidate to fill their position. So long as you know that going in–you can prioritize your time accordingly.

If you can afford a job coach I recommend Janet Worthington. I know that she also is on Paul Paris’s site and is willing to help people there too. Being in transition can be disheartening. It can be a morale buster. When you are feeling low, turn to someone in your support system who can lift you up!

The bottom line is this: you have to be your own best advocate. Teach yourself all you can about the free resources available to you and USE THEM! Looking for a job can be a drag, but looking for a job can also be fun and exhilarating. Interviewing can be a process of discovery. You are a resource person, not a job beggar. You are the brand.

I have been using twitter with great success to connect with people in my industry. That’s how I met Paul Paris, Janice Worthington and Karla Porter, and others. I’ve joined professional committees, and learned about inexpensive conferences and meetings that will help expand my contact network and may lead to me to my next position.

Follow smart people in your industry. At the twitter search box input the name of your industry. See who pops up. Follow the leaders. Follow the people they follow. Read the #hash tags they note in their posts. Join in the discussion. Get involved. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. Start listening to the HR blog radio shows. @paul22 blog radio show is outstanding, as is @animal’s. If you need a word of encouragement, I’m in your corner.

Just give me a shout. And I’m sincere when I say I really care!

Views: 151

Comment by Darren Scotland on October 29, 2009 at 2:53pm
Some interesting points here - took me a second to figure out what you meant by "in transition" for a start!

Candidates ought to use recruitment consultancies as part of their strategy, not rely on them alone to find work.

A good recruiter ought to be honest and explain that to them though, we can't find everyone a job but we're always willing to listen and offer advice where we can.
Comment by Fran Hogan on October 29, 2009 at 4:46pm
Although an independent recruiter's job is to find candidates for their client companies, most will take the time to help. Whenever I have explained to someone that I find people for my client companies - I don't find jobs for people - they have completely understood. Most have never had it explained to them and appreciate my explanation.

It has been wrenching to talk to people day after day that are out of work through no fault of their own....most of them likeable with excellent experience & skills and desperation starting to creep into their voices. Especially when you know that you can’t help them directly. I am always looking for resources that I can recommend to these individuals.

For a recruiter not having search assignments (or not filling them) is the same as being out of work. We are not bad guys that don’t care about people and just chase the money. Most of us help whenever we can.

Margo you said “It is sad that recruiters do not represent candidates”. There was a time, a long, long time ago, that recruiters did represent the candidates, and they charged the candidate a fee. Even the career counselors need to make a living…and who pays their fees? I think it’s a much more professional, although largely misunderstood, practice of our companies being our clients not the person looking for a job.

Thank you for doing what you do and providing another resource for candidates “in transition”. I will be passing along your recommendations to those in need of help I am unable to provide.
Comment by Margo Rose on October 30, 2009 at 10:27am
Thank you so much, and keep me in mind while you are at it. Most of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.


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