Is there any reason NOT to use a recruiter? I know the hiring firm has to pay the recruiter. Ddoes that translate into a lower offer for the candidate?

Ap, I have had zero luck with recruiters. The way they work is this; A company will pay an agency $1x,000+ to find an employee for them. In most cases it results in a marginal increase in individuals salary (I’ve heard 10-20%). It sounds like recruiters work well for position near director/exec level. A position with 3 years of experience does not require a fine tooth comb selection whereas a director of Factset operations may require that. The dirty and ugly side of them. Most agencies have quotas to adhere to; amount of time phone is off hook, amount of calls per day, number of meetings with potential applicants, etc. Therefore, they need token individuals like you or I to keep their agency happy. Sometimes they will set a meeting soley for their own self interest not even caring about yours. I know you live in MN too, if you want to email me for specific questions feel free. I’ve been hassled by 4 agencies with zero luck, and finally I spoke to a friend of mine who obtained a job with one and they explained the internal operations.

I’ve interviewed with a lot of recruiters. They always tell me how awesome I am, which is cool, but they never get me a job. I interviewed with a recruiter last week. He talked about all these opportunities, what a good candidate I am, what he could do for me, and blah, blah, blah. Seven days later, and I still haven’t heard back. Going forward, I will only apply directly to companies. Time is a valuable asset, and I can’t afford to waste it on recruiters.

Recruiters are good at taking people who do something and putting them in a job at another place where they do pretty much the exact same thing, possibly at a slightly higher level, and hopefully at a bump of 25% or more in pay. If you’re trying to do that, recruiters are pretty good. If you lack experience in what you are trying to do, or you are shooting for some role that is a little different. Headhunters won’t help much. So, go ahead and talk to them, but don’t make them the center of your strategy. They are a medium risk (more people know you’re looking) low expectation (hit and miss) strategy, which can be a small part of your portfolio of activities in looking for a better job.

The employment agencies you guys are talking about act on a contigency basis, so it should not be all that surprising that the results are mixed. Some of these folks don’t really know what they’re doing, but as a candidate looking for employment, you should have a good enough sense as to who recruits for the jobs you’re looking for and be able to avoid these other people. In comparison, there are many headhunters that act on retainer, and in fact, most of the top PE and hedge funds higher primarily from headhunters. Obviously these recruiters are much better, and in some instances, the only way to get access to these jobs besides a personal network is through recruiters. Iin short, I believe you can tell a good recruiter from an ineffective one within a couple minutes of an initial phone call. And part of being able to tell who’s good versus who’s not is certainly the responsibility of the job seeker.

hey apcarlso: here’s the down low. i’ve confirmed with someone who has hired from a recruiter before…their fee (% of your first year total compensation usually) gets paid out of a seperate budget, so it will not affect your bonus/compensation (particularily at a junior level). that said, two equal candidates one from a recruiter, one off the street…they would go with the lower cost option. but once you’re in, you’re in and there’s no question about compensation anymore. there are good ones and bad ones. i just got an offer through a recruiter for a big bank and they made the proccess relatively painless. the truth is, i would not have been able to get in otherwise, so it was worth it for me and these guys were stellar. in the end, you have to ask yourself this: can i get the job without them? if not, use them. if you’re having no luck on your own, they’re just an added resource! my opinion would be to talk to a few agencies, find one or two your like and start working with them. make it perfectly clear you are also searching on your own, so they are not to send out any resume’s without your prior explicit consent. if they approach you with a position that you’re already applying to (and you think you have a decent shot at), just say “no thanks, I’m already looking there.” the recruiter won’t make contact on your behalf anymroe because it would just make both of you look silly for wasting the company’s time. anyhow, my 2cents, i hope it helps.

Thanks for the input people. Decison time.

i just got my new job by being headhunted…didn’t affect my compensation (it increased it).