Working with Job Recruiters: What to Expect

Working on behalf of an employer, job recruiters match job opportunities with job seekers that have registered with their recruitment firm.

How Job Recruiters Work

Legitimate job recruiters receive a contract from an employer that needs to hire staff. The employer pays the job recruiter a fee to hire the employees and a legitimate recruiter should not ask a job seeker to pay a fee to find employment. The recruiter is also not deducting the fee for the service from the employee's wages; for example, if work as a laborer typically pays eight dollars an hour, the recruiter does not deduct from the wages so the employee is only earning six dollars an hour. The employer has paid the recruiter for their services, so an employee should not pay any additional fees.

Benefits of Working with Recruiters

Established recruitment firms have arrangements with many different employers. For the job seeker, there is usually only one application and interview with the recruitment firm to gain access to many different types of jobs and different employers, so it is not necessary to submit multiple applications and have many interviews. The job seeker will also usually have one contact with the recruitment firm which simplifies the process if there are any questions or problems with the employer.

Recruitment firms may also have training and skills development. For example, if you are hired by a recruitment firm and your principle skill is data entry, the recruitment firm may offer classes in person or online. This may include training in relevant software to acquire additional computer skills. Another example includes recruitment firms that hire laborers may offer a gateway to a job as a welder or carpenter's assistant, in other words, a way to break into a trade.

Drawbacks to Working with a Recruiter

It is difficult for a person with limited job experience to get job offers from a recruiter and it can take time and persistence to get the recruiter to place you in your first position. There may also be agreements that state the employer can't hire you away from the recruiter once your contract has ended. For example, the worker completes a three month contract as an administrative assistant with the employer and will be returning to school, but the employer would like to keep the employee on to work on weekends. The employer may have agreed to pay the recruitment firm should this type of "hire away" from the recruitment firm happen. If you take the job from the employer and don't tell the recruitment firm, saving the employer some money, this may leave the employer open to a contract violation or damage your relationship with the recruitment firm. These situations are rare, though they can happen, so it is important to ask about these conditions when you interview with the recruitment firm.

There are some unscrupulous recruitment firms and it is a good idea to conduct some basic research on recruitment firms prior to applying with your first recruiter.

Getting Started with a Recruitment Firm

If you find a job listed on a recruitment firm website that you are interested in, apply to the recruitment firm directly. Do not go around the recruitment firm and contact the employer directly. Remember that any jobs you see in the recruiter's database may about to be filled and you don't want to ruin a possible relationship with a recruiter who offers jobs in your area.

Submit your application, usually a resume and cover letter, via email or on the recruitment firm's online database. You may also decide to go directly to the recruitment firm and submit your resume and cover letter directly. Do some research on the recruitment firm's website first, look at their available jobs and go to the recruitment firm with a polished resume that mentions some of the available jobs that you are qualified for on your cover letter.

Show up dressed appropriately for an interview when you drop off your resume and cover letter. Recruitment firms will usually interview suitable job seekers on a walk-in basis, so it is best to arrive prepared for an interview.

Working with a recruitment firm is one way to find employment, especially if the recruitment firm has an established relationship in the industry you want to work in, if you are looking for temporary employment or if you want to expand your job search.

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