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3 Types of Job Recruiters You Should Avoid

Posted on: February 13, 2017

Categories: Career Advice | Featured | Job Search | Job Seeker

By Brooke Kline, Strategic Recruiting Manager

If you’re searching for a new job, chances are you understand it can be tough to get started. These days there are almost too many digital resources available, all claiming to match you with your perfect position in no time. From job search sites to company career pages, the opportunities are endless.

For job seekers, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Algorithms and impersonal criteria can eliminate qualified candidates almost as soon as the resume is received. An old adage says, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” While that’s not always true, one thing is certain: relationships matter in the business world. 

To cut through the noise of the job search process, many job seekers opt to work with a recruiter. But, how do you know which recruiter is the right recruiter? Does your recruiter want to be a trusted partner on your career path or just a pusher, constantly presenting you with ill-fitting opportunities and peddling your resume?

Here are three types of recruiters to avoid as well as qualities that make recruiters good partners in your job search.

  1. The “Used Car Salesman” Recruiter

    Some recruiters are willing to force a square peg into a round hole to make a buck. These recruiters take a retail approach to recruiting, offering candidates off-the-rack opportunities that may fit in some ways yet aren’t tailored to their specific needs.

    A candidate should never be just a number or product to a recruiter. Recruiters who want to be a true resource value their candidates and their own reputation too much to attempt any sales-y or disingenuous gimmicks. Instead, your recruiting partner should present you with opportunities that are matched to the skills and experiences you possess and that have the attributes you deem important, such as benefits, work/life balance and opportunities for advancement. A good recruiter knows the candidate well enough to present right-fit roles that essentially sell themselves.

  2. The “Spaghetti” Recruiter

    This type of recruiter takes the approach of throwing their candidates’ resumes to a host of contacts just to see what will stick. Once the candidate is placed, they move on. But any cook can tell you that spaghetti sticking to the wall is an unreliable way to see if it’s done. Candidates placed through this spray-and-pray approach are often quickly back on the market, because the role wasn’t a fit.

    A reputable recruiter will take exactly the opposite approach from the Spaghetti Recruiter. Each candidate relationship should start with a conversation about expectations, and a true partner should never submit a resume without your permission. Candidates should feel confident that their search is confidential and tailored to fit their unique skills and qualifications. These things will help them move forward along their career path.

  3. The “Houdini” Recruiter

    Feedback should be a hallmark of any recruiter-candidate relationship. The Houdini Recruiter neglects this crucial step of the process by essentially disappearing after their candidate’s interviews. These recruiters miss out on an opportunity to coach candidates and build rapport and trust. A recruiter who seeks to become a trusted career advisor will make the time to follow up with their candidates and engage in open and honest communication. Bombed the interview? Your recruiter should be able to share where you went wrong and provide you with tips to avoid similar slip-ups in the future.

    A true recruiting partner takes this a step further, maintaining contact even after they help you land the right opportunity. Initially, they’ll follow up to make sure the reality of the role matches the expectations. Down the road, happy candidates can become hiring managers, word-of-mouth ambassadors or even candidates again.  Keeping the lines of communication open is just good business for both.

You can be a great catch for potential employers. Make sure your recruiter recognizes and values everything you have to give. 

Sherpa has years of experience matching high-caliber candidates with local companies, and they know what it takes to help you find the right match. You don’t have to face busy season alone. To find a partner for your job search, contact us today.


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