Myth # 1:

Recruiters are HR people

Most recruiters (the term recruiter and account manager are used interchangeably here) do not have any formal HR training. Why? Because the recruiter is not an HR professional, but a salesperson. The recruiter manages accounts with different companies, takes their job orders, and finds candidates to fill the roles. In other words, the recruiter needs to generate business for the recruiting company – either in the form of clients, candidates or both. If there are no job orders to fill or they can’t find people for the ones they’ve got, then they are out of a job!

If you are client (i.e. a company) then the recruiter must convince you that they will meet your business’s needs better than the competition. If you are a candidate, then the recruiter may be selling you on working with him. You, in turn, must sell the recruiter on why he should present you as an excellent candidate for the client’s role.

Myth # 2:

Recruiters have lots of time to spend with you

Like anyone in business, recruiters value time as money. Time spent chatting is a lost opportunity to make money, to fill roles, to network, to take job orders, and to find candidates. If you want a recruiter to place you in an excellent role, then convince them that you are the right person for the job and then let them get to work!

Myth # 3:

All recruiters get paid a salary

There are some companies that do pay their employees some form of salary as well as commission on deals that they either generate or find candidates for. Recruiters generally ‘eat what they kill,’ so to speak. Recruiters either work for themselves as independents or are on commission structure of some kind with a recruiting company. Most only get paid when they successfully place a candidate in a role AND the candidate stays on the job for a required length of time.

Myth # 4:

All recruiters have gone to recruiter school and are trained

Sadly, most recruiters have little or no training. Some learn on the job, and become very skilled at the art, science and business of recruiting. There are some firms who do spend a great deal of time and money training their recruiters – but far fewer than you would imagine. Many recruiters, however, make mistakes that cost the candidate a job, or cost a company a small fortune when their new hires don’t work out. If you are working with a recruiter, do your homework and choose to work with an experienced professional! Ask them how long they’ve been in the business and what qualifies them for the job.

Myth # 5:

All recruiters have the candidate’s best interest at heart

Most recruiters do care about the candidates that apply for the posted jobs. Others simply want to put your resume in front of a client so that they can get paid (please see Myth # 3).

For those who do want to do their best for candidates, the recruiter/recruitee relationship is a two way street. A candidate must be diligent and make it easy for the recruiter to help him or her. For example, take the coaching on how to write an excellent resume, so the recruiter can easily present you. Polish your interviewing skills. Polish your shoes while you’re at it, and press your shirt. If you need to improve your English, then enroll in a class or hire a tutor. Do everything in your power to make it easy for your recruiter to get you a job.

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