Episode #45 – The Most Common Myths About Working with a Recruiter

Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health Companies and Veterinary Businesses acquire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about the most common myths about working with a recruiter. Welcome, Stacy. Thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Sharita. I’m glad to be here today.

Sharita: Stacy, I imagine you’ve come across just about every myth when it comes to what job seekers and candidates think about working with a recruiter. Is that right?

Stacy: That is correct. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation in the employment marketplace, and that includes what job seekers believe about recruiters. You would think that the advent of the Internet would help in some way to clear up the confusion, but that is not necessarily the case. There are job seekers and candidates in the employment marketplace right now, as we do this podcast, who are operating under mistaken assumptions about recruiters.

Sharita: Well, some of those people might be in the audience today. So perhaps we can shed some light on the subject for them.

Stacy: I certainly hope so!

Sharita: Stacy, where would you like to begin?

Stacy: I’d like to address a number of myths one at a time, starting with the myth that the candidate has to pay the recruiter to help them find a job. That is not the case. Actually, let me clarify that. No reputable recruiter would expect a job seeker to pay for helping them to find a job. In other words, if you’re working with a recruiter and that recruiter expects you to pay them, then you need to walk away. That is NOT a recruiter you want to work with in my opinion.

The recruiter’s client pays the recruiter, not the candidate. And that leads me to our next myth.

Sharita: What’s that?

Stacy: That’s the myth that it is the recruiter’s responsibility to help a job seeker find employment. Recruiters work for organizations to help them fill their open positions. As we just established, a recruiter’s client, the employer, pays the recruiter. Since that’s the case, the recruiter’s responsibility is to the client and not the candidate.

Now, don’t get me wrong: the recruiter still wants to help job seekers and candidates. But that’s different than being expected to find a job for someone. If there’s a good match between a job seeker and a client, then by all means, the recruiter will make that match. But the match has to exist in the first place. A recruiter is not going to force a candidate on their client just because the candidate expects the recruiter to find a job for them. And once again, that leads us to our next myth.

Sharita: What would that be?

Stacy: That’s the myth that recruiters only work with people who are unemployed or who are struggling with their job search.

We’ve discussed this point before. Recruiters work with passive candidates all the time. In fact, sometimes passive candidates are the candidates that a recruiter’s client wants to see the most. So if you’re employed and not even looking for a new job right now and a recruiter calls you, that’s because they more than likely want to talk with you about an employment opportunity that may be better than the one you have right now. Just because you’re not actively looking for a job is not a good reason to not talk with a recruiter.

Sharita: Stacy, what’s another myth that job seekers and candidates have about working with a recruiter?

Stacy: Another myth is that recruiters don’t care about the role that they place you in, that they just want to get you placed so they can collect their fee.

That is not true. It’s very important to a recruiter that they make a good fit between their client and the candidate they place at their client. A recruiter wants both parties to be satisfied. The reason is simple. The recruiter wants their client to view them as someone who can get results.

If a recruiter places a candidate at their client and that candidate is fired or quits shortly after being hired, that is going to reflect poorly on the recruiter. As a result, the hiring manager may have less confidence in the recruiter the next time the organization has an opening to fill. To go a step further, the hiring manager may not  use that recruiter the next time the organization has an opening. So it’s definitely in the recruiter’s best interests to create a win-win situation for the company and also the candidate. If the company and candidate don’t win, then the recruiter doesn’t win, either. Good recruiters, want a win-win-win.

And yet again, that leads us to our next myth.

Sharita: Which one is that?

Stacy: That’s the myth that recruiters do not want to build long-term relationships with candidates. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, allow me to qualify that. Good, reputable recruiters want to build long-term relationships with candidates. Drawing upon the first myth that we discussed, if a recruiter wants a job seeker to pay for helping them to find a position, then that recruiter probably is not interested in a relationship. They’re interested in being paid for something they should not be getting paid for.

I have built many long-term relationships with Animal Health and Veterinary  professionals. In fact, I’ve placed many of them multiple times. They view me as a career coach, somebody who can help them grow throughout their careers. I find it personally satisfying when a candidate that I’ve placed writes me a letter or email thanking me for helping them. I truly enjoy helping job seekers and candidates improve the quality of their lives and the quality for their family’s lives through better employment opportunities.

Sharita: How many myths do we have left?

Stacy: We have two more. The first one is the myth that a candidate won’t get paid as much or they won’t be offered as much money or compensation if they’re represented by a recruiter. Not only is this not true, but in many cases, just the opposite is true.

Sharita: How so?

Stacy: Recruiters, by their very trade, are masters of negotiation. They know how to negotiate on their behalf and also on the behalf of the candidates they represent. This includes negotiating in the areas of salary and compensation. The fact of the matter is that many candidates are not well versed in the art of negotiation. So if and when they get to that stage of the hiring process, they’re at a disadvantage.

However, a candidate who is represented by a recruiter is not at a disadvantage. They have an advantage: their recruiter, who has been through the negotiation stage countless times. Not only that, but the recruiter also has insight and knowledge about the hiring manager, the organization, and how they like to negotiate. The candidate is able to leverage the experience and expertise that the recruiter possesses and put it to use negotiating the best offer package possible.

Sharita: I can see how this could be a very damaging myth to believe. Not only do recruiters not hurt a candidate’s chances of receiving a good offer, but they actually help the candidate’s chances to receive a good offer.

Stacy: Our last myth is similar to that one and it can be just as damaging.

Sharita: What’s that?

Stacy: Our final myth is the myth that a candidate has a better chance of being considered for a position if they are NOT represented by a recruiter.

Sharita: What’s the logic there?

Stacy: It’s all about the fee. The candidate thinks that the employer does not want to pay the recruiter’s fee and will do anything to not pay the fee. As a result, they think that if they can get in front of the employer without recruiter representation, it will give them an edge over other candidates who are represented by recruiters. In their mind, the hiring manager would give more credence to a candidate that the company did not have to “pay for.” But once again, this is absolutely not true, and once again, the opposite is actually often the case.

When an organization uses a search consultant or recruiter to help fill a position, the organization is indicating its willingness to pay the recruiter’s fee. Not only that, if an organization is using a recruiter to help fill a position, they’re indicating that they trust the recruiter. The organization trusts the recruiter to help identify the best candidates in the marketplace and then convince those candidates to consider their employment opportunity. Many organization know the best candidates are the ones that come from the recruiter they know and trust.

Sharita: Is it true that you’ve reached out to candidates about an opportunity, only to have the candidates try to go behind your back, directly to the employer?

Stacy: Yes, that’s happened, and it never goes well for the candidate. They think they’re giving themselves an advantage by doing it, but the hiring manager at my client always questions their actions. The fact of the matter is that the hiring manager is not going to view you as a more attractive candidate just because you’re not represented by a recruiter. My client, the employer, knows me. The hiring manager trusts me. They trust my judgment and my abilities. On the other hand, they don’t even know who you are in many cases.

Trust is a key factor here. The hiring manager trusts me enough to pay a fee for my services. Hiring someone  requires a certain level of trust, as well. If the hiring manager doesn’t even know you, how can they immediately trust you enough to hire you? However, if I present you to the hiring manager, then they trust my judgment, and by extension, they trust you as a candidate.

Sharita: Stacy, it certainly makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing these myths about recruiters and all of this great information today.

Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!