Not all search firms are created equally. From how executive recruiters operate to what industries they serve or job titles they target, jobseekers need to understand the differences. Armed with that knowledge, candidates and recruiters can work together to achieve the most successful outcome.
Bristol Associates asked three of their recruiters for input on what they felt were the most common misconceptions about those working in their field.
Misconception #1: Any Decent Candidate Will Do
A common misconception about recruiters is that we only care about filling the role, no matter which of our candidates ends up with the job. While it’s true that our client doesn’t pay us until one of our candidates is hired, our overall goal is to fill the position with the right person. We measure a successful placement when both sides are happy. If the candidate we place is not a good fit, he or she will inevitably be unhappy in their work. As a result, Bristol will probably not get a positive recommendation or refer us to his or her colleagues. Plus, an unhappy candidate may lead to an unhappy client – one who may not solicit our services in the future.
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Misconception #2: All Search Firms Are Alike
Not all recruitment firms operate the same way. Many recruitment firms focus on a specific market segment (like finance, tech or manufacturing). There are other firms that specialize in recruiting for types of positions (like CEO, CFO, CMO or CTO). There are distinctions between Temporary Recruitment firms, Contract-to-Hire firms, and Direct Placement firms.
As a prospective job seeker, candidates need to be informed. Does the firm you’re working with have a strong background in placing candidates either within your area of expertise or for the senior or executive level you desire? If you are looking to transition into consulting or project-based work, does the firm you’re working with have adequate experience – and connections – to find the right assignments?
Understanding the objectives and the service agreement the recruitment firm has with its client is very important and will help increase your chances of being exposed to and matched with the appropriate opportunity.
Misconception #3: Recruiters Work for the Candidate
It goes without saying that good candidates are extremely important to recruiters. But it is the hiring company that is the recruiter’s client, not the jobseeker. Candidates must understand that recruiters don’t find jobs for people—recruiters find people for jobs.
Jobseekers should consider being recruited as an indication of his or her worth in the marketplace. Candidates working with recruiters are receiving a valuable free service, often entailing beneficial advice and feedback that may result in important career advancement.
As a candidate, you should expect a recruiter to be forthright and attentive to your particular professional goals—and to maintain communication with you throughout the search process.
But do keep in mind that the recruiter’s first priority is serving their client’s needs.
Bristol Associates is an executive search firm with a 50-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies and candidates in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, restaurant and nonprofit/arts businesses.