Working with a job recruiter or staffing agency can be a helpful, albeit interesting experience. For job seekers, recruiters and headhunters can be a very valuable tool in finding new leads and openings that would otherwise have flown under the radar. A staffing agency often works hand in hand with big employers in a given area and has the jump on positions that are up for grabs. For that reason, seeking a job recruiter to help you out can be a good idea.
Not all staffing agencies and job recruiters are created equal, though. While most will and do work hard to match good workers with great companies, some are out there doing everything they can to fill positions. Sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. The truth is, there are certain things a recruiter won’t tell you in hopes that you’ll walk into a situation that is less than ideal.
The job recruiter, staffing agencies, and the truth
Yes, there are things recruiters and staffing agencies won’t tell you. Much like how there are things that you wouldn’t tell a recruiter or interviewer. But having an idea of what they’re withholding can get you a step ahead.
The question is, what aren’t they telling you? What should you be on the lookout for, and how can you avoid making a big career misstep? Here are five things to be conscious of when working with a recruiter or staffing professional.
1. Company X pays more
If you’re on the job hunt and are particularly desperate to get back into the working ranks, you might be willing to work for a lower salary or hourly rate. Companies and recruiters know that, and it’s that knowledge that can give them the upper hand in negotiations. But you can use what you know (or can research) about similar positions and average salaries to increase your bargaining power. You may receive an offer for $X, whereas the company next door may be willing to pay you significantly more — just don’t expect anyone to tell you that.
2. The job sucks
If companies are having a hard time filling a position, there may be a very good reason. A lot of times, the job can suck, or at least not live up to the preconceived notions applicants have about it. Quite simply, you might be biting off more than you can chew. But recruiters and agencies get paid when they fill positions. They’re not going to fill positions if they’re honest about jobs that may very well suck.
3. They’re making $X off of you
Sliding into the next point — recruiters and agencies get paid when they fill positions. That’s how they make money. They provide a service that nets them a cut, and they often don’t want applicants worrying too much about how much they’re making off of them. Often, there are commissions attached to their paychecks as well. And those commissions are tied to how much you’re making. You’d be surprised to learn that you’re making $15 per hour, while the agency you’re working through is being paid $60,000 per year for your services.
4. The company is in serious trouble
Another piece of valuable information some recruiters might withhold is that a company is in its death throes. Of course, you can go find out for yourself with a little research, but don’t expect anyone to volunteer that information up front. Even companies in dire straits need employees, and it’s hard to attract them if they know their job may disappear in a matter of months.
5. “Don’t take the offer”
As mentioned, recruiters and agencies make money when they fill positions. That means the incentive is to get people to sign job offers, not steer them toward what could possibly be better opportunities. That’s not to say that recruiters won’t look out for you, but you shouldn’t really expect anyone to tell you not to sign an offer sheet if one is presented.