Q: What is your opinion about recruiters? Is it worth the effort to hook up with several of them?
A: When looking for a job I recommended that you reach out to as many sources as possible. A multi-pronged, multi-layered, multimedia approach is best. That, of course, includes recruiters.
As you may know, there are different types of recruiters. The two main categories are Search Firms and Employment Agencies, also called Recruitment Firms or Placement Companies.
Search firms usually work on higher level professional and executive positions that pay 100k and above. They work on a retained basis which means that they charge the employer a fee based on a percentage of the new employee’s annual compensation. This percentage can range from 25 to 35 percent, and a portion of this fee is paid in advance upon signing the agreement with the search firm. Although it rarely happens, search firms are paid this fee for their work even if the position is ultimately not filled.
Employment agencies usually work on a contingency basis which means that the employer pays them a pre-determined fee only when they actually fill the job with a successful candidate.
If you ever come across an employment agency that charges you - the candidate - instead of the employer, avoid getting involved with them.
Many recruitment firms specialize in the placement of employees in certain industries or professions. For example: hi-tech, manufacturing, finance, non-profits, administration, accounting, the sciences, research, etc. Some agencies specialize in temporary placement and others emphasize placing contractors. Do some research, including referrals from friends and colleagues, to find the most effective ones in your field or area of interest.
Whichever type of recruitment firm you choose, it is important to develop and maintain a strong relationship with the recruitment professional you work with in that company. They can often be very helpful in your search and can continue to be an important professional connection even after you are employed.
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Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.