Recruiters, headhunters = easy job search!

Who doesn’t want an easy job search, right? I have a friend who can post his resume on Monster.com and within days, he’s had recruiters contact him and job interviews lined up across the country. Then he sits back and waits for the recruiters to negotiate on his behalf.

My sister, who works in recruiting, sometimes can’t find ANY candidates to fit her open positions. That means she’s losing money every time she can’t find someone to fill a position. Sometimes the pool of available candidates is smaller than the pool of available jobs.

Given these examples, it’s a no-brainer… Just work with a recruiter! Forget about trying to find something on your own… have someone else out there marketing you to companies! Forgo the research, making contacts, networking and trying to get your foot in the door. Heck, just have someone else do it – and you’d even pay someone, right?

But this actually isn’t how the real-world of recruiting works. Very few internal positions are actually filled by outside recruiters. Recruiters tend to work with specialized, hard-to-find skill sets because that’s what their clients need help in finding. Unless you’ve got a really specific niche of expertise, chances are your job search isn’t going to be aided much with a recruiter.

Here’s how 98% of recruiters work: Recruiters get a list of very specific job requirements from their clients (the hiring company). Their job is to go and find the perfect match for those job requirements. They screen lots of candidates, weeding out those who don’t fit. If you fit, to a “t” what they’re looking for, woo-hoo!

The other 2% of the time (I’ve just made up these numbers to illustrate a very disparate ratio) recruiters will actually market you to companies. This happens most often for very senior-level manager positions or very, very specific in-demand expertise (like my friend). If you’re in this situation, you’ve probably already been contacted by a recruiter. You might even use that as your guide – if you’ve got recruiters’ contact information at the ready, you’re probably a good candidate for them.

For the rest of us, we’ll need to get cracking and manage our own job search.