With over 80 years of combined experience in the recruiting world, our team knows a thing or two about how this industry works.  This has given us a front row seat to the misunderstandings and misconceptions associated with it, as well.  So, we want to clear a few things up…

Recruiter vs Executive Search Firm vs Staffing Agency

There are three most commonly used titles in the recruiting world. It’s important to understand which you are working with because it will impact the service and results you can expect. In fact, if you are working with the wrong one, your chances of finding a job could be severely hindered!

A recruiter can be independent or work for a recruiting firm. Their job is to source and identify candidates for open jobs at any level. Organizations enlist a recruiter because they lack an internal recruiter or the pool of qualified candidates is small due to specialization or current employment rates.

An executive search firm is comprised of a team of recruiters (large or small) who primarily recruits professionals at the executive and mid-level. Many executive search firms have a specific niche or focus. For example, TurningPoint’s primary focuses are Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Leadership roles. They may also be referred to as a search firm, headhunters, or a recruiting company. The key differentiator between a recruiter and an executive search firm, is the level of candidate they are sourcing.

The third type of recruiting title is a staffing agency. These organizations tend to be much larger in size and are predominantly focused on recruiting temporary junior to mid-level professionals.

Important Note: Regardless of the type of recruiter you are working with, one key factor remains the same if you are the candidate… the recruiter is hired and paid by the organization who is seeking assistance to fill a role within their company. When a recruiter engages you in the search process, they still do not work for the applicant. Ideally, s/he is a professional and will facilitate honest and consistent communication; but ultimately, s/he follows the direction of and answers to the paying client.

Applicant Tracking System

As a job seeker, an ATS is your friend not your enemy! An Applicant Tracking System is a computerized software tool used to maintain and manage applicants. Typically, they filter applications based on given criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and schools attended.

The ATS can increase your chances of making it through the first round of resume screens if you take advantage of it. Before you submit your resume, thoroughly study the job description. In there, you will find the types of skills, titles, experience, certifications, the organization is looking for. It is safe to assume their ATS is also looking for those things. Tailor your resume to include them – as long as you’re telling the truth! This makes it highly likely your resume will move forward in the screening process.

Follow Up

The reliability rate of an ATS is pretty high. So, it’s safe to assume your resume was received. You do not (and should not) resubmit your resume multiple times! If you have not gotten a follow up phone call or email after the first submission, it’s safe to assume you were not a fit for the role. However, if you want to send a very short message asking for confirmation that it was received, that’s fine. However, do NOT ask to have a conversation/interview simply to repeat everything about your background that already showed up on your resume. If they confirm that it was received, thank them and let them know you look forward to hearing from them. The End.

Recruiters Aren’t Magicians

It goes without saying that recruiters wear many hats. Unfortunately, they can rarely pull a rabbit out of one.

We do our best to identify and engage top professionals who possess the skills, experience, and grit our clients are looking for. Our experience allows us to see “outside the box” and tap into our exclusive network of candidates others never knew were out there. We may know of a diamond in the rough who doesn’t appear to hit the mark on paper but is exactly who our client is looking for. However, there’s only so much we can do because we work for the client. Companies do not hire search firms to present candidates who are “fast learners”, trying to change careers, or switching to a completely different industry. We appreciate that you are a dynamic professional who can adapt, but organizations have limits on the risks they are willing to take.

In every industry, there is a spectrum professionalism. Recruiting is no different. There will be some who go radio silent and leave you hanging, wondering if you’re still a viable candidate for the role you really want. There will be others, like our team, who are transparent about the process and pride themselves on keeping open lines of communication. Understanding some of the ins and outs of recruiting will help you set the right expectations and know when to seek help elsewhere.

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