Should I use a recruiter in my job search?

No, recruiters are all terrible!

If the sarcasm wasn’t clear, I’m joking.

Being on LinkedIn everyday though, you’d be forgiven if you thought this actually was the case. Pretty much everyday there’s a post about how a recruiter messed around a candidate in some way, shape or form.

In this blog I’m going to cut my recruiter friends some slack. I’m going to focus on the benefits of using a recruiter, and maybe chuck in some of the counter-arguments for good measure.

I think the main takeaway here is to understand your personal situation, where you’re applying, who you know, who the agency knows, who your prospective company knows… this list could actually go on quite a while.

Basically, assess your situation and make an informed decision.

“They won’t have to pay an agency fee if I go direct?”

Absolutely true. However, I’ve never known a hiring manager not to hire a candidate they wanted just because of the fee. Why would a company say no to someone who could revolutionise their business over a one-off cost?

It should be noted though, that this could be a deciding factor for very small businesses or businesses that are not doing very well. Nine times out of ten though, you’re either not applying for these businesses or they’re not using an agency to recruit for them.

“But if I apply direct I’ll cut out the person in the middle?”

Yes, this is also true. It isn’t always an advantage though. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I’ve interviewed a candidate purely off the back of a recruiters’ recommendation rather than relying on the CV alone.

Side note, always try to find a mutual connection of some sort to make an introduction. There’s something quite powerful about being recommended for a job vs ‘cold-applying.’

Fun fact: all 4 of my jobs in recruitment have either come through a recruiter or a referral.
“I’ll get more money if I go direct.”

This is a tough one. Yes you could get more money if you go direct… but you could also get more money if you go through an agency. This one could go either way, but remember, recruiters are trained negotiators, right?

There are countless examples of people getting more money going direct… and vice versa. It really comes down to how much you trust your recruiter and how clear you are about your salary expectations from the beginning.

I’m quite conscious of keeping the entries here reasonably short and it’s already gone on a lot longer than anticipated.

Perhaps I’ll finish my thoughts in a follow-up post.

I hope this helped.

Thoughts/feedback/questions welcome.



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