How to work with a Recruiter – The Candidate

(Part 1 of 3)

Lately, I seem to be having issues with candidates, clients, and even other recruiters, that either do not understand, or do not respect what we (as recruiters) do and how we work.  I’d like to take this opportunity to shed some light onto our industry and overall business ethics.  Part 1 of my blog will pertain to candidates who are working with recruiters.  Look for part 2 and 3 coming soon, which will be directed to clients and other recruiters.       

The candidate:

-If you are contacted by a recruiter about a job, you will be asked many questions.  BE OPEN AND HONEST.  Recruiters aren’t out to get you!  We don’t use you for information……we don’t use your salary history against you….and we certainly aren’t plotting your demise.  We DO try to gather as much information as possible about you so that we understand who you are, what makes you tick, and what opportunities you are best suited for.  When we gather information it includes everything from why you left past positions, where you are interviewing and if you are interested in those positions, to what your current compensation is and what you are looking to make.

-If a recruiter calls and notifies you of a company or job that they feel you might be interested in, DO NOT apply on your own.  The recruiter was the person to uncover this opportunity for you, and they should be the person who represents you.   It would be the same as your real estate agent showing you a house, and you buy the house directly from the seller and cut out your agent.  This behavior is unethical and shows that you do not value what the recruiter did to bring you that opportunity.

 -If you are working as a contractor at company X through a recruiter or agency, DO NOT discuss permanent employment terms or rates with company X without discussing it first with your recruiter.  It is against the terms of your employment agreement.  I actually had a candidate tell me once that they wanted to “cut us out” and work directly for our client so he could start his own business.  That is essentially stealing our client and our business.  If you want to work directly for a company without a recruiter involved, find your own job.

 -As Recruiters, we present employment opportunities to candidates they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.   If you, as a candidate, do not see the value in this free service, then please do not  accept or return our phone call.   A candidate/recruiter relationship is only successful if there is mutual trust and respect.

Working with a recruiter should be a partnership, our goal is to find the perfect candidate for our client’s position, in turn providing an opportunity to a candidate that allows them to progress in their career.  If a relationship is formed out of mutual trust and respect it can lead to great opportunities for everyone involved.

If you would like to form a mutually respectful recruiting relationship, contact Wendy Johnson at and see how she can help you find the perfect candidate or the perfect job.

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