Are You Considering Job Search Assistance?

By Joe Stein

Performing a job search can be a time consuming and intimidating assignment. You may feel that you have a need to seek a little assistance in getting your resume into the hands of Recruiters and Hiring Managers.
If you are deciding whether to provide your resume to an outside recruiter, it is important to know the different type of searches involving these individuals. 
Types of Recruiting Searches:
·         Retained – This is when an outside recruiter has an agreement with an employer for exclusive rights to a job search. The fee structure can vary. Sometimes the employer will pay the outside recruiter a lump sum prior to the search based on the level of the position (usually determined by the salary). In other occasions, there are a series of steps such as part of the fee to start the search, some when a list of candidates is presented and the rest when a selection is made. Typically this process is used for higher-level positions and the search is conducted by an Executive Recruiter. Employers will often use this approach when they have a senior level position and they wish to reach out to passive job seekers about their opening.
·         Contingency – In this situation, an outside recruiter has an agreement with an employer to provide candidates for their review. If one is hired, then a % of their first year’s salary is sent to the outside recruiter. If the position is not filled with a candidate from this outside recruiter, then that person or firm is not paid for their work by the employer. In a contingency search, the outside recruiter may be competing with the in-house recruiting team or with other outside recruiters.
·         Outplacement Firms – Typically used by employees who have been recently severed by their employer and have a package available to them that offers this option. Outplacement is typically an office area with a staff that provides work space, guidance, and networking in exchange for a fee. This fee should be paid by the employer. If you believe you need to enter into this type of agreement by yourself and provide your own payment, then research the organization thoroughly.
·         Temporary Agencies – Traditionally these agencies serve to match an employer with an employee for a short-term need in an entry-level type of position. Over the years, the level of the position has changed and there are sometimes higher level positions where a person is needed temporarily. This short-term need for a higher-level position may be caused by a leave situation or a short-term project.
·         Personnel Agencies – In this situation, the job seeker compensates the outside recruiter for finding them a position. Often, it is a portion of their first year’s salary. This type of arrangement is not the norm and you should be able to find an outsider recruiter(s) to work with without having to spend any of your own funds. If you do decide to go this route, then research thoroughly any recruiter that is requiring you to provide them payment in exchange for their services.
It is usually not in the best interest of a job seeker to have his or her resume out to every outside recruiter in town. It may present the impression of desperation in your job search if you are non-selective. The following are points to consider or questions to ask when deciding on an outside recruiter:
·         What type of search is it? – The preference is a retained search in that it displays a commitment by the employer to provide dollars up-front for the search. Contingency searches may mean that an employer is “checking the temperature” in the market or may wish to avoid the fee if they can uncover their own person.
·         Where your resume is going? – You should know prior to submission when an outside recruiter is going to present your resume. This will prevent your resume from being presented multiple times by different outside recruiters in addition to your own submission. Inform your recruiter if there are any companies that you do not want your resume presented to. Do this prior to the process getting started.
·         What are their areas of expertise? – Typically outside recruiters have particular industries that they have strong networking ties to. Match your functional expertise and interest with the recruiter that best fits your desires and needs.
·         Seek referrals – Network with individuals who have recently been successfully placed by an outside recruiter. Find out what and who worked well for them during their search.
·         Do I need the outside recruiter? – If your networking resources are strong and you feel comfortable presenting your resume to others then an outside recruiter may actually be an impediment. This is because some employers will not work with contingency recruiters due to the cost, or will offer less to the candidates of the outside recruiter to offset their fee.
For a passive job seeker, reaching out to an outside recruiter may be all that is needed at this time for your job search. If, however, you are actively seeking new employment, you will want to continue your job search with sources such as and networking.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNY Jobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.