Should I apply to companies online or work with a recruiter?

Are you looking for a new job? Got let go from your last employer? Maybe you’re just in the mindset to find something new altogether.

Whatever the reason is for seeking out a new position, company or career, there are better ways than the usual to go about finding what you desire.

While you can certainly continue to browse the Want Ads and check out job boards online, there is a better way — try hiring a corporate recruiter if you’re a job seeker.

A recruiter, hmmm.

You might be asking yourself what the recruitment process is and, “Should I apply to companies online or work with a recruiter?” it all depends on what kind of job you seek and how fast you want to get hired.

Here’s more insight as to how what, and why you might want to go the route of hiring a corporate recruiter to find and help you land the job of your dreams as a job seeker.

Types of Recruiters

If you’re thinking of hiring a recruiter do make sure you know there are two types: “in-house recruiters” and “agency recruiters.”

In-house recruiters work for one company and help that company hire, conduct job interviews, and go through job applications. They can’t take your resume and show it to multiple companies, and they can’t help you expand your job search. (Source: “Should I Use a Recruiter in My Job Search? | Career Sidekick.”)

On the other hand, agency recruiters work for yes, a recruiting agency and help multiple companies find people to hire through the recruitment process. 

Typically, most agency recruiters are only paid when they fill jobs, and since there is mounting pressure to fill job listings,  recruiters need to choose job seekers who have in-demand skills or who are experienced. 

Why a Recruiter Could Be the Best

Job candidates should consider using a pro recruiter to find a job if they’re in a field with a shortage of talent and/or: 

Have specific and hard-to-find skills or plenty of experience in a particular industry.

Are considered a specialist or expert in the profession.

Are presently employed at a company that is known for having a talented pool of people.

Are you an experienced manager or executive?

Are you a consultant or contractor who is searching for a temporary position vs. a permanent job?

Make sure as a job candidate you seek out and ultimately put yourself in the hands of a proven top recruiter who doesn’t just talk the talk.

Note: The vast number of recruiters get paid a percentage of the potential employee’s starting salary when they find the person a job so they’re likely to spend more time helping that individual if the payoff is high.

Finding A Job Through a Corporate Recruiter

To find the best corporate recruiter for you, try asking friends and/or other colleagues for referrals.

Do your homework and interview a handful of corporate recruiters to see what they can do specifically for you.

Either send your resume directly to them or talk to a recruitment agency that you have researched. (Source: “Applying directly vs through a recruiter |”)

Submitting Online Instead

If you’d rather go it alone and hunt for a job online for employment opportunities you certainly can but know in advance that doing so takes some work on your part.

Even after your interview, the feedback will likely be minimal from the company recruiter, or Human Resources Department and you could wait weeks to hear something, or you may hear nothing at all.

You may never get feedback on your resume and/or your resume may never be reviewed by the Human Resources Department or the person you interview with since they’re too busy. 

Basically, as a job seeker, you will have limited information about the interview process and the interviewers you will meet.

You’ll surely spend hours, days and maybe months on end sending resumes, taking calls, and perhaps spinning your wheels without the help of a recruiter if you go it alone. 

Let a Recruiter Do It

On the other hand, a thorough and a high-quality corporate recruiter will spend time helping you as a potential candidate with a variety of tips.

They will give you advice that you may not know on your own. You also might get the history and other helpful insights into the company that you may not know by doing your own online research.

Recruiters can also help you prepare for interviews and offer feedback that you wouldn’t normally obtain on your own by just asking a Human Resources Department person.

Recruiters can control the speed of the interview process too, help with a job application, and even negotiate a salary. They are accustomed to having conversations with employers to find out what they want in a potential candidate.

Recruiters can give you constructive feedback/advice on a resume, and sometimes help with career paths, versus not getting much feedback from an internal recruiter/Human Resources Department at the said company.

Finding the Best

Overall, if you opt to go the way of a professional corporate recruiter or agency, you’re sure to be a few steps ahead instead of going online yourself.

A recruiter who is at the top of his/her game has other job postings at their fingertips and knows the ins and outs of the recruiting process and hiring process.

Look for a recruiter that whom you can build a strong relationship, or you will find yourself lost in the stack of other job seekers and job applications.

If they truly are among the top recruiters, they will have access to the latest job postings, active listings, and current job opportunities.

They should also be able to share with you a company’s culture, its financial performance, as well as any future performance expected, and could share its geographic location, manage the interview timeline, and have a financial incentive to get you the position.

Presenting you as a desirable applicant is also something they should be able to do if they are truly an expert recruiter.

Top corporate recruiters should have no problem with helping current employees, as well as prospective employees, find advancement opportunities, know the current labor market, along with recognizing the competitive markets.

Additionally, top recruiters and recruitment agencies should be abreast of which companies, organizations and firms are hiring foreign workers, offering advancement opportunities, and more. 

How to Vet a Recruiter

The challenge is finding a good corporate recruiter or company recruiter that has a strong connection with the company you’re applying for and knows the company culture and can share exclusive stories and backgrounds about the company, and if it has a good or bad reputation.

Competence will vary greatly from recruiter to recruiter, so the best thing you can do is to ask them to tell you about a few recent hires they made, and/or the hires they made for the specific company you’d like to apply for. (Source: “Applying directly vs through a recruiter |”)

You should as ask the recruiter things such as how long it took to find the person for that job, etc.

In general, they should be able to offer you plenty of information about the company you seek to interview with that isn’t available with a simple Google search. 

Here are a few key questions you can ask a recruiter before hiring them: 

Have you met the hiring manager? What is their personality like? What is their interview style and what are they looking for?

Do you have a relationship with the hiring manager?

Have you ever had anyone interview there before or made any successful placements?

Can you describe the interview process with this company? What are the names of the interviewers and what are their roles? 

Can you explain the business model of the company? Who are their clients?

Can you please please provide me with information about the position.

How would my performance be measured on the job?

Why is the job open and is it a new job or a replacement? How long has the position been open?

Good recruiters will have detailed answers and even likely schedule a phone call or face-to-face with you to go over every question. (Source: “Applying directly vs through a recruiter |”)

The best recruiter will answer all your questions in detail, have a strong relationship with the hiring manager, and will follow up with you to understand your motivations.

Also, they should know how to prepare you for an interview and what kind of curve balls might be thrown your way and offer invaluable advice on the company’s structure and pain points.

Finding Your Dream Job

If you do your homework, ask around, and get referrals for the top recruiters in your area and your career field, you should be able to find the best recruiter to help you in your job search.

Going it alone can be daunting, and why go that route if you can find the best of the best in a corporate recruiter or top recruiting talent agency to help you in your search!

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