Let’s face it, Recruiters get rough press! The usual comments include ‘Recruiters are pushy’, ‘they don’t understand the role / industry’, ‘I never hear back from them’. The reality is that there is little regulation and sometimes minimal training. It is also one of those jobs which takes time and practise to become good at, and to develop a deep understanding of the industry, the clients and their cultures as well as the technical knowledge required. There is a heavy dose of empathy required as well as being able to be proactive, to consult appropriately to clients and to balance placing people and therefore bluntly speaking, with making money and truly assisting those you work with.
What can help, is to understand how Recruiters generally operate (bearing in mind an agency can work on a contingency, retained / search or a Recruitment Process Outsourcing model) and therefore whether, as an applicant, your skill set suit their requirements. A Recruiter is paid to find someone the client cannot generally find themselves in order for the client to justify paying the agency a fee. Therefore, the requirements are usually given by the client and the Recruiter’s role is to proactively source the best person for the job.
On the whole a Recruiter is not specifically paid to ‘screen’ resumes (although this is assumed when a client gives a brief to an agency) or give detailed feedback but for the successful commencement of the candidate with the company. It is often not the case that they don’t want to give detailed feedback but that they can be nervous to give feedback as they are acting as an intermediary of the company and that the feedback may reflect constraints on what profile they can represent rather than who can do the job. Sometimes it can be difficult to get detailed feedback from the client in relation to a candidate rather than on a search in general. It is more common that the client thinks the candidate can do the job but maybe is not ‘the best candidate’ out there for this role.