Career Connection: How to Engage with Recruiters in the Job Search | AIChE

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Career Connection: How to Engage with Recruiters in the Job Search

Career Connections

I regularly encounter job seekers who want to engage recruiters in their job search process. This column breaks down the role of recruiters and how they operate, discusses best practices for engaging with them, and covers the realities and expectations of using recruiters for your job search.

What is a recruiter? Recruiters help companies fill open roles by finding qualified candidates with the skills, experience, and ability to perform specific job duties. There are two types of recruiters: retained and contingency.

Retained recruiters charge an upfront fee to conduct a candidate search. They operate on exclusivity, meaning that the opening is filled solely through that specific recruitment agency through an agreed-upon methodology. These engagements are lengthier and more rigorous because they often involve sourcing candidates with niche backgrounds and skillsets.

Contingency recruiters work on a no-win-no-fee basis. They do not get paid until they find a qualified candidate that the client (the company) hires. Their incentives lie in quickly delivering many candidates to increase placement odds, especially since they compete with their client’s human resources (HR) department and other recruitment agencies.

Job seekers commonly have two misconceptions regarding recruiters; understanding these realities will help you focus your time, energy, and efforts strategically.

Recruiters work for their clients, not for the job seeker. It is not the recruiter’s job to...

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