Agency recruiters are not:
•Career consultants. Although a good recruiter can certainly give you advice on career paths, opportunities and the market, they are not counsellors or coaches able to help you figure out what you want.
If you don’t know, your confusion becomes theirs, how can they help you when they don’t know what you’re asking for? Alternatively you are opening yourself up for manipulation. If you are not clear on the criteria, you could easily end up doing what they want you to, rather than what you need to do.
•A shoulder to cry on. Unless you are friends with the recruiter, they are not the best person to dump your job search woes onto. It’s not that they are all unsympathetic (I know many question if human at all) you need to remember they are a part of the selection process.
Of course their influence levels vary greatly, but you would be surprised how many candidates launch into a rant over their last boss, lack of motivation, personal problems, and previous job issues and then say of course I won’t tell the client that.
•Impartial. Although paid in different ways the majority are given bonus incentives. Again although based on different criteria, the amount of fees they have earned placing people into positions will play a part (the only part for some.)
Some want that one fee right now; most as Ed explains want the right person for the job.
•The only person in the process. If you haven’t heard any feedback, don’t assume the recruiter is withholding it, or being too lazy to chase up.
Changes in the way a company recruits, can mean that today, the recruiter at the agency sits further away from the decision maker than ever before. Even if in direct contact, it is still difficult to get a client to be specific about individual applications. Many actively avoid giving such information. It’s not for want of trying either.
Most recruiters are tenacious, they need to be, they want to know what is happening with the position just as much as you do, both your success rides on it.
I’m sure you can think of a few more…?