Thanks to the comments I received last week from a few readers, I would like to briefly talk about who the recruiter works for when you engage a recruitment agency. This really is not an easy question to answer since there are two components to every recruited position. Both sides being that any agency works for both the company that has engaged our services and the candidate being recruited.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT?
This is important to think about because when two clients (customers and candidates) are engaged in the same opportunity, someone is undoubtedly going to have more ‘pull’ then the other. In most cases this ends up being the customer. The reason for this is simply that the customer is paying a fee to engage an agency in their search, where as candidates pay nothing to be contacted or to contact an agency.
DOES THE CANDIDATE REALLY LOSE?
This does not mean that a recruiter goes into every search with the customers’ best interest in mind and not that of the candidates. What it does mean is that a customer does have the right to demand certain criteria from any prospective candidates. Let us assume for a second that I am searching for a Project Manager who has 15+ years experience and my customer wants someone who holds a PMP certification. While I do not doubt that if I found a Project Manager who had been a Project Manager for 20 years without a PMP certification, they could do the job; this person simply does not meet my customers’ requirements.
Often times I speak to people who can meet and exceed the scope of the position but do not meet some of the necessary requirements my customer has laid out for me. Many people know that a job description often contains a ‘shopping list’ of desired skills and not all are mandatory where many skills can be a ‘nice-to-have’. However sometimes there are skills that customers are unwilling to waiver on. If possible candidates should work with recruiters to outline what is absolutely mandatory and what needs to be done for the position.
This is not meant to scare anyone into thinking that a candidates’ interests are not being looked at – because they are. A recruiter should act in your best interest when dealing with their customers. However, at times candidates and opportunities simply will not match based on a difference in desired requirements to candidate experience which generally does not work out for both sides. While your experience may qualify you for the scope of the position your considering, your experience may not satisfy some of the necessary requirements any given customer can outline.
The relationship that exists between recruiters and candidates is a unique one- as recruiters can often connect candidates to new opportunities. However a small realization that someone on the other end is setting the criteria for any given position is probably required. Trying to please two sides at the same times can often be a challenge but honesty and respect for both parties should leave everyone happy – even if it did not result in a successful hire.