When does it make sense to use a search firm or recruiter to assist with your job search?
If you seem to be stuck in a rut and you are not getting calls for interviews, it can make sense to use a recruiter to broaden your job search. It can also make sense if you are in a high level position since those jobs are not always advertised or in an industry that typically uses search firms to fill vacancies. Search firms have contacts in industries and at companies that you might not even be aware of. They can help market your resume and provide you with additional exposure to potential employers.
Headhunters spend their working hours looking for employment opportunities. That’s time researching employers that you won’t have to spend.
Some employers are impressed by candidates who are represented by recruiters. In addition, you will have a professional representing your qualifications to the company. The headhunter can also help you negotiate a compensation package.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between paying an employment agency to help you with your job search and using a recruiter to connect you with potential employers. I would not recommend paying for placement. Rather, you want to use a recruiter or search firm who is paid by your prospective employer. If you do need job search assistance, consider contacting the Career Services office at your alma mater if you’re a college graduate or your local Department of Labor for free assistance.
If you choose to work with multiple recruiters, it’s important to let each one know you are also working with someone else. Otherwise, they may both market your resume to the same employer, which can be an issue when the recruiter wants to collect the fee.