The Value Add of a Technical Recruiter

I was reading Jeff Putz’s blog about staffing firms marginalizing themselves.  In the past I have used recruiters to find jobs and to find candidates for open positions.  In his blog, Jeff state that he was  “wondering what value these staffing firms add for anyone”.    I often wondered that myself.  Here is my attempt to show the value I expect.

For a candidate, most of the time a recruiter is the only way to get their foot in the door for an interview.   Recently when I have looked on the job boards and the majority of the posts I see are placed by recruiters.  It is becoming harder and harder to find an ad NOT placed by a recruiter.  The value add comes in the form of not having to look for the job but having the recruiter match your skill and desires with available position.  The leg work if you will.

For employers the value comes for a highly technical prescreening so only qualified candidates make it to them.  For this service employers pay a fee, usually some percentage of the base salary of the candidate.  This saves time and overhead of screening out unqualified candidates.

Thus far I have made the assumption that the recruiter is doing their job.  The reality is that these days it seems recruiters are just throwing bodies at the problem.  The last few times I have worked with recruiters to fill position they have sent completely unqualified candidates.  I don’t mind getting candidates that don’t meet some of my requirements but not candidates that meet none of my requirements.   This wastes my time and the candidate time. I am paying for this service.

In this case do you pay the recruiter’s fees? For each candidate that does not meet any of your requirements should you receive a discount?  Would this cause the recruiter to be more selective on the candidates that they send?  What about the candidate, the fees are usually factored into their salaries?  I know I would not mind getting more money especially if I feel that there was no value added by the recruiter. 

To put an answer to Jeff’s post, yes I feel that recruiters are heading towards marginalization by spamming employers and candidates.   The other day I received an email/spam for an open position.   The job was located here in Boston and the recruiter was located on the West Coast.  So how can this work.  He does not know me from a hole in the wall.  I will never meet him and he will probably never meet his client face to face.  In the internet age this maybe ok but this is a major decision for the candidate and the employer.  Do you want this kind of long distance relationship to make a very important decision?

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