Recruiters, do we all hate them?

Should I be staying away from recruiters? What’s the scoop from experienced designers/managment?

I have been getting a lot of calls from recruiters who want to get me a new job–which is fine, but I feel like they are going to screw me up by over representing me.

I think better design firms would turn down a solicitation by lesser known recruiters and then I’d be screwed because I couldn’t take a job there because the recruiter could claim they “represented” me there…

Thoughts?

if ur in a highly competitive field and in creative then a recruiter’s not going to do zip 4 u. They can’t judge wite space from a white head. If ur an engineer or some other specialist, a recruiter can do a lot of the leg work finding the right company. These are totally different to the recruiter. :unamused: not much help 4 the designer-types though.

Lise,

My take on this, coming at it from the recruiting side:

A good recruiter will take the utmost care in not “screwing over” their candidates. There is no benefit to doing that, not to the candidate, not to the hiring company, and not to themselves. Confidentiality is VERY valuable; trust, respect and a reputation can be destroyed in an instant if a recruiter does not adequately protect the candidate as well as the client.

I disagree with Xtian’s comments that a recruiter has no value or purpose in a competitive or creative field. A recruiter serves a number of purposes; to work with their client (the hiring company) to define as clearly as possible the job they need filled, to source viable, high-quality candidates for those jobs, to create a situation in which there is a -high- probability that the candidate is a good match for the job, the company, the culture, etc.

ESPECIALLY in high-competition fields a recruiter adds one additional element that’s often overlooked: they, as a third party, can call on direct competitors to recruit. Imagine a McCann-Ericksson HR person calling directly into Saatchi to see if anyone would be interested in jumping ship. Highly unethical, and probably grounds for a law suit. A recruiter, however, is in a position to do just that.

Now, I know that there’s a general opinion out there that recruiters are sleazeballs, only in it for their own benefit. True, it’s a business, a money-making game. Recruiters get paid by their clients, the companies that hire the candidates recruiters present. However, that DOESN’T mean that recruiting -needs- to be a ‘dirty’ business.

I myself make a VERY distinct effort to work with my candidates to understand their needs, desires, motivations, capacity, preferences, etc. The way I look at it is that, if I force a situation on a company and a candidate to put a few bucks in my pocket, it’s going to come back to haunt me sooner than later. Either the person hates the job and quits, in which case I have to find a replacement for free, or the company fires the person, in which case I have to find a replacement for free, or, and this is the worst, both the company and the person refuse to ever work with me again and put the word out there that I suck at what I do. Not a pretty scenario.

Sorry for the longwinded response… I’m not even a recruiter in the design industry, although I’m considering adding it to my area of interest. I’d be happy to talk further with you if you so desire.

Best,
Dave.

I am a Designer & Design Recruiter, I may have $0.02 for this discussion.

I think the “screwing over” is done by those staffing/recruiting firms that do not specialize in Graphic Design placements. All they see is a “high markup” and they forget that there are a lot of other forces that drive designers. Most recruiters can’t fathom why on earth a designer would be so picky about a “font”… when the designer is trying to get across that it’s not just a “font”, it’s a typestyle that has a certain emotional value.

You need to talk to recruiters that specialize in your industry, think ma&pa staffing can provide high-tech talent to HP? nope. And Volt wouldn’t know a well designed brochure if it bit 'em in the rear.

I’m not going to make this a self-promoting commercial, but I do what I love, and I love what I do. I am happy for my top candidates when they find full-time permanent employment with or without me. Most recruiters get pissed, no more $$$ in their pockets right? wrong, you keep your placements happy, build relationships, and show a genuine interest in their well-being. In the end I’ll live a better life, so will my talent, and who knows the permanent job they just landed might be with a huge company where they get to decide on future hiring.

As in any situation generalizing about a recruiter may be right 80% of the time, but don’t write-off the ones that can help you bridge the gap between “Starving Artist” & “Working Designer”

Need help in or around Sacramento, CA. just email me.

Dave “Big Daddy” Cox

Forgot to log-in first sorry…, admin please delete the “guest” post. thanks


I am a Designer & Design Recruiter, I may have $0.02 for this discussion.

I think the “screwing over” is done by those staffing/recruiting firms that do not specialize in Graphic Design placements. All they see is a “high markup” and they forget that there are a lot of other forces that drive designers. Most recruiters can’t fathom why on earth a designer would be so picky about a “font”… when the designer is trying to get across that it’s not just a “font”, it’s a typestyle that has a certain emotional value.

You need to talk to recruiters that specialize in your industry, think ma&pa staffing can provide high-tech talent to HP? nope. And Volt wouldn’t know a well designed brochure if it bit 'em in the rear.

I’m not going to make this a self-promoting commercial, but I do what I love, and I love what I do. I am happy for my top candidates when they find full-time permanent employment with or without me. Most recruiters get pissed, no more $$$ in their pockets right? wrong, you keep your placements happy, build relationships, and show a genuine interest in their well-being. In the end I’ll live a better life, so will my talent, and who knows, the permanent job they just landed might be with a huge company where they get to decide on future hiring.

As in any situation generalizing about a recruiter may be right 80% of the time, but don’t write-off the ones that can help you bridge the gap between “Starving Artist” & “Working Designer”

Need help in or around Sacramento, CA. just email me.

Dave “Big Daddy” Cox

Nothing wrong with recruiters… just depends who you work with. Find a decent company that specializes in your area and a rep that you connect with.

Remember the recruiters clients are the companies not you. If there’s a fit they will call. They are not headhunters (people who actually look for a job for you.) Don’t depend on them.

The point of a job search, like many things in life, is to not be doing it alone. The wider the net the more opportunities you get to view.

I work with recruiters all of the time, not just for myself but they will often ask me if I know of the right person for a position and also help in figuring what is the right type of person (degree, experience, etc.). I just did this the other day when I told one that what they should be looking for is a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA or a lot of Marketing experience. Trustme, the job would have driven an ID to suicide :slight_smile:

It is all about relationships, so that when you need them, they are there.

I don’t however pay a recruiter to look specifically for a job for me. In our fields this is a waste of time (usually).

At the same time don’t put all of your job search resources into recruiters. No one knows better than you what you want in a position. And with the Web you have so many options.

I agree with what Dave B. and the guest right after him wrote. I’ve had great experiences with recruiters. Sure, they’re not out there just for my benefit, but the good ones realize the value of cultivating relationships until there’s a good fit and then pushing for that good fit to materialize into a position. Sometimes, they can really cut through the red tape at a firm (and that’s based on the relationship they’ve built up with an employer, from which you get to benefit]. They can advocate for a candidate. They can also negotiate salaries and such. They also have a good sense of a dead end and can then quickly find something else.

You can’t rely solely on recruiters, and you also can’t think they’re solely on your side. But, the ones who have been around for a while and have solid reputations (you know who you are) are worth hooking up with as yet one more option.

I am happy to see this revitalized discussion on the merits and apprehensions when it comes to working with recruiters. Being in the business that I’m in, these candid opinions are very good to know.

Just wanted to chime in to comment on timf’s post; he touches on a lot of valid points. As a job seeker, a recruiter can help you become aware of opportunities that may not have been visible or accessible directly. But should you use a single recruiter as your only means of finding a new gig? Absolutely not!

One item of note. timf writes:

"I don’t however pay a recruiter to look specifically for a job for me. In our fields this is a waste of time (usually). "

If you mean that certain recruiters have asked/demanded that you pay them a fee to find you a job, then run like the wind. It’s a hopelessly outdated model, and unscrupulous to boot.

DaveB - Agreed on the outdated mode of asking the potential employee to pay. Not really bribery but “You pay me and I will specifically look ofr a job for you” kind of thing.

One disturbing thing I have seen lately is career coaches trying to make themselves sound like a recruiter and as “the gateway to the great jobs”. This is just blatant lying through semantics. I am not saying that you won’t get your monies worth in skills for finding a job but they do not have a database of available jobs like a recruiter.

Oh yes, I definitely hear you there… It’s one thing working with job seekers to help them distill their core skills and qualities into a well-formulated resume, helping them hone their personal and presentation skills, and teaching them how to effectively look for jobs. It’s something that many people would probably have some benefit from (I know I would!)

However, in this case the candidate is the client, not the hiring manager. It’s quite different from building and maintaining relationships with managers, directors, VPs, HR, anyone in a hiring position.

A good recruiter would most likely work with their candidate as a de-facto career coach anyway, helping them present the best possible case for themselves. Ultimately it is in the candidate’s best interest, and, crude as it may sound, the recruiter stands to gain from the candidate’s performance.

Here are a few questions from a different angle for you folks out there who are in hiring positions:

How do YOU feel about working with recruiters when you have a position to fill? Do you refuse to work with them? Do you have a select list of trusted sources you call on? How long will you look for a position independently before calling in help? How do you convey the core elements of the position, and the core traits of the person you’re looking to fill the slot? Do recruiters ever call you with top-shelf talent to see if you’re interested in talking with them? How do you feel about that?

I was tempted to flame you for a long over due response, decided to hold my toungue, then decided, “timely posting, duh.”

Sorry you didn’t get an answer here. I suspect, hiring managers with regular and immediate needs would always be interested to hear from recruiters; maybe Donald Trump.

I do want to thank you for the comment I didn’t quote, that recruiters client’s are the talent. I’ve forgotten that on occasion. I’ve poked a stick at recruiters who offer little help. I believed I had to push hard to get personal attention. Some just dont have the work. To those recruiters who I poked with a stick, I’m sorry… ehehe

One thing Industrial designers learn in school to educate their customers. The contract agent may think they know design but it is your responsibility to educate them. I say take advantage of the agencies and interview as much as possible. The more you interview (and keep track of everyone you talk to on the phone) the more contacts you will retain. The best part about contract agencies is that they only make money if you take the job. Remember that they work for you. Push them to do their job by educating them what you do.

Xtian: yeah, I realized only after posting that I was a year off with my response. But, I was happy to see some activity in this thread as a result! :slight_smile:

design-engine is right… in the end, recruiters provide a free service to potential employees/candidates. Granted, some recruiters are entirely self-serving when it comes to working with candidates. They view the candidates only as a means to an end, and the second they realize there’s no immediate reward in continuing contact with a candidate, they drop 'm like a brick. Having been on the receiving end of that several times (in my previous career), I know the distasteful feeling that left… Not a good model for building a sustainable business, because word gets out and candidates start avoiding you.

That being said, it’s crucial to my success as a recruiter that the people I work with are positioned for growth in their personal careers. What I try to figure out when I speak with potential candidates is whether they are the kind of folks that are busy working hard (sometimes too hard to think about their next career move) and are excelling at what they do. That, combined with a valid reason to want to consider new opportunities (not just “I want more $$” or “my boss is an idiot”, but “I want to work with better tools on larger projects/have more influence and control/lead a team”) makes for a compelling case. Even then, I don’t make promises about finding a specific candidate a job within a set amount of time; all I tell my people is that I spend my days talking with folks at all levels in the business, and that I hear about a lot of things a lot of the time. If something comes up that I feel would be a good fit, my candidates can be sure I’ll call them.

So, what it comes down to is this: if you’re a candidate/jobseeker, you’ve got nothing to lose by talking with a recruiter. Find one, or a few, that match your personality, that take the time to understand what it is you’ve done, what you currently do, and where you want to go. Realize it’s important to give him/her/them the tools and info they need to understand. Don’t rely on them 100% to get you your next dream job, and keep them in the loop when your situation or mind changes. Sure, it’ll cost you a bit of time, but other than that, it is as free as free gets!

I’ve had some experience with RITA SUE SEIGEL. It was awful. They took a huge chunk of my earning. Never gonna do that again.

the Guest post above is mine…

Vortex, how long ago was that? Was that for contract work or a permanent placement? They actually took money directly out of your paycheck?