Ever since I started my technology career I have talked to recruiters on and off about job opportunities. If you are somebody new the the industry or have never worked through a recruiter you may not know the advantages or disadvantages. I have been on both sides of the fence to. Being with a company who was working with them to find talent and being the talent. While their role in the world is critical they have both advantages and disadvantages. It’s really hard to tell this until you have worked with them for a while. You start to pick up on the idea that they need you probably more than you need them. This is especially true when the market is good.
At the end of the day the recruiters goal is to get you into the highest paying position possible. The reason for this is one it makes you happy but two it also makes them happy. They get a percentage of your salary in most cases. So the higher you make the higher they make. You are kind of in it together in that respect. Not only are they trying to get you the highest wage possible but they also want to make the process as easy as possible. This way you don’t have to worry about all the boring paper work. Once they get to know you and know what your looking for they do a pretty good job of only sending your opportunities that fit your needs. So you don’t get bothered by every possible opportunity out there. Sometimes you will get an email about a job that you would not be interested in at all but that doesn’t happen to often. The recruiter also makes the interview process very easy. They set it all up all you have to do as show up. They work with the client so you don’t have to. Companies like working with them when talent is short. It’s hard to find programmers these days. At least ones that are able to hit the ground running. So working through a recruiter they can get a lot more heads in the door.
Even though they do a lot of really good things not everything about working with them is great. Since they make their money based on if you accept a position sometimes they work extra hard to make the new position sound great. Even though you went to the location and were not overly impressed. Also they do a great job in some cases of convincing you why your current job isn’t the answer and the one they are recruiting for is. Another drawback is the initial offer you would get. Yes you are both working to make the most but the company doing the hiring is trying to pay you market rate plus pay the recruiter for their services. So they are trying to save as much as possible. They may have a little money in the budget for this purpose but the cost to get an employee is high. So they try to start off as low as possible. That money has to come from somewhere so it’s possible that if it was just you they would give you a little more starting. I have nothing to prove this theory but when thinking about it it does make sense. From an employers standpoint sometimes recruiters just throw resumes at you. They may be a qualified person they may not be. This happens more and more in a hard to find talent market. Since their connections are already employed they have to really work to find resumes to send you. This process can take more time than one would desire. Also the fee that employers have to pay depends on who they hire. If they are hiring a Sr level person that fee is higher than say a Jr level position. So that is also something you have to take into consideration.
Working with recruiters have both advantages and disadvantages. If you work with one or many you will start to see these things over time. It’s not all bad but it’s also not all good. At the end of the day you need to do what is best for you. Wether that be getting a new job or staying where you are at. It starts to look bad if you change jobs every year just because you could get a better raise. At the same time it looks bad if you have never changed jobs. I hope this post will help you see that recruiters need to play both sides of the fence. So even if they try to convince you to do something you still have the power to make the choice. Make sure the fit works for you not just them.