Working with a Recruiter

Recruiters work on behalf of a company or organization to place qualified candidates in job openings. Some recruiters work through recruitment agencies, while others work in house for the hiring employer. A professional recruiter, also called a headhunter, may work within a particular field — as a recruiter for nursing jobs, for example. Employers may likewise hire recruiters with unique experience in screening job seekers for pharmaceutical, military, sports, or management jobs.

Recruiters work for their clients, not job seekers, though a recruiter may accept resumes from job seekers and schedule job interviews. While not beholden to a job candidate, recruiters understand that placing a qualified candidate in a desirable position benefits all involved. In-house recruiters typically manage responsibilities such as screening, hiring, and training of new hires. External recruiters perform the same duties, but as a contracted employee or consultant for their client.

Many companies seek out an external recruitment agency because they do not employ adequate HR staff. Others simply bring an outside recruiter on board to fill a specialty position or to supplement existing HR services. Like in-house recruiters, independent recruiters source, screen, and interview job candidates for their client. The process of getting a nurse job with a recruiter can often save a job seeker time, resources, and unnecessary stress.

How Do You Find a Nursing Job with a Recruiter?

Finding Nursing Recruiters

Recruiters increasingly scope out job seekers on sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed. Job candidates looking to stand out online should maintain an updated and well-written LinkedIn profile. They should also keep a current resume on sites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, and Simply Hired. Occasionally, a recruiter may try to charge you for their services; in this case you should remember that recruiters generally receive compensation from their client and proceed with caution.

Job seekers looking to work with a recruiter can also find such professionals for free through LinkedIn. Likewise, asking for recommendations from contacts in your professional network could lead you to the right recruiter for your job search. Network with professionals with experience using recruiters in your field of specialty for invaluable feedback and suggestions. For those willing to potentially pay a membership fee, job seekers might also consider recruiter directories, which can prove helpful to those in a specialty like nursing or another niche field.

The following key elements remain critical to building rapport with your recruiter:

  • Connections: Recruiters typically stay highly connected in the professional world, so make sure that they put their networking skills to good use.
  • Experience: No one wants to serve as the “guinea pig” for a recruiter’s first placement. Look for recruiters with a solid track record in the field.
  • Compensation: Whether a recruiter receives payment as a retainer or on contingency could affect their motivation to get you a great job over just any job. They should understand why you might ask how they get paid.
  • Placement Record: As placement encompasses a major part of their job, recruiters should expect to divulge their stats to you, if asked. Obviously, look for a recruiter with a high rate of success.
  • Preferred Contact: As much as communication plays a role in your working relationship, you should try to streamline communication with your recruiter. Make sure their preferred method (email or phone, for example) matches yours.

Initial Interview with a Nursing Recruiter

Recruiters regularly screen and interview candidates as part of their daily job responsibilities. Many recruiters conduct a phone interview with a job seeker before scheduling an in-person screening, while others prefer to set up a face-to-face meeting right away. Generally, recruiters need to meet a job seeker in person to get a feel for their personality and sense of professionalism. As someone looking for a job, a recruiter should put you at ease, prove tactful yet truthful, and share in your job-search approach. Developing rapport now helps your working relationship later.

While recruiters always prioritize the needs of their clients, they should understand and respect your goals. A recruiter often operates within a specialty, and can help you streamline your search to avoid wasting time applying for bad jobs. Nursing recruiter tips, for example, include always explaining to your recruiter your short- and long-term career goals, your ideal salary and benefits, and your preferred working environment. An experienced recruiter knows that placing you in a good job actually benefits all involved.

Always speak honestly with your recruiter; at the same time, exercise some caution to avoid appearing desperate or giving away inappropriate information. For example, let your recruiter know your career goals and target salary, but never tell them that they serve as your last hope to find a job, the details of your financial struggle, or that you would accept any job (even a lowball offer).

The Job Interviewing Process

The process of interviewing for a job through a recruiter differs depending on where and how the recruiter works. In-house recruiters typically schedule the job interview between their own employer and a potential employee themselves, while a recruiter working for an outside agency may direct you to the employer’s hiring manager or HR staff. You should not expect a recruiter to coach you on how to interview for a job, but some will provide general tips to candidates.

Most recruiters continue to contribute their services long after you end your job interview. After they supply their client with a short list of possible new hires, the recruiter may check references, submit feedback, and even give an opinion on final selections. On behalf of the job seeker, recruiters also keep candidates informed of the decision-making process. The involvement of a recruiter in the interviewing and selection process may differ from one client to another; recruiters never make the final decision about who gets hired for a job. Check for the latest developments with your recruiter once a week.

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Should You Look for a Nursing Job with a Recruiter?

Advantages of Working with a Recruiter

Working with a recruiter to find a job can offer significant advantages over searching for a job yourself. Typically, recruiters receive a commission from their client for their services based on your salary. This translates to an increased incentive to find you a high-paying job. Providing a highly qualified candidate could also turn into repeat-business between the recruiter and their client in the future, which yields even more incentive to place you in the right position.

Many job seekers save time and resources by working with a recruiter in their job search. While you might not consider yourself “connected” in the industry, recruiters can simply reach out to their network of contacts to find the best open positions. Similarly, recruiters often provide access to niche positions and high-level opportunities in your industry.

Potential Disadvantages of Working with a Recruiter

Just as some job seekers swear by working with recruiters, others see the downsides of the process. For a recruiter, earning a salary on commission means that they fail to get paid if they fail to place you; so, they might encourage you to take any job.

A recruiter must always show loyalty to their client — the employer. It may benefit everyone to find your dream placement; however, your recruiter will always prioritize the employer over you. Additionally, if you need career guidance, you should not expect a recruiter to give too much advice. However, some recruiters do provide general tips on how to professionally present yourself.

Job seekers may also fall victim to strict confidentiality between an employer and a recruiter. Recruiters must uphold limitations if asked by an employer and exclude some candidates from the screening process. However, they cannot always divulge these limitations. For example, an employer may instruct recruiters to only pursue candidates of a certain gender or to select candidates with specific qualifications not mentioned in the job descriptions.

Tips for Working with a Recruiter in Nursing

  • Get Familiar: Make getting to know your recruiter your first priority when building your working relationship. Consider this essential to your success in finding a job.
  • Dress Professionally: A recruiter often wants to meet in person to see how you would present yourself to a potential employer. Dress for the job you want.
  • Thank Them: Sending a thank-you note not only shows off your good manners, but also reveals that you appreciate your recruiter’s hard work.
  • Limit Volume: While sending a blanket email works in some situations, spamming your resume will not produce the desired result. Instead, ensure that your recruiter targets jobs specific to your experience and interests.

Recruiter FAQs

How Many Times Do You Meet with a Recruiter, on Average?

Recruiters typically schedule a welcome interview to get to know you and your job goals. Most recruiters will measure your experience and professionalism before considering you for a position. Unless you discuss an alternative plan with your recruiter, you should not contact them more than once per week.


What Kind of Qualifications Do Recruiters Typically Have?

A qualified recruiter may study human resources, psychology, sociology, or marketing to prepare for a career in recruitment services. More women than men work as recruiters, though all workers require exceptional internet, customer-service, onboarding, and training skills.


Can You Work with Multiple Recruiters at the Same Time?

Some job seekers work with multiple recruiters at the same time, though a recruiter may require exclusivity. Many professionals discourage working with more than one recruiter, as this sometimes promotes a lack of transparency between candidates and recruiters.


What Are the Signs of a Good Recruiter?

Above all else, good recruiters possess strong organizational and communication skills and always remain professional. You should feel as though your recruiter keeps you informed and stays on top of jobs they submit for you.


What Are the Signs of a Substandard Recruiter?

By contrast, substandard recruiters show a lack of organization and possess terrible communication skills. Red flags include pressuring a job seeker to take a bad offer, submitting your resume for jobs totally unrelated to your field, or asking you to lie on your resume.