The Ugly Truth About Recruiters – Part I

Let’s be honest, when it comes to searching and enlisting top talent, recruiters tend to get a bad reputation based on misleading notions that label them as something that they are not. As recruiters, our job is to assist our clients with finding the right talent to meet their company needs, as well as assist job seekers with positioning themselves to be marketable to employers – but most importantly, bridging the gap between these two entities. At KO Business Solutions, we value our reputation and more importantly, the trust of our clients and job seekers.  That’s why we are exposing the top 4 misleading notions for what they are and providing you with the ugly truths.  Our goal in doing so is that any fear, discomfort or confusion job seekers have toward recruiters will cease, and they can once again use recruiters as another valuable resource toward finding the next job opportunity and career that best suits them.

A Numbers Game – “Recruiters only care about meeting their goals!”

One of the biggest misconceptions that job seekers have expressed regarding recruiters is that recruiters view them as just another number added to the pile of hundreds of other job seekers searching for a new role. Job seekers can feel that recruiting is a numbers game, and that they are simply used to meet a goal quota. Most sadly, many job seekers do not believe that recruiters care about their personal employment needs or success in a new role.

The Ugly Truth:

Recruiters do have production goals to meet. However, recruiters see job seekers as much more than just another drop in the bucket to fill their goal requirements. Good recruiters view job seekers as important investments, ones in which a lot of time is spent coaching and mentoring.  To recruiters, it’s very important that we get to know a job seeker as an individual so that we can confidently and correctly align their career goals to appropriate opportunities as they become available.

As recruiters, we make sure job seekers have all the information about an open position so that they can make the best-informed decision for themselves. This includes providing them with who the client is, what the role entails, and what the client has to offer. Good recruiters even go the extra mile to make sure job seekers are marketing themselves appropriately and are well-equipped for interviews and the role they are applying for.  Involved in this process are resume critiques and edits which help the job seeker appeal to potential employers, as well as role playing different interview questions so that they feel prepared going into a live interview.  Other tools to use during an interview, such as the STAR method, are provided during this process.  Of course, this is all before a recruiter meets their goal.

So, let’s talk about after the goal has been met.  How does a recruiter prove that it’s not just a numbers game and that they do care about their recruits?  After a job seeker has been hired on as a new employee, we then serve as a resource and coach to help further their career development – after any goals have been met. To further prove this point, I’d like to share a personal experience. I once had a job seeker that went through our entire vetting process, was submitted to our client for an interview and was offered the position. (Numbers goal met.) After the first week of training, our client expressed concern for their new employee’s ability to grasp the job functions. As opposed to letting the employee slip through the cracks, I offered to assist with extra training outside of my recruiting schedule to ensure the job seeker would improve and be successful in the role. Together, the employee and I spent a couple of hours 2-3 days out of the week reviewing information that was provided during training, along with incorporating our in-house exercises to further drive the training process. As time went on, the amount of ongoing training decreased as the job seeker improved significantly, and our client was impressed and satisfied with their performance. (Real goal met = Successful Employee + Satisfied Employer).

Liar, Liar – “Recruiters oversell job opportunities!”

Job seekers have expressed doubt or uncertainty about information that is provided to them by recruiters. Touching back on the number’s aspect of recruiting, job seekers feel that recruiters will say just about anything to get them into a role just to meet their recruitment goals, even if that means overselling what a job can offer.

The Ugly Truth:

Some recruiters may provide the best aspects of an opportunity to a job seeker before getting to the nitty gritty just to catch the job seeker’s attention.  At KO Business Solutions, we value our integrity and know that, as recruiters, our job is never to lie or provide misleading information, but to provide job seekers with all the information gathered from our client, making sure that what the clients offers aligns with the job seekers requirements and vice versa. Having open communication and transparency with job seekers allows for reassurance and trust to be built, even before the hire date.

Here at KO Business Solutions, the first part of our process is to complete an in-depth job analysis with every client to ensure we have a clear understanding of the company, the role, and requirements for an individual to be a successful employee. Sometimes during the recruitment process, clients will restructure their requirements for a role. As a recruiter, it is imperative to be transparent with job seekers and timely communicate those changes – favorable or not. At KO Business Solutions, we’re aware of how valuable time is to a job seeker, and we’re careful not to waste it. Always being open about any information we have that pertains to a job opportunity alleviates the chances of time wasted – for all parties. Transparency also allows job seekers control in how they choose to proceed with the recruitment process.  At KO Business Solutions, we pride ourselves in providing a recruitment experience that is fostered on honest and timely communication with job seekers, which even extends throughout their time as a new employee.

No Benefits – “Staffing agencies don’t support my insurance needs!”

Job seekers assume that when they are being recruited by a talent acquisition firm, especially for a contract or contract-to-hire role, there are no benefits associated with the role. Therefore, many job seekers overlook or are skeptical about working as a temporary employee, even for a period of time.

The Ugly Truth:

It’s true – not all staffing agencies offer a benefits package… but that doesn’t mean it’s likely.  According to Flex Jobs, when working with a talent acquisition firm or staffing agency, most contracted W-2 employees are provided benefits through the agency. As is the case here at KO Business Solutions, where upon accepting a role, temporary employees can enroll for a generous benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, and even employer-matching 401K.

At times there may be certain cases where this does not apply. For example, there may be a client looking to bring on an administrative assistant that is a 1099 contractor role. Based on the type of role the client is looking to fill, in this case it a 1099 role, there are no benefits associated with the role. Another case where benefits may not be offered is for a part time role, however that can also be dependent upon what the client offers and is agreed upon between the client and the agency.

In general, it is safe for job seekers to assume that benefits are offered through staffing agencies and talent acquisition firms and so, can be confident in working with one.

Nothing’s Free – “I have to pay you, in order for you to pay me?!”   

There have been times where I have been in the middle of outlining an employment opportunity to a job seeker and they have brought up the question, “How much do I have to pay to work with your firm?” or “How much money will be taken out of my paycheck to cover my costs for working with your agency?” Some job seekers have become turned off from working with talent acquisition firms due to the assumption that there is a cost associated with working for them.

The Ugly Truth:

Since I can’t speak for all staffing agencies out there, I can’t completely rule this one out for you.  However, normally, there is no extra cost that a job seeker or temporary employee must pay when working for a staffing agency or talent acquisition firm.  In majority of cases, the client and agency have established a “markup” fee within the contract. According to People Ready, clients are responsible for paying the agency a certain amount that covers pay for the employee, legal labor costs, taxes, and general and administrative expenses, thus eliminating costs to employees when hired on. The markup fee is what provides revenue to agencies for their services, and upon subtracting their operational costs and money spent on resources to find talented job seekers, a profit is accounted for.

Although this may be a reoccurring question brought up by job seekers due to past experiences with agencies, the cost to be a contracted employee through KO Business Solutions is covered by the client. As a talent acquisition firm, our duty is to help connect job seekers with meaningful and gratifying job opportunities, and when asked if employees have to pay to be a KO employee, I make it a point to be transparent with job seekers and help them to understand the logistics behind working with a talent acquisition firm to add to their toolbox of career-seeking tools.

In general, there are many misconceptions floating about that surround recruiters and talent acquisition firms.  By addressing them and facing them head on, we hope to allow recruiters the ability to be more cognizant of the recruitment experience they provide, as well as better equip job seekers with the truth that working with a recruiter can only benefit them and should be used as another resource when searching for a new job opportunity. In order to regain our reputation and set the record straight, it is imperative for recruiters to provide an experience for job seekers that is grounded on a foundation comprised of transparency, open communication, and an overall drive for wanting to place job seekers in great opportunities that set them up for career success.