Recruiter versus direct application: where do you stand?

Stacey Stevenson - March 06, 2018

Being in the industry for over 15 years, both here in Australia and in London, I have seen a lot of change.

I still speak and meet with people who think that it is better to approach a client direct, feeling they will get a better result. But is this really the best way to get your foot in the door with that company you have been longing to work for?

Here are a few reasons why applying for a job through a recruiter is the way to go:

First things first, if you apply to a company directly, your recruiter’s hands are tied. We will not be able to represent you to a company once you have approached them yourself. So, it is best to speak with your recruiter first to see if they have contacts within the company or are already recruiting with them so that we can approach the company on your behalf. Take the time to meet with experienced recruiters in your market face-to-face, telling us your career journey thus far and your future direction, and getting to know each other. You should feel comfortable and confident in who is representing you.
There are lots of recruiters out in the market; most will have contacts in the companies you are looking to score a role with. If your recruiter is working with the company you’re longing to work for, it is always better to continue the partnership with their recruiter and have them represent you. However, if your recruiter does not have this company relationship, you will need to have a discussion with your recruiter about whether it is worth you approaching the company directly.

Put away the myth that your salary is affected by going through a recruiter. A good recruiter will ask a client what their budget is, instead of you having to ask that awkward question. This also saves you heading into the interview (when a salary isn’t advertised) and wasting your time, when the client cannot pay anywhere near what you are looking for.

Direct relationships with the hiring managers: With the recruiter having direct relationships with the company’s hiring managers, we are communicating with them weekly (at the very least) on their available positions. We can also get direct feedback from the client for you so you’re not sitting around wondering if your CV is going to be read, or whether you are going to be successful in gaining an interview or offer.

We have more detailed information about the role. A good recruiter will meet the client and get a full brief – not just the job spec. Do you have questions about the company or department culture? Your manager’s expectations of your role? The salary? We will be able to tell you about the location / office, the salary, the culture, the personalities of your team members and your direct manager, whether your personality will be a match for the company or job brief, etc.

We can act as a middle man between the company and candidate: We negotiate for you and ask the client important questions on your behalf. On the other side of the coin, we are the buffer between company and candidate. We can gain constructive feedback for you to progress with – without the awkwardness! I’ve always believed in passing on constructive feedback to my candidates, so if the client mentions that you could have presented yourself better in some way, we’ll work through how you can improve on this and ace that next interview.

No one misses out on a potential opportunity: this is our primary goal as recruiters. As another part of our direct client relationships, we can keep you updated on how you match up against the other candidates they are interviewing. Equally, we will move the client along in the process if we know you have other opportunities in your pipeline.

Sometimes, recruiters are the only ones that have access to certain jobs: Companies simply aren’t able to advertise every single job they are looking to fill. A good recruiter will know what projects are coming up with which companies and can plan for the needs they might require in the future.

If you’re looking to have a career conversation, please call u&u Brisbane on 07 3232 9100 or u&u Sydney on 02 8245 7900. We would love to assist.

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