My recently posted blog regarding 11 Recruiting Myths surrounding recruiters posed a question from a reader that was along these lines:
I enjoyed a recent article you shared regarding recruiting myths. As a job seeker, for a company you are interested in, what is the best way to find out if a recruiter works with that particular company?
It struck me that this is probably a question many job seekers face. So I will share my response........
We feel that the first thing you need to do is identify a recruiter, or recruiters, that specialize within the insurance industry. Screen your recruiter(s) so you have a comfort as to their actual understanding of the industry and your specific discipline within the insurance industry. Next be certain the chemistry is good between you and the recruiter(s). Next, what is the philosophy on how they proceed? What I mean here is, will they secure your consent prior to ever sending your resume out? If not, perhaps you don’t use them. In addition, will they share the name of their client with you? If not, perhaps you don’t use them. You have to do all this first.
Once you've screened out the recruiter(s) meeting these expectations, then you ask them if they work with ABC company. Here’s the scoop: Some recruiters work with a handful of companies and that is all. However, we at CSG, for example, work with virtually any company within the insurance industry. So for our firm it is more about who we DO NOT work with. And there is a reason we do not work with those companies. Then there are a few companies that simply do not use recruiters, period. These companies are what we call recruiter resistant. So you as a candidate are always better going direct regardless of what a recruiter may tell you. A recruiter’s job is to help you get seen by the right people. It should not be about their best interests but your best interests. It should not be about whether they can try to make a fee verse your best interests.
Now there are some companies where you must be on a “preferred vendor” list. If the recruiter is not on it then they will not work with that recruiter. Or they may be open to the recruiter being added to their list. They may be open to that! Or they may not be. A recruiter should know if they are on the “preferred vendor” list. A recruiter should know whether a company is open to adding an additional recruiter. That is simply industry knowledge. An experienced recruiter should know this.
There are companies that we are not willing to represent as well. Based on our interactions with them we do not feel it would be in our best interests to serve as a representative for that particular company. That decision could be based on various factors.
In addition and worth noting, the days of companies being loyal to using a certain recruiter/recruiters is long gone. This is not a jab at insurance organizations. It is simply a statement on where the job market is at currently. A company is interested in hiring the best candidate. Companies will happily accept qualified candidates from the recruiter that can bring them to the table, assuming they use recruiters and assuming they are not restricted by the “preferred vendor” list.
Our firm enjoys established relationships with countless quality insurance organizations across all 50 states. We've earned those relationships by being knowledgeable, being ethical, and providing quality service to the client. But we also understand that if another recruiter brings the right candidate to the table they will accept that candidate. And they should. It is about making the right hire.
So in summary, screen your recruiter(s) based on the above. Then simply ask them if they work with the company you have in mind. They should tell you one of the following:
- The company does not use recruiters and you should go direct.
- The company uses a “preferred vendor” list and they are or are not on it.
- They are actively working with them and happy to contact them.
- They are not actively working with the company but glad to contact them.
- They only work with specific companies and this is not one of them.