Pros and Cons of Working with an EXTERNAL RECRUITER

Pros and Cons of Working with an EXTERNAL RECRUITER


In last week's post, I gave you a rundown of the pros and cons of working with an internal recruiter. This week we'll be talking about EXTERNAL RECRUITERS, and what they can offer you.

First, here's how an external recruiter operates:

- External recruiters are usually paid a percentage of the employees’ annual salary as a “finder’s fee” for bringing a hired candidate to an employer. Employers will often engage more than 1 recruiting firm to source qualified candidates from, so competition can be fierce.

-External recruiters will almost always handle the initial phone or face-to-face interview, and then it's usually turned over to internal staff at the company. On rare occasions, they'll manage the entire hiring process from start-to-finish.

Now let's go over Pros and Cons:


-They have an outsider’s perspective, and can usually provide a "clear-eyed" view of what's really going on at the company.

-They can offer crucial guidance on navigating personalities and company hiring issues to give you an edge over the competition.

-Your success means more money for them- that's a POWERFUL motivator! Internal recruiters just don't have the same level of incentive to get you hired.


-The same outsider mentality which can be a plus with a great external recruiter can also be a NEGATIVE with someone who's not on top of the ball. Lack of knowledge about the company and key decision-makers can make it very difficult for you to get traction during the hiring process. This is why it's crucial to listen and observe carefully during initial contact with an external recruiter- are they interested in YOU specifically, or is this one of dozens of calls they have on the books?

-To maximize their odds of placing a candidate, external recruiters will usually put forth multiple people for a job. As such, they may not promote you as aggressively.

-Some external recruiters may submit your resume for other open positions without your knowledge (or permission). This can cause unexpected problems. For example, if you've previously applied for a position independently, and then an external recruiter ALSO submits your candidacy for the same position, an employer may choose to skip you over entirely rather than deal with the headache of figuring out whether a commission is due to the recruiter on hiring. This is why SETTING CLEAR EXPECTATIONS are a must when working with an external recruiter.


-Ultimately, an external recruiter has the exact same goal as you: getting you placed quickly, and for MAXIMUM compensation.

-Be honest with them about potential vulnerabilities- they can play a big role in mitigating the fallout and strengthening the overall impact of your presentation.


A relationship with an external recruiter can pay off for years to come. If they succeed in landing you a job, be sure to send a handwritten thank you note. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Periodically touch base during holidays and during milestone moments in your career. And the best value-add of all? Refer colleagues to them!

What Does "Checking References" REALLY Mean?

What Does "Checking References" REALLY Mean?

"What's Your Greatest Strength?"

"What's Your Greatest Strength?"