Can recruiters help me find a good job?


In the next months I will begin the search for my first job out of school. A recruitment agency has approached me and asked if they can contact architecture firms on my behalf.

What is your experience with recruiters? Shall I trust them with handling my applications? Can they get me a good job or will they just send my details where they get the greatest fee at?

Some architecture practices mention in their websites that they do not want to receive applications from agencies. I understand that a direct application saves the practice money since they avoid paying a fee to the recruiter, but then how do recruiters make a living?

Mar 13, 17 5:12 pm
Non Sequitur
Recruiters? Ha, want to loose 25% or more of your entry salary? If yes, then go for it.

Personally, if you can't make it without the help of a recruiter, you're not going to get far in the profession.
Mar 13, 17 5:17 pm  · 
 ·  1

I respectfully disagree.

1. Most recruiters charge the employer, not employee

2. Ive seen a lot of very good, highly valued architects who have "gone very far in their careers", but were brought to the firm by recruiters.

That said, Ive not used one myself...

Mar 15, 17 6:29 pm  · 

I had a temp agency or recruitment agency help me out and they did fantastic. I got a interview with a engineering firm in Orlando and I nailed everything they could throw at me: what is a cricket, what is cripple stud, gave me an autocad test did better than the person who interviewed me and you know what I still didn't get the job. Why because I wore sneakers and not dress shoes, that was the only reason they did not hire me said the recruiter. I ended up getting a job else where that has went sour as well in the villages FL. Now I am marketing looking for some type of job/work. Anyways, they are great they will call you and set up your interviews, also check with your school my first job came from my school, all of these leads have dried up for me through best of luck to you.

Mar 13, 17 5:21 pm  · 

You wore sneakers to a job interview?

Mar 14, 17 8:02 am  · 
Non Sequitur

Yeah, don't care who you are or what cad "skill" you poses. If you can't be bothered to dress like a professional, you're not getting in.

Mar 14, 17 8:36 am  · 

And paid for an opportunity to screw up that badly.

Mar 14, 17 8:37 am  · 

I wore sneakers to an interview yesterday! And I turned the job offer down.

Mar 14, 17 11:49 am  · 
Non Sequitur

...and? A better offer probably would have been made if you care to dress for the interview.

Mar 14, 17 11:51 am  · 

I don't think so. After the interview I decided I had some hesitations about their business model. So the guy in sneakers politely turned down the job. We didn't even get to discussing compensation. I guess it depends on your market. and your sneaks.

Mar 14, 17 12:17 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Indeed it may, as long as it does not look like you rode a tractor to the interview . I only wear sneaks if I need to come into the office on weekends... and often still come in work attire anyways.

Mar 14, 17 12:29 pm  · 

I'd focus on CV and portfolio.

Mar 13, 17 6:55 pm  · 

No.  Don't waste your money. 

The only time such folks are useful is if a firm has hired them as a headhunter.  And then they're slightly irritating.  

Especially if you're the only licensed architect with your level of experience, within a 50 mile radius. 

Mar 14, 17 8:04 am  · 
Non Sequitur

We had one agency do the rounds in our office a few weeks back. I get a call and tell the guy off... then a few minutes later my cowroker's phone rings. Same dude looking for licensed arch for a large AE firm trying to muscle it's way in.

Mar 14, 17 8:38 am  · 

The way I see it, if they need to pay a recruiter to sucker someone into the job, it;s probably a shitty job - high stress, dumb projects, etc. 

Mar 14, 17 10:15 am  · 

Not necessarily always the case, I'dalso think they could also be hyuuuge firms that won't have a dime to spend having their own HR department.

Mar 20, 17 10:06 am  · 

In my opinion, no. You are just out of school and don't have a specific skill set yet. It is better to approach the architecture firms on your own to market yourself.

And don't even bother sending your resume to agents who charge you. 

Mar 14, 17 10:52 am  · 

applicants pay the recruiter?  Guess i don't know how the business works.  I assumed that the hiring firm pays the fee.  Or are you saying that the fee comes out of the employee's salary?

Mar 15, 17 11:01 am  · 

Yeah hiring firm pays recruiter. If the job seeking employee is paying money that's a scam. In my experience recruiters can place you in mediocre jobs at best.

Mar 15, 17 2:01 pm  · 

A couple of the responses in this thread seem to assume that the prospective employee is paying the recruiter.  Typically that is not the case.  The employer pays the recruiter - sometimes an initial flat fee, and usually an agreed-upon percentage of the employee's salary on top of that. 

The bright side of that is that it's in the recruiter's best interest to help you get the highest salary possible. If you're not the strongest negotiator you may do better with a recruiter to help, than if you went after the same job alone.

There are several potential pitfalls though: 1. It's also in the recruiter's best interest to get you to take the highest-paying job he can find you, with as little time and effort on his part as possible - so he's usually going to do a pretty hard sell on the first spot he thinks he can get for you - even if's not exactly your dream job.  2. For the same reason, the recruiters will usually encourage you to consider jobs in the largest metropolitan areas in their territories - even if that's not where you really want to be.  3. Firms that have to resort to recruiters sometimes aren't the best firms to work for.  This isn't always true - sometimes they use recruiters because they're in a region with a small pool of applicants, or one lacking diversity, or because using recruiters is cheaper than using in-house resources to conduct their searches.  4. Firms don't usually have exclusive relationships with just one recruiting firm, so there may be a large number of candidates for the position - and in some cases you may be approached by multiple recruiters about the same job but not even realize it's the same job. Or, you can even find out that the job they're trying to fit you into is the one you already have! 5. Recruiters have been known to overstate your qualifications, which can lead to a mismatch of expectations and delivery if/when you get the job. 6. When firms get employees through recruiters they sometimes rationalize that since they had to pay a bounty upfront, that employee needs to "work off" that cost for a few years before they'll be considered for a raise.

Mar 15, 17 3:43 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

The employee indirectly pays the recruiter because in most cases the employer will deduct the cost of the recruiter from the starting salary.

Mar 15, 17 3:51 pm  · 
1  · 

No, its all upto your negotiation.

Mar 15, 17 6:31 pm  · 

I got a job through a recruiter when I had about 3 years of experience and was moving to a new location where I had zero connections.  I was also interviewing at some firms I'd contacted on my own, but the recruiter got me the foot in the door of this pretty well-known firm that I'd been interested in but couldn't get past "we'll keep your resume on file" when I tried on my own.  The recruiter was a little over-zealous and I did feel a little pressured to take it right away.  I'd say if you work with a recruiter be firm about what you're not interested in, and about taking the time you need to do your research and thinking. But the recruiter was also aggressive with getting me a good starting salary, significantly better than my coworkers in the firm at the same level.  It definitely wasn't the case that the employer deducted the recruiter's fee from starting salary!

In the end the firm wasn't the greatest fit and I only stayed about 18 months, but it wasn't a bad job, and was a good way to get started in a new city where I didn't know anyone. 

Mar 16, 17 2:00 pm  · 

Yeah, definitely

Mar 12, 18 10:41 am  · 

A headhunter gets paid out of your salary a recruiter is paid by the employer when they place you and gets paid when you have stayed on for a set period of time. 

If you are starting out I would go ahead and do it, you are not obligated to take a job if it is not a good fit for you. I used temp agencies and recruiters and the best thing was not the steady stream of interviews but the candid feedback I got from the agency which helped me become a better interviewer. Also a recruiter is an instant network boost and will likely shorten your job search.  The other thing to be careful about is the term of the work assignment, sometimes jobs are temp or a gig job for a few months. They also have the skills and communication experience to keep the hiring process going so you don't get stalled out by the perspective firms when they get too busy. But if you are starting out and you treat your recruiter and their team as your 2nd boss, keep them in the loop and give the level of respect they deserve it can only help. You should develop a good working relationship with recruiters which can get you on the list for interviews and other opportunities.  If you are in Chicago email me through my profile I can refer you to a few good recruiters who are determined to get you the best fit in your career.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Mar 12, 18 1:22 pm  · 

Very helpful post Peter, alas I'm not in Chicago

Mar 12, 18 7:58 pm  · 

Employing firm pays scout. On the off chance that the work looking for worker is paying cash that is a trick. As far as I can tell spotters can put you in unremarkable positions, best case scenario.

Apr 13, 21 1:28 am  · 

I believe only firms who are manning up to row the galley ship for a big project would use recruiters. Guess what happens to the rowers when the big job is done? You should know the individual firms which have a reputation for treating their employees fairly with decent pay, working conditions, and a positive career path. I doubt if many of those would use recruiters. 

Apr 14, 21 8:17 am  · 

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