Recruiters are some of the most loved/hated/annoying people that candidates interact with whether looking for a job or an opportunity—a job pays the bills, while an opportunity moves your career—it’s nice when they are one-in-the-same.
What candidates need to keep front and center is that helping someone, no matter how good, is not recruiters’ primary focus.
Their focus is getting paid.
Recruiters get paid by filling a company’s open req.
Marketing a candidate is done with the primary goal of getting access to that company’s/manager’s open reqs and a contractual obligation to pay the recruiter.
A marketable candidate is not necessarily the best candidate available, but the candidate most likely to be “sold” successfully.
That judgment is based on the current needs of the marketplace and the number of similar positions in the target companies.
To actively market people who hold senior positions, have esoteric skills, are in large supply, or do not fit the general parameters of the recruiter’s normal market is not a good recipe for success.
Therefore, the decision to market or not to market has very little to do with candidate skills and everything to do with recruiters’ desire/need to spend their time productively.
The problem is that most recruiters are reluctant to explain.
Like most folks they are uncomfortable saying no, they don’t want to hurt the candidate’s feelings or they just can’t be bothered (this goes for hiring managers, too).
I have always contended that it is far worse for a candidate to think something is happening when it’s not than to be told the truth.
Disclaimer: Other than helping clients make staffing a core competency I’m long out of active recruiting, but it seems ridiculous to me that in these days of networking and DIY-everything trusting your future to a stranger when you are on the lowest rung of their priority ladder (after self and client) isn’t the smartest thing to do—and it never was.
Flickr image credit: BDPA Charlotte – IT Thought Leaders