5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use a Recruiter

Image by Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, Flickr

Image by Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, Flickr

My last article laminated the reasons why you should use a recruiter – whether you’re actively looking or just browsing new opportunities. In the interest of fairness I now present five reasons why you shouldn’t use a recruiter.

  1. It puts an expensive price tag on your head

    Using recruiters is expensive. As such, employers often turn to recruiters as a last resort – sometimes they have a niche job, a dry market or simply don’t have time to go through the whole hiring process themselves. Recruiters in turn are beneficial to employers because they fill their inbox with qualified candidates. However, the price to employ those candidates often comes with a 20% commission payment. If candidates are not in the 1%, often employers will pass and go with other, less expensive, candidates.

  2. Recruiters can sully your name

    Like everything in life, make your choices wisely – if you work with a recruiter, make sure you choose a reputable one. I recently had a candidate that did not know he had applied over three times to the same position. It was because he had been working with a recruiter in the past that had essentially spammed his resume to several companies. My client obviously passed on his application, and unfortunately he missed out on an opportunity because someone else dragged his reputation through mud.

  3. Recruiters do not care about you.

    I touched on this in my previous article, and it sounds harsh, but remember that recruiters do not necessarily care if you get the job. If you’re the only one in contention, then they want you to get the job. If there are three of you in a pool, they have no preference that you get the job – only that one of you does.

  4. One potato, two potato, three potato, DROPPED!

    Although it’s in the recruiters best interest to get you hired, they will drop you if they do not think your skills are marketable to their clients. Therein lies a false sense of security for candidates who use recruiters. Most recruiters wait for job orders that match the skills of one of their candidates; most do not actively look for something for you.

  5. It takes the networking out of job hunting

    I know it’s difficult to network, and I know using a recruiter skirts your responsibility to network. Recruiters are great because they tap into their network and source opportunities. However, if you’re in the market and actively looking for employment, but choose to use a recruiter, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to build a network of your own.


All in all I still think it is a good idea to use recruiters to supplement your job search. Above are five reasons why you should be, at the least, hesitant about using head hunters. Reason number one – that it costs businesses money to hire you – is a big one. It is often not the best idea to use executive recruiters for entry or low entry jobs. Reason number five is also very important – such a large percentage of hiring is done through networking. Do not deprive yourself of that tool.