You Thought WHAT About Recruiters?

Top Misconceptions Candidates Have When Working with Recruiters

Did you learn about how to work with recruiters in college? Personally, I did not! I genuinely didn’t know much about recruiters or the options I had working with them until I became one myself. Schools focus their time on how to help you build a background to land a job, but rarely do they discuss recruiters and how to partner with them to help you land that job. This has caused a lot of confusion for candidates and their relationship with recruiters.

Recently I was listening to the MSL Talk Live on LinkedIn, all about how to best work with recruiters. The panelists, which included our own Crecia Magee, had a very insightful and candid discussion around the topic – I highly recommend you check it out! Throughout their discussion, several myths about working with recruiters were brought up and debunked. This made me realize that I may not be the only one with prior misconceptions regarding the candidate-recruiter relationship. Not only that but these theories may be preventing candidates from reaching out and partnering with specialized recruitment firms.  

To help bridge this gap, I wanted to focus this month’s blog on summarizing some of those top misconceptions. My hope is that it gives you more comfort in confidently partnering with recruiters like us down the road!

Myth: Don’t tell your recruiter who else you are interviewing with! It could hurt your chances with the company, and they could sabotage your interviews.

Reality: Being transparent with your recruiter about who you are interviewing with can be very informative for you in fact! The recruiter may know some information about the additional companies that can help in your decision making. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions. In addition, the recruiter can help manage all interviews and keep them around the same speed and timeline. The goal is so you don’t ever feel backed into a corner to make a decision. *If you are looking for a great way to track where you’ve applied and when, check out our resource page and download the Job Application Tracker*

Myth: I also shouldn’t tell my recruiter that I’ve applied to X company before. If I don’t tell them and they submit my resume, they may be able to jump my application to the top of the pile to land that interview.

Reality: It can actually hurt you if a recruiter sends your resume back to a company that you had already applied for within the past 6-12 months. Recruiters don’t have a say once you’ve applied yourself, so it does no good to keep that information from us. It could look bad on your communication or organization skills.

Myth: Your salary and offer will be lower working with a recruiter because the company must pay the recruiter fees.

Reality: Your salary nine times out of ten will be higher working with specialized recruiters! Be certain that if you work with us, your base salary and compensation will never be affected or go hand in hand with what the company pays us. They are separate! Recruiters have a ton of historical data on not only what the mean salary ranges for your background may be but also knowledge on what offers at that company have looked like in the past. That additional information helps us negotiate the best and most fair offer.

Myth: You should never tell your recruiter your base salary.

Reality: Full transparency, especially on the compensation front, is extremely helpful for you. We highly recommend you share your salary with your recruiter to help them negotiate the best offer. This does not mean the recruiter will go and tell the company what you are making (salary laws!). However, this does mean we have more fuel to back up that higher salary. The more information the better, especially with a complex subject like total compensation.

Myth: Recruiters can’t help me with career advice.

Reality: You should reach out to recruiters even when you aren’t job searching for thing just like this – career advice! Specialized recruiters are having numerous conversations with other Medical Affairs professionals alike in various rungs of the ladder. They have a ton of information, and their job is to look at different backgrounds/resumes daily. Great recruiters do the homework to understand the role that they are working with and can provide ample resources to help you figure out your next move. Not only that, but we offer free resources and blogs all on this exact topic!

Myth: I had a horrible experience with a recruiter in the past. They all are the same so why would I work with a different one?

Reality: Do not let one bad experience hinder you from working with other recruiters! Our advice to prevent this from happening again would be to spend time asking questions and “interviewing” the recruiter. Each firm does work differently so do not let one bad egg spoil the bunch.

This is by no means an exhausted list but just some very common examples. My hope is that this information helps give you that push to work with recruiters if you’ve been hesitant in the past!

I want to also note that there is no better time than now to work with recruiters because the job landscape has changed drastically. The market currently is very competitive, especially in Medical Affairs. Companies aren’t necessarily hiring as quickly or as expansively as they would of in prior years. This has caused a more competitive landscape for you as a candidate. So if you’re hesitant, I hope this is useful to help propel you to extend your network.

Did I miss any misconceptions that you’ve heard about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

-Heather