The 5 most ridiculous myths about working with recruiters


Some employers are reluctant to use agencies because they believe recruiters can’t help them, or will actually make their life harder. We know this isn’t true; working with recruiters can actually enhance hiring.

This is why we urge those reluctant employers to check that their opinions about using agencies are still valid and not based on long debunked myths.

Otherwise, you may be needlessly depriving yourself of access to game-changing talent that best-of-breed recruiters can provide to you.

Below are the 5 most ridiculous myths about working with agencies, set against the more positive reality of working with a recruiter. Don’t let these myths hold your business back.

1. “Good interviews always highlight the best candidate, so we don’t need a recruiter to do it for us.”

Counter: Good interviews don’t always highlight the best worker: actually, research shows that the typical in-house interview process is at worst about 30% reliable and at best about 60% reliable.

The lack of reliability is no surprise really, as interviewees have become experts at hiding weaknesses and exaggerating strengths, and beating the system using insider information from sites like Glassdoor. Thus, poor performers with good interview skills regularly get past good interview processes.

Reality: Since the internal hiring process is at times very unreliable, you can still benefit from working with recruiters who can provide many of the missing pieces of the puzzle to help increase the reliability of your assessment process.

Not only do recruiters have thousands of hours of interview experience that can enhance your in-house assessment process and increase reliability, recruiting agencies have intimate knowledge of the talent market, meaning they can more accurately benchmark candidates against the external market-place, allowing you to more reliably identify top-tier talent.

2. “Why would I pay money for a recruiter/firm when I can post free/cheap job ads online or do it myself?”

Counter: Using a jobs board is not really free. You may have not have a direct financial outlay when using a free jobs board, but there will be a huge indirect cost in terms of labor. This includes time spent: crafting an attractive job advert, posting the ad, reviewing resumes, short-listing, acknowledging, rejecting, and providing feedback to hundreds of applicants. This could amount to 50 or 60 hours of labor per person, costing thousands of dollars in salary.

Also, job boards only give you access to candidates who are on the market, whereas recruiters will actually chase and secure interviews with passive candidates who aren’t on the market yet. This increases candidate quality, reduces the time-to-hire, and reduces empty desk time in your business.

Also, recruiters work on a contingency model, meaning you only pay if they deliver the goods, whereas if you do it yourself, you’ll carry the costs whether you succeed or fail.

Reality: Recruiters can actually save you money as rather than spending 50 or 60 hours managing the whole hiring process, you can leave the hard labor to the recruiting agency, and you’ll have to spend just 5 or 6 hours interviewing candidates from the prepared shortlist. You also only pay a fee if you hire someone. Recruiters will find better quality talent in a shorter amount of time – than you will on your own – thanks to them accessing passive talent, reducing your empty desk time.

3. “Working with a recruiter derails our established hiring process.”

Counter: This isn’t true. Most recruiters are flexible and offer a service to suit your needs. If you want to outsource your entire hiring operation to an external recruiter, you can.

But, if you just want to outsource the search or short-listing process, you can normally do that too. Recruiters partner with you, doing as much or as little as you need.

Reality: Simply put, recruiters can make your job easier: if you are struggling to find top talent from the active talent market, recruiters can use their powerful talent networks to find it for you. They don’t derail – they deliver.

4. “I don’t want a temp, I want someone who is in it for the long haul.”

Counter: The pure ‘temping agency’ concept is becoming a rapidly outdated term. A competitive, client-centered marketplace has led most hiring agencies to diversify and offer both temp-to-hire and direct hire. As an added bonus, agencies also offer guarantees should a new hire not meet expectations.

Reality: Recruiting agencies can provide direct hire talent with great a long term fit, who will be in it for the long haul. They do this by making sure that talent has the right personality and attitude fit – as well as skill fit – which has shown to be crucial to staff loyalty and longevity.

5. “Recruiters I’ve used in the past over-promised and under-delivered.”

Counter: Like any other profession, the industry has its share of good and bad apples, which is why CERS asks detailed questions to get the full picture of the employer’s hiring pain points, and if possible, a face to face meeting or facility tour to fully understand the needs of the employer and how we can help. This helps us to set realistic expectations with clients and of course meet them.

Reality: We are not like other agencies. CERS doesn’t go for glossy, shallow sales tactics, we have a patented 21-step process in place and we would never accept an assignment if we didn’t genuinely believe we could fill it. The reality is that if you choose a conscientious recruiter, with a sound methodology and performance guarantees, over-promising and under-delivery will not occur.

These common myths and their opposing realities clearly demonstrate that the recruiting process is sometimes perceived as being tedious – and it can be, when insufficient communication takes place or expectations are not properly set. The truth is, working with a best-in-class third-party recruiting agency is always a smart and smooth process. Recruiters know you want your business to be the best it can be, and they understand that oftentimes hiring managers or internal recruiters can only reach a pond of candidates rather than an ocean. To achieve complete success, it makes sense to let a recruiting and consulting agency grant you access to their ocean of candidates.

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