Applying through recruiter or directly ?

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Applying through recruiter or directly ?

Postby Val » Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:10 am

Hi everyone,

I see a job advertisment posted by a recruiter, and then I realise who is the seeking employer. I am interested in the job, and I have two ways to apply: either through the recruiter, or directly to the company. Which way gives me a better chance to get hired ?

My reasoning has always been that it is better to apply through the recruiter. If I send the application directly to the company, they may pay no attention to it. A casual person may look at my CV, and then circulate it in a clear folder around the department, and that will be it. If I apply through the recruiter, the company managers will put a higher value on my skills because they will have to pay several thousand dollars to get me hired. "You get what you pay for". Can someone point at my delusions ?

I am in Australia where the corporate culture is very much like that in Canada (not the US).

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Applying through recruiter or directly ?

Postby AL » Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:43 am

Good question.

I applied for a job through a recruiter once even though I knew exactly who the company was. I just figured the recruiter would make things easier.

The hiring manager told me it would have been better if I'd sent the company my resume directly because then he wouldn't have had to pay the recruiter. Then I could have used that as an argument for getting a hiring bonus.

Applying through recruiter or directly ?

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:26 am


You'd be making a giant mistake if this was a recruiter working on an exclusive, preferred hiring arrangement and you "showed your stripes" by going around them. So, how about calling them first and asking what arrangement they have with the firm? "Are you the sole source recruitment source for XYZ company on this position" -- If yes, why tick them off and try to circumvent the system? If no, then send directly to the company!

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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Applying through recruiter or directly ?

Postby Andrew » Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:10 pm

It is unclear how you found out about the job. If it is through a recruiter phone call, exclusive arrangement or not, you have an ethical obligation to go through him. If you saw it advertised by the recruiter and "figured it out", then you are under no obligation regarding the position. I would apply directly. It does not help you to put a 30% price tag on your head.

A lot of recruiters call with cryptic messages about jobs because they are afraid you will do an end-run around them. It will help your career if you cultivate the sort of relationships that allow recruiters to call you and give you as much information about the position as they have. You will then be in a position to make an informed decision about it or help them find someone else, if appropriate. Its better for you and better for them. But trust needs to be earned and believe me when I say by the time you are a mid-career professional, you will have the reputation that you deserve. What that is, is up to you.
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Applying through recruiter or directly ?

Postby AL » Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:10 pm

I should have clarified the situation in my last post!

The company had advertised the job on their Web site *and* had somehow gotten mixed up with this recruiter and her firm.

Since I had the choice, I ought to have applied directly through the company rather than through the recruiter.

Later I found that this recruiting firm often cold-called companies. Their mode of operation was to figure out who might be hiring and then try to get access to the hiring manager. Then they would do whatever it took to get the hiring manager to interview their candidates. They were huge pests! I think they were part of the reason you often see the phrase "principals only" on Web-based job advertisements.

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