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Some jobs are advertised in job portals or linkedin ect. But sometimes I get contacted through a person who works for a recruiting company and she/he asks me if I would be interested for further information. But I cannot find the same job description on any other job portal. So I have feeling like sometimes the companies do not publish the job ad but only use the recuiter company.

But why would they do that this hidden way? It will cost them more and they will be narrowing their candidate pool. What could be the idea behind such hiring method?

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    If you do not have enough (and prepared) HR staff (and the required software infrastructure) to perform the search and the inevitable initial screening then a (possibly good and competent) recruiter could be an option. Jun 15, 2020 at 14:35
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    " and they will be narrowing their candidate pool" That's probably what they want as opposed to having any random clearly unqualified candidate applying for the position and wasting their time.
    – sf02
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:36
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    In current form I don't think this is answerable as recruiters are not made equal and neither are the companies needing employees. Maybe if you rework it as attempt to compare the two alternatives this would be good, but as it is it will only draw opinions.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:41
  • Agree with @TymoteuszPaul, not sure this can be given a useful answer. The core reason would be that they don't think it's worth it but why they made that call could have any number of reasons. You could turn this around and ask "what's the value of posting a vacancy on a company site as well" but that's also getting company specific.
    – Lilienthal
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:59
  • Given the number of applicants I've had who clearly didn't read my job description, and the time I have wasted reviewing them, recruiters sound like a good idea :)
    – cdkMoose
    Jun 15, 2020 at 17:31

6 Answers 6

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It will cost them more

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how often your company hires for that particular skillset. If you hire one developer a year on average, contracting it out to a specialty company (that has people who know how to interview developers) could easily be cheaper than the time spent of people figuring it out.

Cost is also not the most important factor. The cheapest way to search for candidates would be with a poster on a lamp post. That would not get good quality candidates though.

and they will be narrowing their candidate pool

You have to remember that not all applications are of equal quality.

I met a guy at a conference who put a job for an admin assistant on Indeed and Craigslist. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the terrible quality of the resumes and cover letters submitted. We stayed up late reviewing them for funny stuff. Most were absolutely horrible. Some 20 people called one of their past jobs "clark" instead of "clerk." Plenty were new grads with no experience whatsoever who were stuffing things like "3rd grade student of the month" on their resumes. 1000+ resumes later, he did not find that many good candidates. He ended up going to a recruiting company when I met up with him a year later.

The most desirable job applicants are those who are already employed. They are also the candidates who are least likely to be searching for jobs.

A recruiting company will (theoretically) go to find them instead of relying on passive candidates. It narrows things down to a few good candidates instead of a pile of crappy ones.

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  • Another part to the cost is the cost to a company when a position goes unfilled because of a poor candidate pool. Dropping 8-15k on a recruiter to get someone qualified in 30 days costs less than losing 30-60k letting a position remain unfilled for 90 days.(random numbers, all businesses/positions vary) Jun 15, 2020 at 17:09
  • You can easily devolve into even worse scenarios with a bad hire and costing even more in wasted time and resources training someone that you after 3 months.
    – Nelson
    Jun 16, 2020 at 2:41
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Companies hate to spend money. For the last years, the companies I worked for offered around £2,000 for finding a software developer that gets hired and stays. Lots cheaper than an agency.

But good agencies will find you decent developers without costing you time, just money. It’s usually a good deal for the company. Nobody can save you from having to do interviews, but you’ll have a few only. (I think we have an average of three interviews per hiring, and very few totally unsuitable candidates.

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It will cost them more and they will be narrowing their candidate pool.

Quite the contrary.

Many a times, using a recruiting agency (over handling and managing the interview process in-house) is cheaper or of comparable cost, and some recruiters have amazing network / pool of appropriate candidates. Thus, in many cases, using a recruiter / recruiting agency is both easy and time/money saving option. Also, at times, the recruiters can be highly persuasive, to get the candidates land into the interview, who are not "actively looking" for a change.

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It will cost them more

Maybe. It depends if you think the cost of paying recruiters is more or less than the cost of having an internal recruitment team. I don't think that's obvious either way.

they will be narrowing their candidate pool

Not necessarily. A good recruitment agency should be able to find candidates who don't look on the regular job sites.

Even given that, assuming that you're working with a good recruitment agency (and if you're not, find a good one), they'll also filter out inappropriate candidates, meaning that my team have to spend less time dealing with candidates who just aren't right for the job. When I worked for a small company, we worked closely with one particular recruitment agency who knew a lot about us as a company and the sort of candidates we wanted to see - they were invaluable in helping us grow.

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  • But then on flipside they can also filter out good and great candidates and you will never know what talent pool you are missing onto. And there is very little way to know.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:44
  • @TymoteuszPaul We did try both different agencies and doing things internally and found that one agency to be by far the best - not necessarily in terms of raw $$$ outlay, but in terms of value provided to the company in terms of good candidates. Jun 15, 2020 at 14:50
  • But who does the interviews? If the company will do their own interview anyway what is the purpose of the recruitment company? To present less but more relevant candidates?
    – pnatk
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:51
  • That's fine, but my point is that this is just your experience/opinion, and not a universal truth that recruiters will provide either of those values. I can personally account many horror stories with very respected in field recruiters, but that doesn't really make it a good answer, just my personal stories and views.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:52
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  • A company can delegate that spamming activity to recruitment agencies and let them absorb potential negativity. Company name would be revealed for suitable candidates.
  • When a company looks for contractors, it may not post job spec on its website so recruitment agency would find required number of candidates and later would act as intermediary company for handling payments.
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I often wonder about this also, almost all recruiters I worked with didn't do much in my opinion. They just received my CV and passed it on to their client without even seeing me in person. I doubt most of them even read my CV that well.

Maybe it is a case of "Argumentum ad crumenam", those cannidates are good because we paid the recruiter a lot of money.

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