What do recruiters do?

Do recruiters exist to send over multiple CVs hoping that one will fit the bill? Or telling candidates exactly what to say to impress hiring managers?

Actually no – there’s far more work that goes into matching jobs with professional job seekers.


Good professional recruiters gain their reputations from being able to provide an overview of the entire market. Very few HR or line managers have the time or network to know who to approach, what their competitors’ hiring strategies are or what is being paid in bonuses at any given time. It takes constant research and communication with employers and job seekers to gain this knowledge.

Facilitating the process

Managers tasked with hiring can rarely afford the time involved in the recruitment process. They will focus on the selection process.

  • What makes the job seeker think that the company is an attractive place to work?
  • How do they go about negotiating remuneration? 
  • Who keeps them in the loop when there is a delay in the process?


That’s where the recruiter comes in – picking up where the hirer just doesn’t have time, keeping the candidate interested and the process moving.

Specialist knowledge

In industries like banking, IT and life sciences recruiters will not go far unless they know the market. It’s hard to recruit a product controller for a bank or a java developer for a business intelligence company without understanding what the role involves and where it fits in the business. Employers are relying on recruiters to be well briefed on market developments to anticipate demand and meet clients’ hiring needs.

Finding the elusive candidate

The best person for a job is often not looking for a new role. This is the candidate that a business will rarely attract alone. The recruitment company however, is expected to know who is out there whether actively looking or not. They will do the research, make the approach and in many cases present their clients in the best light to a job seeker, making a job move highly attractive.

So, there are a number of assumptions and expectations of professional recruiters that actually require a great deal of research, networking, communication and negotiation behind the scenes. The fees attached to this work are a reflection of the hours involved in ensuring that an employer hires the very best person for their job and somebody with the potential for a good career with that company.

Image: Creative Commons Juggling Balls by William Warby is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Gerald FitzGerald's picture
Chief Operations Officer Ireland