Working with a Recruiter VS Applying Directly

In my daily conversations with candidates, a recurring topic is whether they should utilize the services of a professional recruiter or apply directly online to the company’s website.  What are the advantages of engaging a recruiter if they can just apply directly? After listening to their concerns and getting a better understanding of their circumstances, I share a recent placement story with them.

We were retained by a small biotech company that was looking for local candidates to fill a strategic & vital regulatory role. The search had taken longer than normal because of the specific background the hiring manager required.  While speaking with a candidate, they informed me that they had already applied directly online for this position and that they had not heard back from the company. I was surprised by this as their resume read as if the hiring manager had used it to write the job description. I asked permission from the candidate to talk with HR to see if they had, in fact, reviewed the resume. After doing so, we found that they were not in the system. We surmised that due to the high volume of applicants it had somehow been missed. I immediately engaged the hiring manager on my candidate’s behalf and aligned the two to speak.

The reason I share this story is to point out that by engaging a recruiter in the process your resume is guaranteed to be seen by the hiring manager. You will also have an advocate to make sure your background and experience are represented correctly. Your resume will not just be sitting in a pile waiting to be noticed. You will be provided with feedback and ultimately the goal is to set up an interview.

Advantages of using a Recruiter:

  • They know the current trends and can assess where you are in the marketplace as well as what you can expect in a potential career move.
  • They can provide relevant knowledge of company’s culture and the hiring manager’s personality.
  • A recruiter understands what the hiring manager is looking for beyond the job description.
  • They can often help you to cut to the head of the line by sharing information directly with the hiring manager.
  • A good recruiter will prepare you for the interview with appropriate questions and answers as well as ensuring you are prepared with insight on those individuals you will be speaking with.
  • Leveraging the recruiter’s relationships and contacts to find opportunities, which may not be posted online.
  • The recruiter can negotiate the best possible compensation for you since they often have access to industry salary data and what competing companies in the market will pay.
  • If relocation is required, the recruiter should be able to provide information and resources to help you evaluated the new location, the cost of living, etc.
  • There is no cost to you as the candidate! All recruiter fees are paid by the hiring company.


Success lies in the preparation! For additional job-seeking resources head over to Dennis Partners