How does hiring work and where do recruiters fit in anyway?

Let’s think about the way hiring works

and where recruiters fit into it. 



You are looking for your next job.  

You know what you have done in the past and have inkling about what you want to do next.  You have checked the job boards, even sent in your lifetime CV, but no bites, or you have had phone interviews but no invitation for a face-to-face interview.  What is going on?

Someone is doing your job plus his own. 

He knows that he is not going to be able to get both done in the time frame needed.  Eventually the boss does too.  The boss says, “Dang, we need to hire someone.  Who do we know?”  75% of jobs are filled by the people known to the team, either in-house or through the team’s professional and personal networks.

If they don’t know the right person,

or the people they do know are not interested in that job, the boss calls HR and says, “Hire me a (insert title here).”  HR finds a position description, if the hiring manager doesn’t give her one, and posts the job to the company career page.  Hundreds of people apply, but only about 2% are invited for interviews.  20% of jobs are filled this way.  Because of the inflow of resumes and applications, HR defends their time by using a computer program called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which sends an automatic reply to each applicant saying, “Thanks, we will let you know.”  It then matches the keywords and phrases in each application/resume to the position description uploaded by HR. 

If you have enough of the same key words,

your resume gets tagged and a human (probably the intern or clerk), looks at your resume to review it against the other ones that made it through the “black hole” (ATS).  This person makes a selection of what he/she thinks are the top few and either passes them to the hiring manager, calls to do a “phone screen” or hands them off to another HR person who specializes in recruiting to review and pass on to the hiring manager.

When the hiring manager has time,

he/she reviews those few resumes, picks the top 3-5 and either calls or has HR do a phone screen if one has not been done already.  If he/she likes what he hears, then his admin will make an interview appointment for you.   Most hiring managers don’t have much time since they are trying to get the problem solved or meet the deadline, so this step can take far longer then you would expect.

If neither of these methods works, a recruiter is brought in for this particular job. 

Recruiters only know about the jobs their corporate clients have asked them to fill.  There might be 20 different jobs on the company career page, but the recruiter has only been hired to find the few people to interview for one role. 

Are you money on the hoof?

Some recruiters, called contingency recruiters, do send resumes for many jobs that are posted.  Most bioscience companies don’t accept these resumes and have a note on the career page that says so.  A contingency recruiter might shop your resume around to their various clients or potential clients, but only if, in their experience, you look like “gold” to them. 

No one knows all the jobs out there. 

And no one knows all the jobs that might be available for you.  And only you know what is interesting. 

Programs and Products

My programs, delivered by private coaching or group classes, are designed to teach job seekers how to be visible online with the right keywords, known to the people in the departments in the companies that those particular job seekers find interesting, how to be remembered before someone else for a job, how to be liked and trusted enough to be invited to submit a resume.  Click here for private coaching or free open office hours.

A resume does not get you a job. 

A resume is a piece of marketing collateral designed to get you an interview.  It must be tailored to each job because it needs to get through the ATS. Then the people who look at it to review before passing it on to the hiring manager will give you, perhaps 6, seconds of their time.  Even if you use all of the keywords in the position description, if, in the last few years, you have not done what they need to have done, they will discard your resume.

Do you know what keywords you want to use?  Are you visible on LinkedIn?

Do you have your list of top ten most interesting companies?

Are you networking with people in the department you want to work in in each of those companies?

Have you been invited to submit a resume?

Does the resume speak directly to the problem that that department is trying to solve?


If all of these things are true, then I’d be happy to look over your resume for a particular company.  If they are not, I offer LinkedIn Profile Reviews.  You get a recorded review and suggestions for how to improve your resume or Profile. 

If not, you might want to check out my website at: BioScience Job Kit – At A Glance for more help.



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