How to Cut Out the HR Middle Man
Jul 16 2022
The Internet has made life and work easier for job seekers and HR companies. You no longer have to pound the pavement submitting your resume door-to-door or sending them via regular mail, which would take time to get to the Hiring Manager’s desk.
Today you can take advantage of social media and online job communities to help you find a job. All you need to do is sign up for these services, open an online profile and wait.
Within a few weeks, you might receive an e-mail from a recruiter which indicates that YYZ Company is interested in hiring you based on the skills listed in your online profile.
You should know that the recruiter who contacted you does not work for YYZ Company. They work for a recruitment agency which functions as the middleman; it matches companies with potential candidates for a commission.
Recruitment agencies are consultants hired by various companies to help them find talent. Companies outsource recruitment work to these agencies because they do not have the expertise or the time to qualify the best people for their job openings.
This is not the same as an employment agency. A recruitment agency connects you with companies, one of which could be your employer. But with an employment agency, the agency hires you on behalf of the company.
You may not have known it back then, but when you clicked “Send” on your targeted company’s website, your resume could have gone to an agency’s inbox.
For companies, outsourcing to a recruitment agency is a more efficient way of getting things done. The company gets to save costs and focus on the core functions of the business.
In the meantime, an experienced recruiter attends to its workforce requirement. For the job seeker, it widens the scope of the search. You can be matched with several potential employers.
But does efficient recruitment translate to effective recruitment?
Pitfalls of working through an agency
- Recruiters are experts in the recruitment process but are not experts or knowledgeable in the job offered by the employer. For example, if the job is for a developer with experience in Adobe Dreamweaver, the recruiter may not be familiar with this program. So how would they qualify your technical expertise?
- They could be shady; wherever there are opportunities, scammers abound. When unemployment levels are high and the job market is competitive, be wary of personalities who will take advantage of your situation. These scammers are out for the money. They will ask you for placement or upfront fees, and you will never hear from them again.
Also, they are expensive; if you are hired for $35 per hour, the recruiter is probably getting paid $70 for getting you that job. The $70 will cover commissions, insurance, taxes, and profits.
In the overall recruitment process, going through an agency may not be entirely efficient. Why? Because your resume is not delivered to the person who can decide on your employment: The Hiring Manager.
Thus, if you want to improve your chances of getting hired, cut out the HR middle man or the agency and find ways to send your resume directly to the Hiring Manager.
Ways you can eliminate the recruitment agency
- Use LinkedIn LinkedIn is the preferred social network of professionals. Even recruitment agencies use LinkedIn to search for talent. You may even have received invitations to connect from agency personnel. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to use LinkedIn and get your resume directly to the right person:
- Identify the company that you want to work for.
- Visit their website and find the name of the Hiring Manager.
- LinkedIn will require an e-mail address for you to connect. If it’s not on the website, use an app called Hunter. All you need to do is find the LinkedIn profile of the Hiring Manager, and Hunter will provide an e-mail for you.
- Send a customized invitation to connect. Never use the default setting of LinkedIn! Your recipient will appreciate personalized messages.
- If your invitation to connect is accepted, they will expect to receive communication from you.
- Create a customized cover letter with a compelling subject title such as: “Award Winning Web Designer Wants to Work for YYZ Company.”
- Attach your resume plus other relevant documents that will validate your qualifications.
Hiring Managers know this is the reason they signed up for LinkedIn. They probably receive hundreds of invitations to connect and resumes delivered in this manner.
It may take some time to get a response, but at the very least, you have assured your resume is in the right hands.
- Network. Sometimes, you just need to roll up your sleeves and do old-school networking.
- Identify the type of job you want and the companies you want to work for.
- Review your contacts list and identify connections who work in these companies or the same industry.
- If you know them quite well, give them a call and invite them for coffee. If they are acquaintances, send them an e-mail indicating your interest in finding a job in their company or industry. Respectfully request if they could connect you with someone who can assist you.
- Attend job conventions, trade fairs and networking events. Human Resources people frequently attend these activities to source talent. Make sure you have calling cards and your portfolio of work.
Companies are also using technology to find talent. Programs such as Scaled Network match employers with candidates who fit their qualification guidelines.
Theoretically, these automated recruiting programs are still “middlemen” because a fee or subscription is paid for the service. It does not assure your resume will go directly to the main decision-maker.
The bottom line is if you want to improve your chances of getting hired, bypass the recruitment agency and bring your resume straight to the Hiring Manager.
Submitting resumes is not just about efficiency; it’s about finding ways to get the job done.
Felix Tarcomnicu is the founder of ResumeOK, a website that helps job seekers find better jobs by writing professional resumes. You can get in touch with him on Twitter.