5 Ways to Know if a Recruiter is Looking for Bargain Talent

John Krautzel
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Some companies turn to recruiters to help them find budget talent, or quality employees willing to work for below-market-rate salaries. Although a good recruiting partner can help speed up your job search, look out for recruiters who don't have your best interests in mind. Here are a few clues that a recruiter may be working for companies who are trying to find budget talent.

1. Asking About Your Current Salary

Your current salary is private and not something you need to divulge to a recruiter. If the first question a recruiter asks you is about your current wages, he might be looking for candidates who are already underpaid and willing to accept lower-than-average compensation.

2. Understating Average Salary Ranges

Know your own worth. Take a look at published salary surveys for your position and industry. Talk to others in your line of work. If a recruiter implies that your requested salary range is unrealistic, don't waste your time continuing the conversation. Be especially wary if the recruiter states that you are currently or were previously overpaid. This is a sure sign that the recruiter looking for budget talent for his client.

3. Focusing on Opportunities for Promotions

When you are choosing a new job, the actual job and its compensation are your biggest concerns. If a recruiter keeps mentioning the wonderful opportunities you will have for promotions in the new position and how great your career path is likely to be, pull the conversation back to the actual position you are discussing. The promotion opportunities may sound great, but the only definite is the position you are hired for and the compensation you negotiate for that position. Don't let yourself become budget talent by losing track of those points.

4. Emphasizing Perks

Another way a recruiter might sidetrack you is by focusing on the perks of a position. While great benefits and a wonderful company culture are certainly valuable, you need to earn a fair salary for your work. If a company offers exceptional perks but is saving money by recruiting budget talent, it may not have your best interests in mind.

5. Overusing the Phrase "Total Compensation"

Your total compensation is a figure that describes everything you make in a position, including salary, insurance premiums, perks, vacation time and any other benefits the company offers. This number is often two times or more greater than the actual salary for the position. Repeatedly hearing about the total compensation might influence you to accept a lower salary than you deserve. Encourage recruiters to discuss the actual paid salary when negotiating compensation to keep you focused on the numbers that matter most.

Recruiters who seek you out are more likely looking for budget talent than recruiters you find on your own. Instead of working with the first recruiter to give you a call, seek a recruiting partner who will help you find an employer that values its workers and offers fair compensation.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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