“Yes, You Are My Client, Mr. Candidate”

Tonight I’m speaking at a local user group meeting on “Tips for working with Recruiters.”  To get my brain rolling, I Googled a few things and was really blown away by the first article that popped up, and the VERY FIRST tip.  It says, “Understand that recruiters don’t work for you.  A recruiter will be delighted to work with you – if you meet the specifications of a current assignment to fill a position for an employer.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.  How insulting is this?  I have unfortunately read this “advice” for the 17 years that I have been recruiting, and it makes me shake my head and feel sorry for the very candidates that I so actively pursue on a daily basis.  What candidate wants to hear that he is only as good as the job being offered?  The very reason I love recruiting is because of the candidates I work with, and work FOR.  I used to wear a shirt that said, “I Love Nerds.”  I do…if I can help all my techy friends find jobs, my hiring managers are happy, and Triumph is happy.

Candidates ARE my client.  And I work hard for you.  REALLY hard.  While employers are the clients that technically pay my bills, I see candidates equally as important.  I think the issue is that many recruiting firms wait until they have a job to go out and recruit for.  We approach recruiting very different, and I hope it’s one of the reasons we are successful, and seen as different to our hiring managers and candidates.


We are proactive.  We recruit daily for our top skill sets.  We network daily for the cream of the crop.  Not just on our open jobs.  We build relationships.  We may not have open Java Developer position, but we are looking for great Java Developers.  So you may be asking, “What do you say to someone when you get them on the phone, with no job to discuss?  Aren’t they waiting for you to tell them about a Java job, and annoyed when you tell them you don’t have one?”  The answer – No.  Not at all.  When we call a superstar candidate without a job, we are very honest and tell them, “I actually am not calling about a specific position, but I place Java developers with clients that expect nothing but the best – and I think you have done some impressive things.  Can we talk further?”  We then learn about THEM, what they want, the type of position, location, company culture, benefits, technology…their WISH LIST.  There are so many things that are important to a stellar candidate.  But most recruiters just won’t ask.  Everything should be about the candidate.  After all, it’s their career and my job as a recruiter is to find them the bull’s-eye job – the one that other recruiters can’t because all they are doing is calling trying to fill their clients open ‘req’ and get shoved into a new job.  That’s a short term solution for both the candidate and the recruiter, and at the end doesn’t solve the hiring manager’s pain.

I also wonder if these “Only work for the Client” recruiters have ever taken a top echelon candidate they are working with to a client that uses similar technologies and is PROACTIVE about marketing that candidate.  My clients love that.  It shows we are thinking of our client all the time, even when an open job hasn’t been advertised.  That’s recruiting.  That’s understanding your candidate and your hiring manager – both of which are your clients!

So I guess I’m OK with Triumph being different.  Different is unique.  And unique is memorable.  Relationships are important.  I take pride in the fact that our recruits ARE our client.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And for anyone to say, “Recruits don’t pay me, companies do,” I would challenge you to look at your last commission check and ask yourself, “how much would this check be without my candidates.”

My firm, Triumph Services, has over 40 years of combined recruiting experience in the Richmond market and have helped thousands of job seekers better their IT careers.  We may not be the largest firm in town, but know when you work with Triumph, whether you are a hiring manager, or a candidate, you will be treated as a valued Client.

Happy Recruiting & Job Hunting,

Logan Bragg


Triumph Services


By Logan Bragg: Partner, Triumph Services. As head of the Recruiting Division of Triumph, he has helped thousands of candidates find rewarding positions.