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What is the difference between a Career Coach and an Agency Recruiter?

Hi Mandar I read your blogs regularly. I am in touch with a few agency recruiters since I have migrated here and they are very polite, friendly and professional in their approach. They have told me they will help me find a job. However, I don’t hear anything from them after that! Some of them don’t even remember me when I applying to them again from the same job board! Secondly, for some reason they keep suggesting me to apply for certain roles, that they have vacant, for which I am not suitable. Why is this? What is the difference between a Career Coach and an Agency Recruiter? We don’t have a lot of Career Coaches from where I come from and not heard about them. Can you please throw some light on this topic?

This is a very common situation facing most job seekers, not just new migrants. Let’s analyze it a little more so you get a clear idea.

  • Most agency recruiters are not working to find YOU your dream job. That is what your Career Coach would help you to find. Career Coaches work for their clients who would be you the job seeking candidates. Recruiters need to find a suitable candidate who can be anyone including you, but not necessarily you. Most of them don't care which particular candidate gets the job as long as they get a fee for it. They may or may not be loyal to you, depending on how hot your skills are within the job market and what recruitment work they specialize in. It depends on your level of connection with them
  •        Who do agency recruiters work for? Well, most agency recruiters work for their end clients. It’s the clients who would make the decisions for agency recruiters in most cases, though the best recruiters should normally be influencing outcomes. I know I did but it was rare.Career Coaches work for you the job seeker’s you are their end clients.
  •       Yes, agency recruiters usually just suggest you the vacant positions based on your resume, on your existing skill sets, that they have on their internal job list. That is their job. Its no use you calling a recruiter again and again if they don't have any roles for you, you are just wasting their time. Career Coaches help you in polishing your skill sets, rewrite your resume, teach you things to tap the local job market and help you to aim for your preferred role, not just within an agency or company, but within the full job market.
       Career Coaches help you with their network to target both active and passive jobs. Agency Recruiters would normally help you to get only those vacant roles that they have, if any, with their clients on their own agency job board. That is their work.
  •    Who pays whom? Agency recruiters get paid fees, either on a recurring basis or in one off way from their clients for finding candidates for vacant positions. Career Coaches get paid by you when you enroll in their coaching program.
  •       Career Coaches act as your friend, philosopher and guide but they may not have any direct roles to offer you. Agency recruiters can offer you roles that they have vacant, as long as you have hot employable skills in their domain expertise area of work. In Australia lot of recruitment still does happen using agency recruitment and there are some good recruiters out there, although this seems to be changing and standards seem to be dropping.
  •       Yes, I heard of some agency recruiters suggesting and trying to offer you, the job seeking candidates or new migrants, roles, that you may or may not be suitable for in the first place. This is rare, but yes it does happen when some new inexperienced or junior agency recruiters are trying to fill hard to find roles on really low margins mass client accounts. That is why it’s important to know which agency recruiters specialize in your area of work and that does not just mean industry specific agency. I have worked with some of the best agency recruiters. The best recruiters are engaged and interested in keeping you employed as long as possible and finding new opportunities for you. They rarely use job boards, they understand you, have a large network community and remember you for a role you have not applied for but you would be interested in for sure. Problem is those recruiters may not be recruiting for your level or type of roles.

  Agency recruiters primarily work for their clients and Career coaches work for you the candidates, who are their clients and pay their fees.  The choice is yours, ideally, in today’s economic scenario, you need to be connected with both, not just depend on an agency recruiter. Yes, my view is somewhat biased since I have worked within both these professions.

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