When is a Recruiter not a Recruiter


We face contradictions in terms every day.  For example, when you wipe away dust on your furniture, we say you “dust” the furniture.  Of course, logically we should say we “undust” our furniture. So when you say “recruiter” what does that mean?

Well, in the case of Forbes magazine, it means a lot.  Forbes and Statista collected 26,000 nominations for the best recruiters in the US from recruiters, staffing professionals, HR managers and executive candidates.  The focus is on positions where candidates will earn $100,000 or more.

So we are talking about executive recruiters in this context.

Next, Forbes and Statista boiled this list down to a serious first round of about 5,000 contenders, and then to the very best finalists — the top 200 executive recruiters in the nation.

The Barrett Group is very pleased to be part of this elite group, though there are a few caveats.

A dictionary might offer this as a definition of “recruiter…”

“Recruiter — a person whose job is to enlist or enroll people as employees, in the armed forces, or as members of an organization.”

At the Barrett Group we do not work for an employer at all.  We work for the candidate seeking the job.  We think this is a huge advantage for our clients. Because we are not limited to one employer or even one marketplace.

We have been helping executive clients land jobs now for more than 30 years.  Our principal marketplaces are

  • the executive recruiter market where about 10% of our clients land,
  • the published job market where another 15% find opportunities,
  • and the unpublished market where fully 75% of our clients find their next executive challenge.

So, if we were a recruiter in the traditional sense, we would be limiting the market we can offer our clients to just 10% of the potential. Not to mention the fact that jobs in the unpublished market tend to be more lucrative because there is less competition.

If you have applied for jobs online, then you will understand competition.  Candidates come to us every day with stories about how many times they have applied. And either been completely ignored or received some automated letter telling them there is a better candidate.  This screening takes place largely via automation these days, and many candidates are justifiably frustrated at not even being able to speak to a hiring manager.

That is why we teach our clients how to navigate the ATS systems and other human and AI sentinels who guard the published market—to get through that slalom course, and actually reach a decision maker.

And, of course, we work with executive recruiters, too, connecting our clients with relevant professionals based on industry, geography and other factors.

Well, in short, we are what you might call a “reverse recruiter,” i.e., we work from the market backwards to aid the candidate. 

In fact, we always begin with the end in mind. We invest time up front to better understand where our clients are going and what their dream positions might look in helping them steer a course to success. 

The very first step in our Career Management System is the Targeting Step, a.k.a., The Clarity Program©, that helps clients

  • clarify their own personalities and behaviors,
  • evaluate their immediate life circumstances,
  • and then pin down their five-year aspirations.

For Barrett Group clients, where you have been (professionally) is far less important than where you are going.  We help clients transition from one industry, role, or geography every day—literally.  Go visit our Hiring Line website to see the latest interviews, offers, and happy clients.

So, we clarify the objective first, and then equip each client with a six-member team to help them find that dream job. Typically in 6-12 months if they follow our tried-and-true process.

If you too are looking to make a change professionally and are not sure how to take the first step or are exhausted and frustrated by the labyrinthine machinations of the online job market, take an expert’s advice.  Listen to Forbes.  Come to one of the top executive recruiters in the US—the one who puts clients’ interests first. 

Meet the Barrett Group and get some relief.

Peter Irish
CEO
The Barrett Group

Read next: Overcoming Fear of the Unknown

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