If you’re looking for a job in Switzerland, you may be wondering: is applying through a recruiter a good idea?
Generally speaking, the answer is usually yes.
But if you contact a recruiter about a job opening, here are answers to some questions that people ask about this:
Q: Do I have to pay the recruiter for her services?
A: In Switzerland, recruiters are paid by the employer, NOT by the person looking for a job. Of course, if you ask for additional services, such as coaching or assistance in writing your CV, there may be a fee, but the recruiter would need to tell you this when they offer such services.
Q: If a recruiter asks me a lot of questions and points out areas where my qualifications are lacking, is that a good sign or a bad one?
A: That is almost certainly a GOOD sign! You want a recruiter who will try to match you with a suitable employer, not one who uncritically sends your application to just any old employer! Applying for jobs you aren’t suited for wastes your time and could ruin your chances to get a job at that company you ARE suited for, as there will be a record that the company has already rejected you once and you will also look unserious. So be glad about a critical recruiter!
Q: Related to the last question: should I be suspicious if the recruiter tells me I’m better suited to a different job than the one I applied for? Is that a bait-and-switch?
A: A recruiter’s pay depends on whether he/she successfully places his/her candidates, so he/she is highly motivated to send you to the employer where you have the best chance to get the job. So it is a good idea to be open to the possibility of applying for a different job than the one you originally asked about.
Q: Does it matter if the recruiter is knowledgeable about my line of work?
A: Generally speaking, it’s better for you if the recruiter knows a lot about your line of work. In fact, ideally your recruiter will be someone who could actually do the job you’re applying for, and even has successfully done that sort of work! Your recruiter will then be able to judge whether your application makes sense and will also have the knowledge and credibility to present you positively with potential employers. A well-networked recruiter who has retired from active duty but still knows your industry and the people who work in it is normally a great recruiter to work with.
Q: What should I do if I don’t get the job I applied for with the recruiter?
A: Pump your recruiter for information about why you didn’t get the job! He/She may well have gotten inside info from the company that their kindly rejection letter doesn’t provide. Work with him/her to find out why this application didn’t work and how you can do better the next time, whether by applying for different sorts of employment or other changes in your strategy. If you get a good “vibe” from your recruiter, try to establish a working relationship with him/her, so he/she can help you find that great job you’re looking for!