Young African American woman weighing employment options

Should You Enlist the Help of a Recruiter When You Currently Have a Job? 

Learn why you should say yes to getting a recruiter’s help to find better career opportunities even if you’re currently employed.

Maybe you are happily employed. Perhaps you are nervous about being perceived as not committed to your current job. Maybe you think talking to a recruiter would be a waste of time. People have reasons for disengaging from career networking, this article dives into the counterpoints. It explores why we think building a partnership with a recruiter can be the medicine you need for a healthy career.

Luck Happens to Those Who Prepare for It

Did you ever know someone who had a great job fall in their lap? Have you ever congratulated a colleague who found the “too good to turn down” opportunity?

Was it simply their good fortune? Or was it shameless self-promotion? Or…was it keeping in touch with someone who reached out to them when they least expected it?

Many people shy away from conversations with recruiters if they are not actively looking for a job. But that can be short-sighted.

Josh Schiff, Director of Staffing at Equiliem, says that passive job seekers are often the most attractive to an employer. “Employers love connecting with someone working hands-on in a similar position to the role they want to fill. The adage, it is easier to find a job when you have a job, is mostly true. Active candidates sometimes are perceived as being forced to fit the opportunity.”

Timing is Everything

Because recruiters have that foot in the door with Human Resources or a direct relationship with a hiring manager, they can help you through that window of opportunity when your dream job opens. It’s all about syncing with options when the time is right to make the switch. While it may feel like luck when the timing aligns, you make your own luck by staying connected to a recruiter and being exposed to opportunities as they present themselves.  Establish a relationship and have a monthly or quarterly call, perhaps months or years, before you envision changing employment. When a new job hits their desk, they are more likely to think of you immediately.

Here are the benefits of enlisting the help of a recruiter, even if you are currently employed.

Recruiters Are Career Partners

Dedicated recruiters can help you find the proper role that aligns with your talents and goals. Recruiters are constantly exposed to new job openings with their clients and are keenly aware of how their candidate pipeline can fit roles. They often have insights about the work culture of companies they follow, including information about specific teams of people and the types of skills they need most.

When you’re ready to investigate new opportunities, your recruiter will be your advocate and coach. They can advise you on what interview questions to prepare, what to ask and not to ask, and what to expect in each employer’s hiring process.

Staying in touch and building a relationship with a recruiter gives you leverage into the job market. Schiff says, “We reach out to candidates regularly, but it helps if someone makes an equal effort to stay in touch with us. It only takes 15 minutes to do a weekly check-in, and we learn more about you with every conversation. We get to the place of knowing if there is an opportunity you can’t pass up.”

Schiff says his team notes details like target salary range, if someone is interested in specific locations, working abroad, or with certain companies. He says, “We cultivate relationships because we are thinking about a person’s career, not filling a single job.”

Recruiters are a Goldmine of Information  

Recruiters know what’s ahead, especially for professionals beginning a career. Most have seen thousands of resumes and job posts and are willing to share thoughts about how to break into a particular company or role.

Some recruiters focus on a single industry, like healthcare, technology, or finance. Depending on their years of experience, they may have built a vast network of connections within their niche. They are usually highly knowledgeable about who’s hiring, skills in demand, and current salaries.

Because recruiters have relationships with employers and people they’ve helped get hired, they can share an accurate “insider’s view” of what kind of person would be a perfect fit within a company’s work culture.

Everybody could Use a Career Guru

Recruiters are glad to answer your burning questions. What would it take to get in the door at one of your top two employers? How could you leap to a higher-paying role? How could you find a culture of like-minded professionals? Who’s hiring in your local market now? Who are the industry up-and-comers? What certifications might help you most? These questions are fair game and support your recruiter in understanding what’s important to you.

Recruiters can Provide Peace of Mind

Job security is not a given; even iconic brands sometimes reduce their workforce. No one has immunity. When you see “Open for Work” on friends in your LinkedIn feed, the reality of job losses begins to hit closer to home.

Whether you see the “writing on the wall” or your gut is telling you it’s time to move on, fear can still be a hindrance. Working with a recruiter can ease your worries by presenting you with options. You’ll spend less time in uncertainty with someone guiding you to new possibilities and sharing action steps.

It’s a Win-Win-Win Relationship

A recruiter’s desire for you to finally get an offer for a position at a new company is sincere and undeniable. They invest time in pitching you, ensuring that your resume shines, and building the relationships that give them the best line of sight into precisely what the employer needs.

Schiff says that one reason he loves his work is that it is a scenario where everyone wins: the client gets a needed resource, the candidate gets an opportunity to earn a living, and the recruiter is rewarded too. He explains, “We get paid by the client when we find a job that fits. We are on the same team as you, working towards the same goal. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?”

No Sugar-Coating

While the fire-in-your belly may be burning for a new role, finding that “dream job” may take months. Schiff says, “At Equiliem, honesty and integrity are at the heart of our core values. At times, that means being transparent and managing expectations with candidates. Sometimes we have to say, hey, you are already in a great spot. If you want to reach a specific goal, like a better culture, you may have to trade off compensation, or if you want higher pay, you’ll have to be flexible on schedule.”

Are You Ready to Reach Out?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when reaching out to a recruiter:

  • Determine if you are an active or passive job candidate. How ready are you for change? Honesty and transparency are critical points for recruiters who value relationships. If they invest days lining things up for you, are you willing to make a move?
  • Get your preferences lined up. Your recruiter will ask, “What are you looking for in the next job?” Prepare your ideal job checklist. What would be a desirable salary range? Are you open to onsite, hybrid, or at home? Do you want a full-time or part-time position? Are there opportunities for promotion or additional projects within the company? What is the company’s work culture? Your answers to these questions will help you and your recruiter achieve a job fit.
  • Look for a recruitment partner who focuses on you. Consider your recruiter’s connection to local businesses if your job requires on-site work. If you’re seeking a specific career path, consider someone who specializes in that niche.

Approach the Relationship as a Long-term Partnership

As you plan for your long-term financial future by planting seeds early and regularly, you can prepare for your career goals by investing in conversations early and frequently. Schiff says, “One of the best parts of a recruiter’s job is getting to know people, their skills, dreams, and passions. Over time it becomes a friendship. That makes it even more rewarding when the right job opportunity comes along.”




About Equiliem

Equiliem ( believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive. 

Across the U.S., leading companies in healthcare, government, light industrial manufacturing, professional services, and energy rely on us for their workforce solutions. Our recruiting and HR services include contract and direct hire staffing, Payrolling/EOR, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Managed Services.

Since 1995, we’ve helped shape our industry. Today, we continue to research, ask questions, and continuously enhance the candidate journey and client experience.