|Using a creative recruiting firm for your next video gig.|
In his experience, they were a waste of time. He said that with some recruiters, appearances can be very important, so whether they care about placing you or not, they want to have you in their supply of prospects. It looks good to have a large pool of prospects.
As a freelance video professional, I have entertained the use of creative recruiting firms to secure the next gig. In part because I have had success with a small placement firm in the past and because I figure it can't hurt having other contacts keeping an eye open for you.
In my more recent experience with larger recruitment firms, I have found my instructor's advice to be very true. As with anything, it all depends on the people you're dealing with. You can usually tell when speaking to the recruiter for the first time, whether they are just trying to fill their numbers or whether they are actually looking to provide a good service. The difference is whether they have a discussion with you or try to sell you on their services.
The reality of the larger, less-personal firms is not only that they don't help, but in some cases it can be a detriment. A placement firm has to make money from the arrangement, and that money is generally made in the form of a cut from the overall fee for services. Since larger companies generally have larger overhead, the fee they take is usually larger.
The problem is that facilities will use many means to find talent, and once you agree to be submitted by a recruitment agency, you are now stuck with that agency's rate for the position, and you are not free to contact the facility directly.
I have had experiences where I had agreed to be submitted by one company, at a rate a little lower than I would if I was working directly for the company, only to get a call later regarding the same position, from another recruiter, but at a more realistic rate. Unfortunately, after talking to the first company, any subsequent referrals have to be disqualified. Later, I even saw the same position posted directly from the company - but because of my arrangement with the recruiter, my hands were tied.
If you must use a placement firm to get that next gig, you are probably better off using a small company rather than a large one. The service you get will be more personal and the rate will be better.