Ask employers what do recruiters do and many say, "take the brief, search your database and send CV's". I wouldn't pay much for that.
Of course, not all recruitment companies are the same and there are few barriers to entry. People can set up in their bedroom, scrape LinkedIn, convert profiles into CV's, bung them out to clients and charge a fee if they get lucky. All in ignorance of the Employment Agencies Act and Data Protection legislation.
The best recruitment companies work professionally. They meet their clients, they consult on the role using their experience of the sector and the candidate market, they agree the brief, they start a search, which yes includes their database. They identify the right candidates, contact them, talk to them, meet them, assess their experience, consult with them and if appropriate they attract them to the employers role and gain permission to represent them.
Then they introduce the candidate to the employer supplying the CV and other background information, organise the interview, brief the candidate, get feedback, consult, organise 2nd interviews. Again take feedback and consult.
If all goes well they manage the offer process, consult with the candidate on resignation and managing counter offers. They help with onboarding, check in with employer and candidate on the day they start and maintain contact throughout probation.
This is what good recruiters do.
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