They call us recruiters, but we really aren't in the formal sense of the word. We actually "screen" candidates for our hiring authorities. They don't want to do it because they're too busy, (...or inept) so we get hired to protect them from masses of candidates emailing them, calling them or trying to interview with them. We may sound authoritative to you, but we're more administrative types of people than anything else.
We might go out on the Internet and look for resumes or ask present employees if they know of anybody that might be interested in working for the firm. We may run ads and call people who respond to them, but we're not real aggressive "recruiters.
Our advantage to you: If you are a relatively "perfect" candidate and the hiring authorities are interested in speaking with you based on the resumes that I found or that you sent, then I can help you in getting through the interviewing process. I will take care of a lot of the details of coordinating the interview process and try to accommodate you and the hiring authorities' schedules as much as I can.
I may know a little bit about the position specifications. But only those that are written by the hiring authority.
Our disadvantage to you: I'm not really going to "sell" you to the hiring authorities. If you aren't as "perfect" a candidate as I can find, then I can't help you much. I might make you feel good about our company and the opportunity that you might be interviewing for, but as far as really helping you get the job, other than the logistics of the interviewing process, I'm not much help.
I might be a little help in coaching you through the interviewing process, but since I am mostly a "screener," I'm not really knowledgeable of the give and take of the job or the hiring authority. The hiring authorities see me as a screener and facilitator rather than someone real knowledgeable about candidates and their availability on the marketplace. After an initial interview, I may not be much help to you in getting feedback or follow-up interviews.
How to deal with me: Try to get around me or through me and get in front of the actual hiring authority. Anything you can do to get me to help you get an interview, do it. Sometimes I respond to the " squeaky wheel" candidate who happens to be available when the hiring authority decides he or she wants to interview. I can be your conduit to an interview, so respect me and be nice to me.