You’d think that recruiter incentives are well aligned, but the truth is, getting more people hired pays off more than negotiating for any one developer. In my entire career I have never seen a recruiter get actively involved in the salary negotiation process. Tech agents on the other hand have few clients, so they’re incentivized to handle the negotiations for you. They know how to use leverage to improve your position. They don’t just say they’ll help, they actually do improve the deals significantly. If they’re not doing that, they’re not doing their job, and the candidate will fire them.