One complaint from many job seekers is that they can’t seem to get recruiters to call them back when they’re looking for a job. You’d think they’d love an opportunity to place a good candidate… so why don’t they call? They often know the market in their field of specialization better than most people. Is there anything you can do to get them to be a little more proactive in helping you find a job?
It helps to understand their motivations and what gets their attention. Then you can be more effective at getting them to return your calls.
Understand how recruiters get paid. Many job seekers think that recruiters exist to help people find jobs. The reality is that recruiters are paid by companies to help them find the best candidate for a particular position. A recruiter’s responsibility is to the company that is paying them, not to any candidate they may like but doesn’t fit the role. A recruiter may like a particular person a great deal, however, they can’t make their client hire them, and they lose credibility with their client if they present a candidate that is less than an ideal fit. Understand what they want. Recruiters are always looking for 3 things…
- The best candidate for the position they are currently trying to fill.
- Exceptional performers in their field of specialization that may fit future openings.
- To build relationships with great connectors!
Listen to Zig! Zig Ziglar, the renowned motivational speaker has a phrase he uses often: “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” If you want recruiters to call you back, be one or more of the 3 things they want!
You may or may not fit a position they have right now. You may or may not be an exceptional performer in their area of specialization. However, you can certainly become a great connector. What good does that do you? A good recruiter strives to nurture relationships with people that are great resources of information and referrals. Those great “connectors” are essential to their livelihood, they will often help those connectors in any way they can.
As a recruiter for the past 24 years, I’ve gone out of my way to help people that have been a help to me in my search for candidates for positions I’m working on. I help them with leads I may know of, referrals to others that may be helpful for them, coaching for their own job search, and certainly consider them first for any appropriate opportunities that may arise.
Be exceptional and be a connector! Present yourself to a recruiter in the same way you would to a potential employer. They work for their client companies, they are not career counselors. In order to feel confident about presenting you to their clients, they have to view you as someone that will be more professional and more competent than the average candidate their client is likely to see. If they believe you will add to their credibility with their clients, they will have no hesitations in presenting you for any open positions you’re qualified for. In fact, if they believe you are an “A” candidate based on your experience or presentation, they may proactively market you to some of their clients whether they have an open position or not. It’s your responsibility to help them view you as exceptional. Present yourself as professionally as possible.
Let them know you would be glad to refer people you know for opportunities they may be working on. When you give referrals, don’t only consider people you know are looking for new opportunities. Rather, refer the best people you know with the specific backgrounds the recruiter is looking for. No one has to pursue a position they don’t want, however, it’s to their benefit to be made aware of them and have the opportunity to decide for themselves. When the recruiter realizes you are someone that can point them to other good people, they will be helpful in return.
You want recruiters to return your calls? Be one of their 3 favorite calls to make!
Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.