A ‘prospective’ recruiter is one who may call you out of the blue. They may be acting on a tip from someone you know, or you may be on their database from a previous encounter.
Have you ever been called by a prospective recruiter for a new opportunity?
Have you responded / called them back?
How have you responded – courteously or with an air of arrogance?
How have you managed the current and future opportunities?
ONE: You may be known to the hiring manager – who respects the recruiter
When a recruiter calls you directly, it may be that you are being ‘tapped’ on behalf of a hiring manager who knows you personally or professionally – but their identity must remain confidential (at least in the early stages). Or you have been recommended by an ex colleague who has worked with you. So you want to ensure any feedback they receive is positive. You may also be on the recruiters database – which means they’ll also be adding notes regarding the conversation. How you handle this call may impact your future career opportunities both with the hiring manager and the recruiter and the company they work for. Word gets around!
TWO: Bank the call
So – you may not be looking for a new opportunity right now, or you may have only just started a new role, in which case it wouldn’t be appropriate to change too quickly. But the fact is, somewhere down the track you may need the services of that recruiter again. Or the hiring manager may be your next opportunity in waiting. So record the details and keep in touch. Laying the foundations for your next role doesn’t start when you’re ready to start your search. You plan way ahead – and that means cultivating relationships.
THREE: Recruiter / Candidate etiquette
Some recruiter(s) may have rubbed you up the wrong way in the past (chances are!), however you’d be naive to put all recruiters in the same basket. So be respectful, whatever the situation.
So how do you work with recruiters?
- It’s a two way street. Be professional, courteous and respectful. If the recruiter is not the same, don’t follow their suit.
- Ask the recruiter how they came across your name and what made them call you.
- Listen and act interested – even if you’re not totally up for a conversation. Give the recruiter time to explain – or you may miss an opportunity (now and/or in the future)
- Respond to requests positively. That doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything. Be polite.
- When declining an opportunity – be gracious. Thank the recruiter for thinking of you.
FOUR: Set and Manage Expectations
- Set the protocols for your working relationship up front
- Agree communication methods
- Retain control over your CV
- Remove any ambiguity in your expectations for a new role
- Remember to update the recruiter with any changes to your situation
FIVE: Keep Your Referee’s Accessible
- Set communication protocols with the recruiter
- Confirm the best time to call your referees
- Keep your referees briefed on the role at hand
- Update the recruiter with any change in referee contact details
- Ensure the referee’s provided are relevant (seek guidance from the recruiter)
So, in summary; The professional recruiter has a job to do. It’s one that requires resilience, fortitude and not a small amount of humanity. So help them out – and yourself, by being the best candidate you know you can be.
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