Session 1 of 5 Should you return a call from a recruiter? In my opinion, the answer is Yes, absolutely. Exploring your professional options is always recommended, even if you love your job. But, when it comes to third-party recruiters, it’s not always easy to determine with whom you should spend your time.
The fact is, some recruiters are better than others. And, if you’ve tried to work with a terrible recruiter in the past, you may view recruiters as a “necessary evil”. Someone you turn to as an extra player in your card game when the stakes are high and you need to land a new job. But, that’s the exact wrong way to go about it.
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Instead, you should always have an ear to the ground and be extremely receptive to recruiters, especially when you’re happy at work.
Research supports the fact that the best time to land a new job is when you have one. And, that some of the most impactful career opportunities come through referrals and situations where you’re tapped directly by a hiring manager or recruiter.
But before you start accepting lunch dates with every recruiter you find on LinkedIn, let’s make sure you’re prepared for what’s next.
In this four-part coaching series, “Wow Recruiters” we’re pulling back the curtain on strategically working with recruiters, how they’re compensated and why you should engage with smart recruiters whenever possible.
What You’ll Learn In “Wow Recruiters”
- When to engage with a recruiter.
- Why targeting your resume for a recruiter is smart.
- Why interviews for Recruited Candidates are Different and how to prepare.
- The importance of follow-up and strategic communication when you’re recruited.
- Salary and reputation management as a recruited candidate.
Watch the video below to begin the Wow Recruiters Series. Continue to session 2 for live virtual coaching and additional video learning tools!
Don’t Engage A Recruiter If You’re Not Ready
This is important to remember. If you’re not ready to participate in the process, don’t engage with a recruiter on their open opportunity.
While it may be flattering to open an email or listen to a voicemail that marks you as a top recruit, don’t allow the excitement to cloud your vision. Going through the motions of a recruiting process is a waste of your time, and that of the recruiters, if you’re not sincere in your efforts.
To be clear, I’m not advocating that you need to return every recruiting call, and interview for every role presented to you. What I am saying is, when the right role is presented, tap out early if you’re not ready to dig in.
Will You Drop The Ball When You’re Recruited
You’ve been tapped to discuss a position with a premier company. And you’re feeling pretty darn good about your level of awesomeness.
After all, this company contacted you, they obviously see something in you, your LinkedIn profile or professional track record that’s appealing to them. Given the scenario, it would seem your odds of landing an offer is extremely high. You’re in the driver’s seat!
Not so fast.
While it may be true that you’re not actively looking for a new job, and the recruiter did rub your lamp, that doesn’t mean you can hit coast. In fact, if you’re not careful your excitement will lead to arrogance, And, arrogance is never appealing. So, if you decide to take a “my way or the highway” approach with your recruiter, tap the brakes. There’s no point in even talking with a recruiter if you’re not interested in partnering with them.
Remember a hiring manager wants to find someone excited about the opportunity, even when they engage you first! If a recruiter senses you’re going to be difficult to work with or less than polished, they’ll pull the opportunity and will nearly always have the hiring managers support in doing so.
Your Mistakes = Leaving Money On The Table
As a recruited candidate, you’re more likely to treat the interview process as if you’re a casual bystander. While not intentional, this error in judgment will impact you negatively and will even cost you money. Here are the most common, and costly mistakes recruited candidates make:
- Submit a resume that isn’t up to industry expectations or targeted to the role you’re being presented for.
- Head into an interview without being fully prepared and feeling as if the job’s “in the bag”.
- Skip post-interview follow up. Or worse, send a generic “thanks for your time” note.
- Lever expectations against the role, title or salary which make you seem out of touch or unprofessional.
It’s easy to step over the above when you’re recruited. The belief is, “I’m being pursued and that’s enough”. But, that’s not enough. And, assuming it is, can cost you a job offer, or yield a lower offer.
By not embracing the process and putting effort into how you’re perceived during the interview, hiring managers may not be as excited about your candidacy and may walk away. Or, if they don’t walk away, they may simply offer less based on their perceived value of you as a candidate.
Think Long Term Before You Accept An Interview
Hiring managers expect more from an individual who’s been recruited. They imagine the best and brightest walking through the door. As a result, a hiring manager may take a less traditional approach to your interview.
Expecting a star, they’re ready to discuss possibilities with you. They may share long-range plans, and may even speak in ethereal terms as they imagine the type of role they could “build” for you. Which means, if you aren’t prepared and ready to stand out, you’ll sink. And once you sink, it’s over and may leave a lasting impression on a hiring team.
So, as a recruited candidate weigh your options before you accept an interview. Don’t treat it as a money grab. Professional networks can become small quickly. Make sure you’re not seen as a flake.
While being recruited can lead to higher offers and better opportunities, it can also lead to burned bridges. So if you’re not really interested in a role that’s presented by a recruiter, just decline and share with the recruiter what you’d like to target instead.
Go To Next Session: Targeting Your Resume For Recruiters
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