What to do when a recruiter approaches you as a candidate
The article below was written by Eamonn Dunn who is a candidate manager for CareerJunctionLtd, and has been reposted here from the CJL website. I often repost articles from our main company when I believe you can gain a bit of perspective from the articles concerning either your job search process or career building process. Building your own brand in a tough job market is imperative if you want to be at the forefront for new opportunities to arise. Once you’ve secured yourself the job you want, don’t put your ambition aside. You’ve worked hard to get your CV, online presence and personal brand built during the search, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a passive candidate to recruiters out there, and it doesn’t mean you stop building your brand and your career. At Jobzdojo, we love our members to be passionate about what they do, and we love to hear success stories of people who have been promoted. So we’ll keep encouraging you to be ready for opportunities and to keep learning more about what’s going on in the job industry.
So you’ve been approached by a recruiter. . .
Firstly, let’s get one thing straight – this is a good thing!
It’s amazing how often I talk to people in the market who are unsure of how to respond to recruiters approaching them and I’m even more amazed to come across people who view it as a negative experience! With that in mind, let me explain to you why getting an email/phone call out of the blue from a recruiter is fantastic for your career.
Talking with my network, one of the most common things I hear regarding being approached by head-hunters is, “well I’m happy in my role so there’s no point replying to said recruiter”. Now, I understand that logic, but let me show you a different perspective. Right now, companies throughout New Zealand and even the world, are struggling to find enough skilled talent to fill their vacancies. The old method of simply placing an ad via a job board to attract top talent no longer works and the best companies are realizing that in order to get the best of the best, they need to tap into the passive market. That’s where I come in. Here at CareerJunctionLtd, head-hunting is all we do. We know the best candidates are currently already in roles and guess what, so do our clients! So that brings us back to the argument “I’m happy in my current role, so there’s no point replying to said recruiter” – I know you are probably happy in your role, I can see how long you have been there, who you are working with and what you are doing. If I’m approaching you out of the blue, that’s because I (along with my client) believe we can offer you something even better. Be it more money, more interesting projects, greater career progression or even a better working environment.
I’m willing to bet the majority of you reading this right now have career goals in mind, or at the very least a direction you want to go in, so why on earth would you not entertain a conversation with someone who could potentially get you to where you want to be?
So let’s take it back – you’ve been sent an InMail on LinkedIn by a recruiter talking about a potential career opportunity – what do you do? Well, any recruiter worth their salt would have sent you a tailored message relating specifically to you. Be sure to check this is the case and that you haven’t been sent a spam message that could relate to literally anyone. Next, do some research. Check out who this recruiter is: are they connected to anyone you know who you could ask about them? Do they belong to a company that has an informative website you can check out? If this all looks good, think about what they are contacting you about – they clearly see something on your LinkedIn profile that fits in with what they are looking for, but what are you looking for? From here, the recruiter will be wanting to have a chat with you to discuss the opportunity they have, what it could do for you and what you are ideally looking for in your career. I know the idea of talking to a complete stranger about you career can be awkward, but think about it this way, what do you have to lose? Worst case scenario – the role the recruiter is talking about isn’t of interest to you. You instead tell him/her what would be of interest you and the next time you get a message, its bang on.
You see it pays to be a part of the passive candidate market. There are so many fantastic new opportunities on offer every week from companies who see no value in advertising because they know the best candidates are already in work. How are you going to know about these roles if you refuse to entertain a conversation with a skilled recruiter? Any good recruiter is going to treat you with complete respect and understands the confidential nature of the business. You shouldn’t have to worry about any potentially awkward conversations with your current manager about why you are looking for new work!
Now, I know I’m biased, but I truly believe good recruiters are some of the most valuable connections you can have in your network. A recruiter who understands your career goals, your drivers, your interests and expectations will present you with opportunities you would otherwise be unaware of. So next time a recruiter approaches you out of the blue, don’t be so fast to hang up the phone or move the email to the trash folder. Do some research, have a chat and then score a free coffee; it’s that simple!