Successful recruiters do not waste time with anyone who is not a fit for their clients or does not respond to reasonable requests. You were called (or emailed) initially for a very specific reason, either:
- You have the skills or experience required for the job being working on.
- You work for a client competitor and the idea is to try and tempt you out of your current job in to a new one.
- Your name was given as a reference or you were recommended.
- Your LinkedIn profile suggests you may be a good match.
When I call you I will want to ask some basic questions first of all to ensure you really are a match. After that I will ask about your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace and encourage you to tell me about how you got to where you are today. Finally I will ask specific questions about your ability to do the job I am recruiting for.
Sometimes candidates ask questions that make it seem they may not be a good fit before we really get going and here are some examples:
- You receive a call about a position and you immediately ask, “Who is the client?”because you’re too busy to speak.
What you should do: Set a better time to speak with me later that day or later in the week. Make it clear whether you are open or not to making a change and look forward to the next conversation if there should be one. If you have zero interest in making a career change then tell me this now, but let me know what type of opportunities you may be interested in down the road and a time frame to follow up in. For example, “Thank you for thinking of me, but at this time I have lots of irons in the fire and don’t really need your help. However if you do come across an opening in Mining Senior Management or Power Generation, I’d be willing to listen, but not until…”
- You receive a job description along with a few general questions about your expectations, you reply curtly with…………..“What’s the salary?” You’ve just told me that money is your only motivator and you only will give me your time if you know what the compensation package is first. 90% of the time I will not reply back with the number because I don’t know it or you have sufficiently put me off.
What you should do: If money is the biggest factor in making career decisions, you’ve probably moved around a lot or haven’t had much tenure in one place. It’s OK to be money motivated, most of us are, but remember a recruiter needs to know certain things first before talking about compensation. Most clients give us recruiters a fair range of base salary, commission structure, sign-on bonus, equity, etc. There is no way to determine what the actual package will be if the recruiter doesn’t get the information he needs. If you are the ideal type of candidate the client is looking for, this usually means you are paid higher than an average person in a similar role. Surely discussing your current salary and on-target earnings (with me) can only help you obtain the salary you would need to make a change? It is important you build a mutual trust and respect with a recruiter and this comes through good communication. Pick up the phone and call instead of sending one-line emails, you should know that you’re not the only person being contacted. Call back when you say you’re going to call back. Send your resume when you say you’re going to send it…
Please think twice about how you respond to a call from a recruiter-it might be the call that changes your life!