When you are contacted by a recruiter, take care to put some thought in your response.
Leave every opportunity door open.
There are three likely paths when you are contacted.
- You are interested in the opportunity.
- You might be interested in the opportunity, but need to know more.
- You are not interested in the opportunity, as you are happy where you are.
- You are not interested in the opportunity, but might know someone who is.
- You are unsure why they contacted you since the opportunity is not a fit.
Let’s look at how your response can ultimately be a benefit to you.
You are interested
In this case, you engage, and pursue the opportunity. The timing is right, and you are ready to move for the right opportunity. It’s a fit and the recruiter wants to know more about you. Follow their lead, and position yourself as the right candidate in the discussion.
You might be interested
Here you need to demonstrate enthusiasm. Recruiters don’t want to convince you to take a position you are tentative about. But if you don’t know everything you need to know to be fully interested, you have to probe, and engage, as if you were.
You are not interested
When you are not interested, be sure to build bridges. All too often, candidates are short or gruff with recruiters. That reaction and response goes in the applicant tracking system, and puts you on the “do not call” list for future opportunities. Recruiters have great memories. Instead, be helpful, and consider the next path, below.
You may know someone who is interested
In this case, you are the recruiter’s friend, and the advocate of a candidate you know that might be a good fit for that position. Referrals are taken very seriously by recruiters. It is a recommendation of sorts. And, the recruiter will remember you for offering to help them.
You are unsure why they are calling you – because it’s not a fit
From time to time recruiters make a mistake. But I would argue that is rare. Recruiters sourcing candidates for positions have turned up your name based on keywords they search on. Again, consider being the recruiter’s partner – it can only help you in the long run. Ask how they came across your name. It may be that you need to update your LinkedIn profile, or website. Asking questions can benefit you as feedback on why you are getting found for some positions that are not a fit instead of those that you desire.
Pay It Forward
The underlying message of this blog is to pay it forward. Recruiters have spent a lot of time to find you. Respect that investment. Value it in terms of feedback to either go for the position, help someone you know get the position, or understand why you are being found for the wrong positions.
The result will be a new advocate in that recruiter, and future opportunities for you.
Barton Professional Placement Group spends hours sourcing and screening candidates for its clients. We want to have you be part of our talent ecosystem when the right job comes up. When we call, open your mind, network and pay-it-forward goodwill. It will come back to you. Think pay it forward the next time you get a call out of the blue from a recruiter.
When engaging recruiters, your random act of kindness can turn into senseless beauty in the future.