This time around, we are continuing on the topic of working with independent recruiters. A very common question I get is this:
“I am contacted by recruiters all day long – how do I know which one I should work with, since they all sound alike – is there a way to tell which ones deserve a response?”
As always, the first thing to be dealt with is your mindset.
I would say the first thing to have squared away in your mind is this – if you are already employed, are you truly ready to make a move? Changing jobs is a big step, even if you are unhappy with your present employer. People really do dislike change, and it’s really common to get cold feet in the middle of the process and stay put.
SO, before you respond to that email or voicemail or tweet or whatever, know in your mind how serious you are about doing something.
If you are not presently employed, and you are contacted by a recruiter, your mind must also be set correctly…by that I mean, you must insure you are of a positive and enthusiastic frame of mind. Positive to go forward, and positive to cooperate.
Once your mind is right, then you can go ahead and respond to the recruiter’s call.
Back to the original question – Which recruiter should you respond to?
When you are listening to the voicemails and reading the tweets and emails, first things first – Do they identify themselves as a recruiter? If someone leaves you a message that says “I’m Joe Smith, and I have something to discuss with you,” that’s bush league, and not worth a response…my view is this – if I identify myself as a recruiter when I call you, then I’m giving you a choice to respond or not…I’m not tricking you by being vague. It’s one thing to use any means necessary to obtain names, titles and contact info, but when it’s time to actually call and present the opportunity, it’s also time to be straight about who I am and why I’m calling…bottom line – delete the vague ones right away.
While listening to and reading the messages, pay attention to the words the recruiter uses…if he or she uses too many buzzwords such as “dynamic opportunity” and not enough specifics, you might be dealing with a recruiter who doesn’t really understand what you do, or what the client wants…this is a telltale sign of the resume pusher and the rookie.
It’s one thing if the recruiter is vague because he doesn’t yet know if you possess the skills he needs (or even if you do that job), but if the recruiter cannot articulate what he is looking for in a voice message or email, there’s a good chance that he won’t be an effective go between later.
Obviously, you are looking for the recruiter who can cogently describe the opportunity, so that you know right away if it’s pertinent to you…this is one reason I consistently preach about knowing yourself as a jobseeker, so that you can recognize good things when they cross your path…being decisive and swift count for a lot…also, being able to cogently describe an opportunity is a learned skill that not all recruiters bother to learn…if you find one that can communicate well, that’s the one you respond to.
One other thing…if the recruiter is hesitant to disclose the client he is working for, that’s normal, and not a sign that you are dealing with a scam artist…that’s why I am writing on this subject, so you can evaluate a recruiter on right things, and not the things that don’t matter.
Recruiters are secretive about their clients in the beginning because they have to be…the fear is if they disclose the identity before knowing if you are pertinent candidate, word will spread, and other candidates and recruiters will swoop in and get the position…paranoia at work? Maybe, but now you know why the secrecy at the outset.
So, this should help you sort out which recruiters to respond to. Next time, we will talk about what to look for when you are directly communicating with them.
Until next time,
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach.
The Five O’Clock Club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
The Five O’Clock Club also provides affordable, humane outplacement services to companies who care about the well being of their employees.
Tom is also an experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net