Monday, December 16, 2013

Talking with Recruiters

I wasn’t always a recruiter.  My career started in retail management and transitioned into Merchandising.  I used to get at least one phone message a week from recruiters.  I never returned their calls.  Nothing against recruiters personally, I just always loved my job and was too busy to find the time to get back to them. 

The one time I decided to speak with a recruiter it ended up leading all the way to a fabulous job offer from Target.  I had been honest with everyone all along, saying I was open to considering but not really motivated to make a change.  The offer was aggressively more than I was making where I was at.  I did decline the offer.  It just was not the right time personally and professionally to make a move.  The recruiter was really angry with me for declining and did not treat me very well.  I returned to my prior behavior of not returning their calls. 

Now on the other side of the equation after 7 years running a recruiting agency, I have a different point of view.  Independent recruiting agencies like Apparel Resource have relationships with a variety of clients.  These employers often call us asking for help with very unique opportunities.  Building teams to launch new divisions.  Confidential openings that are not posted.  New positions they have not recruited for before.

When I contact a candidate and ask to speak with them it is because that candidate has great work experience that looks like it aligns with the kinds of openings we work on.  I know it is likely the timing might not be right for the candidate.   When a candidate agrees to schedule time to speak with me I review their work history carefully.  I learn about the type of work they do, the corporate cultures and challenges they enjoy.  We talk about what they get frustrated with, their relocation preferences and what they are thinking about next in their career.  If they are qualified for any of the openings we are currently working on I share those options with them.  If they are not interested in making a change at this time that is not a problem.  I have learned about a candidate’s experience and career aspirations.  I can continue to contact them for options they tell me they would like to hear about.

I have been in touch with some candidates for 7 years and not “placed” them.  These candidates are still a valuable asset to my business and I am a valuable resource for them.  We share industry knowledge, they often provide referrals and I can be a resource to them in many different aspect of their job.  If these candidates are ever in a situation where they need to make a change due to job loss or family situations I will be an excellent advocate to assist them with their options.

When you get a call from a recruiter….do some research on who they are, what firm they are with and what employers they represent.  If they do reputable work in your career space it is very likely that you will not regret taking time to visit with them. 

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