Since recruiters don’t represent you, it can be difficult to gain their attention, especially if your resume doesn’t exactly meet their needs.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, if you understand how most recruiters work and what drives them.
Recruiters work for employers and represent jobs, not candidates. While candidates realize this, few candidates take action in ways that take advantage of a recruiter’s needs.
Let’s learn 6 things you can do to get recruiters to return your call:
- Information: Information is your currency with recruiters. The more information you can give a recruiter, the more responsive a recruiter will be. Since recruiters live and die based on information, the right information puts food on a recruiters table.
- What kind of information: During times of job shortages recruiters need information about jobs, hiring managers, organizations that are going through change, new organizational leaders and new initiatives.
- Is candidate information valuable?: During job shortages, recruiters usually don’t need referrals to other candidates – unless those candidates aren’t exact spot on for an immediate job order … and I mean exact. Otherwise, by referring a candidate, you aren’t giving recruiters a benefit … you’re asking them to take on the responsibility of contact and interviewing your referral, who isn’t a likely match for immediate needs. When referring a candidate, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish, because the information you’re providing is rarely valuable.
- Long term information vs. Short term value: Candidates often make the mistake of giving long term information – “in a year the company will … “. Recruiters live in a short term world and almost always take a short term view, so long term information isn’t very valuable. Unless a recruiter works as a retained recruiter, the information they want to hear is about imminent needs – what positions does the employer need now.
- Frequency: Feed your recruiter well. The more often you give relevant (emphasis on relevant) information, the better you stay front of mind. In a sense, when you frequently feed recruiters with valuable information, you become their partner and they owe you. Don’t mistake this with feeding recruiters junk food – feeding recruiters information on job openings a few months old or outside their geographic or functional area. It’s unlikely IT recruiters will find a marketing opening valuable, even if they’re are also marketing recruiters in the same office, just based on the way most firms compensate recruiters for leads outside their areas of concentration or location.
- Follow up: Calling recruiters “just to follow up” is of zero value to recruiters – Rather, it’s just wasting their time. The “just following up” call may be valuable to you but how would it provide value to recruiters? If an employers express interest in you, the recruiters that presented you will be incredibly proactive, trying to get your attention – that’s how they earn commissions.
Recruiters also want to know information about their own target companies and the functional areas they work directly with – Who are the hiring managers? Who are the new managers? What is the organizational structure of the department? What hiring managers have left or moved within the company (and their replacements)? What departments are growing? What projects have top priority?
Unless the recruiter is working to place HR professionals, they probably aren’t interested in HR contacts – smart recruiters avoid HR like the plague.
Recruiters aren’t paid by their clients to solve long term problems – they are paid to find a candidate to fill an opening as soon as possible. Therefore, few employers even discuss long term issues with outside recruiters, because they want recruiters to spend their time figuring out how to fill their openings ASAP.
Instead of “just following up”, why not give recruiters information that they’ll find valuable? Better yet, give partial information, so they’ll have to call you back to get the full story. When you give valuable information on every recruiter call, you teach recruiters that when you call, they had better call you back. Not only do you have something of immediate value, but if you aren’t getting attention, your future information will go to the competition.
The point is, you don’t have to wait by the phone, growing frustrated that recruiters aren’t responding to your calls. Instead, now you have 6 ways to get the response you want.
So why not give recruiters what they want … so they’ll give you the attention and employer referrals that you want.
Candidates, please comment: What do you do to gain recruiters’ attention and get return calls?
Recruiters, please comment: What works to get your attention and return a candidate’s calls?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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