Maintaining Recruiter Relationships

In the world of recruiting, building and keeping relationships are key for both parties.  As a recruiter, it benefits us to “keep tabs” on our best candidates, even if we don’t have an opportunity for them right now.  At some point down the line, we will have the perfect opportunity for you and we will reach back out to you to check your interest.  As a candidate, it is in your best interest to maintain a good/professional relationship with your recruiter since they may have the keys to your dream job… in a couple of months.
I cannot tell you how many times I have cut someone out of my network simply because they called 10 times too many in the course of a week, or how many times candidates lowered their “professional wall” because they were not an active viable candidate.
Maintaining recruiter relationships is good.  Setting expectations and boundaries are better.  Here are some ways to make the most out of your recruiter:
1)     Know your skill set.  I have received a number of emails from a number of candidates expressing interest in any and all job openings posted to our job boards.  Did you read the opening and the requirements?  If you don’t have the skill set we are looking for, you will likely not hear back from us.
2)     Be positive.  “Do you KNOW who I am?? I am ’s #1 sales rep and your email is offensive, rude, and unwanted.  Please take me off your spam list.”  You got it.  Coming off as rude will, almost always, put you immediately into our “trash” file.  We are just doing our jobs, and our jobs are to find the best talent out there for our company.  A “thanks, but no thanks” works wonders, and may work in your benefit down the line.
3)     Network.  Whether you are working with an agency recruiter or an in-house recruiter, it’s likely that you have a network of colleagues (or former colleagues) that they may be interested in.  Making this relationship a mutually beneficial one will help keep you on top of a recruiter’s mind.  On the other end, connect with the recruiter via a social media outlet like Twitter or LinkedIn.  Many recruiters are utilizing Social Media tactics to attract and advertise to new talent.
4)      Mind your manners.  When I was in sales years and years ago, I remember being trained by the renowned motivational/sales trainer, Zig Ziglar.  While the outline of his presentation was “Will + Skill + Refill = Success”, he stressed the importance of etiquette.  Calling four times a day, leaving no messages, “Following up on my follow up” emails are not the way to win anyone.  A call/message and/or an email once a week is fine.  Anything more and you run the risk of making yourself look like a pest.  Sell yourself appropriately.
5)     Express thanks.  Today’s recruiters are very proactive, versus the reactive nature of yesteryear’s.  We are headhunting and talking to candidates who are not actively pursuing other opportunities.  We don’t win over every candidate, but we appreciate your appreciation.  Always.

As a recruiter, I ask you to heed some of the above advice.  In return, we promise to keep you in mind for your dream job, speak great things of you to hiring managers, and to provide you with valuable and constructive feedback.

** This blog appeared here on the SuccessFactors Blog

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