After getting fit, the second most talked about new year’s resolution is getting a new job.
Don’t get me wrong, I love connecting with talented individuals, but unfortunately, the relationship does not go much further than the call.
How to invest in recruiter’s success to build a meaningful partnership. We need to find jobs too. We do not always need to make money, sometimes we make referrals to help a client or contact. We cannot always make referrals though or we run the risk of annoying our most valued contacts. We have to be associated with top talent, so unless we really know you and know that you are capable, we will not make the referral. I often get asked for help “getting into nike” – I have not been there for over 10 years.
How do you build an effective relationship with an executive recruiter?
Recognize that retained recruiters are not there to help you get interviews. Asking them for help is like going to a party and sharing your medical history when you learn that the person you are talking to is a doctor. The doctor is probably not going to appreciate being asked to diagnose your pain or offer support. Recruiters are not doctors, but the analogy is the same. If the doctor was one of your good friends, you might ask them a quick question, but the right parameters and expectations would be set. Executive recruiters get paid by companies to fill jobs. Chances are, they are specialized, so if you are not directly in their industry and if you are not who they are targeting, then you are wasting your time as much as theirs.
If you are in the right industry and have the experience they are typically looking for then look for ways to help them. If they do not have a specific job for you, they may not have the time to get to learn your capabilities deeply. Help them by writing a good overview in email or cover letter. Bullet point all of the pertinent info like, biggest strengths, special accomplishments, etc.
Don’t just call the recruiter when you need a job.
The best relationships are the ones that are developed over time.The more a recruiter knows about you the more they will recall when they do have appropriate opportunities or the more likely they will be to refer you to a contact for positions that they may not be working on or just to help you make more connections.
Recruiters are connected, but do not always refer you to people or companies if you ask. The reason why is that every recommendation has relationship equity tied to it. If I refer a candidate to a past, current, or potential client for free then I want to make sure that it counts for something. Meaning, it is a reflection of my recruiting ability if I refer a stellar candidate regardless of whether or not I get paid for it. I do not refer people I do not know well, have not screened in depth, or have full confidence in their ability and quality. Also, if I refer too many people, then the power of future referrals does not carry as much weight. If I refer someone to a contact, I want that contact to follow up, that requires work, so if I do that too much then my referrals get ignored and my relationship power fades like the boy who cried wolf.