by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
Yes, you’re a very busy person, in both your personal life and professional life. And no, you’re not really looking for a new job right now. So I can understand why you might be hesitant to talk with a recruiter or executive search consultant. Or perhaps you’re even downright opposed to the idea.
However, after more than 20 years in the profession, I can tell you that it is not a waste of time. Instead, it’s an investment of time that can bring many benefits and can pay off in a big way down the road.
As you might imagine, I’ve heard just about everything a recruiter can hear when contacting a potential candidate about an employment opportunity. Some people have said they’re not interested without even hearing about the opportunity. These people have said no without knowing what they were saying no to. A few have claimed to be offended for a recruiter to contact them at work. A few have claimed to be offended that a recruiter contacted them at home.
I’m also well aware that the economy is good and the National Unemployment Rate has been hovering near historic lows for the past several months. As a result, I am sure there are many people who feel as though they don’t need to talk with a recruiter. Many of them have a job they like, or at the very least, they have a job that they don’t hate.
I can say with certainty that this approach is problematic at best and a mistake at worst. And I don’t say this because I believe professionals should pursue every employment opportunity that’s presented to them. I say this because there are benefits to talking with a recruiter other than the prospect of a new job. And it’s these other benefits that can have a greater and more positive impact on your career.
Below are 10 good reasons to talk with a recruiter when you don’t think you need to:
#1—You can collect marketplace intelligence.
Recruiters are a wealth of information. They know things that you may not know, many of which would be nearly impossible for you to find out on your own. Speaking with a recruiter represents an opportunity to discover a great many things, including the state of the employment marketplace, the current trends within the profession, and how you can take advantage of them. Just don’t expect the recruiter to give you the name of their client during the first phone call. That’s not how confidential searches work.
#2—You can benchmark your worth in the marketplace.
This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of marketplace intelligence that you can glean from a recruiter. Once again, recruiters possess in-depth knowledge about how professionals are being compensated within their chosen field. A recruiter probably knows what someone with your skill set and experience should be earning. More than likely, this is information that you’d like to have, as well.
#3—You can learn more about how recruiters (and organizations) operate.
If a recruiter contacts you once about an employment opportunity, there’s a chance they’re going to contact you again. So take this as an opportunity to learn more about them. And remember that an employer has engaged the services of this recruiter, so talking with them can also provide some insight into how the organization prefers to operate, especially in terms of its hiring methods. You never know when a piece of information could be important to you (and your career) down the road.
#4—You can brand yourself in a positive way.
Personal branding is very important in today’s marketplace. In a nutshell, personal branding is the experience that you provide to people during your interactions with them. This includes over the phone. By branding yourself in a positive way with a recruiter, you become memorable to them. Specifically, this means the recruiter will be more likely to remember you when an ideal employment opportunity comes across their desk.
#5—You can practice your interviewing skills.
During the course of your conversation with the recruiter, they may ask you some questions. This is an opportunity to practice your skills navigating a phone interview. Or, if you choose, you can consider the job and even engage in a face-to-face interview with the employer. Even if you ultimately decide not to make a move, you’ve probably improved in terms of how you conduct yourself during an interview, and once again, that could pay off down the road.
#6—You can improve your networking reach.
Career success is not just about what you know, but it’s also about who you know. One of the reasons is that you never know who someone else knows, and recruiters know a LOT of people. Talking with a recruiter is an excellent exercise in networking. And if you speak with them on the phone, then you should probably connect with them on LinkedIn, too. Effective networking is one of the top ways that a professional grows their career.
#7—You can help someone else you know.
If a recruiter presents an employment opportunity and you decide that you do not wish to pursue it, you might know someone who might be interested in it. You can help that person by providing their name and contact information to the recruiter. For all you know, this might be the opportunity that they’ve been waiting for, and with your help, they’ll have the chance to advance professionally. You’ll help that person, you’ll help the recruiter, and you’ll help yourself by participating in positive personal branding.
#8—Your situation and circumstances may change.
I’ve mentioned this many times, but the best time to consider a new employment opportunity is when you already have a job. One of the best books written on this subject is, of course, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by bestselling author Harvey Mackay. By most estimates, you can only live three days without water. So in a literal sense, you would have to dig your well before you were thirsty . . . or you’d run the risk of death. It’s the same with your career. You never know what the future might hold, so start digging now.
#9—You may discover that you’re interested.
If you talk with a recruiter about an employment opportunity, you may discover that, lo and behold, you’re intrigued by the opportunity. I can tell you that this has happened with candidates more times than I can count. They were skeptical at the beginning of the conversation about looking into a new job opportunity, but by the end, they wanted to take the next steps in the process. A key point to remember is that recruiters have access to what is known as the “hidden job market.” They know about certain job openings that the general public does not, so it’s not far-fetched to think they could have the perfect job for you and you didn’t even know the position existed.
#10—You have nothing to lose (and everything to gain).
Talking to a recruiter is basically a no-risk proposition. A good recruiter is not going to waste your time, and the reason is simple: if they waste your time, then they’re also wasting their own time, and they certainly don’t want to do that. If you decide that you don’t want to pursue the opportunity, then tell the recruiter that’s the case. That is perfectly acceptable. You have nothing to lose, but as indicated by the other items listed above, you have everything to gain by speaking with them.
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with making the decision to talk with a recruiter, regardless of whether you consider or pursue the opportunity that they present to you. The conversation could last five minutes, or it could last 50 minutes.
The important thing to remember is that instead of viewing this conversation as an inconvenience in the present, you should consider it a valuable investment in your future.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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