Episode #116 – THIS is What It Means When a Recruiter Contacts You

Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about what it means when an executive recruiter or search consultant contacts you. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Samantha. As always, I’m glad to be here today.

Samantha: Stacy, we’ve touched upon this topic before, haven’t we?

Stacy: Yes, we’ve discussed best practices to act as a professional if a recruiter reaches out to you. However, I want to revisit the topic and talk about it in a slightly different way. I reach out to professionals and talk with them all day long on a daily basis and I realize that some people are not viewing the situation or the interaction in the way they should.

Samantha: You mean the situation in which you reach out to them?

Stacy: Yes. The way that some people are approaching the situation is tainting their point of view, so to speak. And in some cases, they are not able to get past that point of view and their initial way of thinking. And because of that, they aren’t open to what is being presented to them. It’s important to drill down into what’s happening in a situation like this, so that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can reassess their approach to the situation and how they react to it.

Samantha: Okay. Where would you like to start?

Stacy: I’d like to jump right in and talk about the reasons why an executive recruiter or search consultant would contact or call someone.

Samantha: I imagine it’s because they have a job opening they’re trying to help their client fill?

Stacy: That’s part of it, but not all of it. There’s a bigger picture, especially as it pertains to the candidate.

Now, it is true, when I call a professional, it’s typically because I have an employment opportunity for them. However, it’s not just any opportunity, and I’d like to explain why.

If my client has enlisted the services of a search consultant, which in this case is me, then the Animal Health Job or Veterinary job they’re trying to fill must be pretty important. If it wasn’t, then they would not have engaged my services. Since this job is important, that also means my client wants to fill the position in a timely manner. That’s because the longer it stays open, the longer the organization suffers in terms of productivity. This also means that my client is motivated to find the right person for the job.

Samantha: So this isn’t just any job that the organization wants to fill?

Stacy: No, it’s not. There is a degree of importance tied to it. There is a degree of urgency tied to it, as well.

Samantha: How should that change the way that a professional approaches the situation if you were to contact them about the opportunity?

Stacy: Well, it should change their approach in two ways, and I want to address these ways one at a time.

First, if a recruiter contacts you, it means that you’re considered a top Animal Health candidate or Veterinary candidate in the employment marketplace. If the position is important enough for the organization to hire a recruiter and that recruiter contacts you, then you must be important enough of a candidate for the employer to consider.

Samantha: Is this something that’s lost on some professionals?

Stacy: Yes, it is for some. In fact, professionals should view whether or not recruiters contact them as a barometer for their career.

Samantha: What do you mean by that, a barometer for their career?

Stacy: I mean these professionals should not be worried about recruiters contacting them. They should be worried about recruiters NOT contacting them. The reason is that if recruiters are not contacting them, then those professionals are not considered to be among the top candidates in the marketplace—at least not by that recruiter. And from a career perspective, that is much more problematic than having a recruiter call you at work.

Samantha: So these professionals should be flattered that a recruiter is contacting or calling them?

Stacy: Yes, they should be flattered and they should be pleased that they’ve reached the point in their career where they’re considered a top candidate by a recruiter working for an organization that is trying to fill an important and possibly high-level opening. It means that they’re doing well in their career and their accomplishments have been noticed. When you’re being pursued and recruited, it means that you possess value and other people want to benefit from the value you possess.

That’s one of the main things that it means when an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter calls you.

Samantha: What’s the other thing?

Stacy: If a recruiter contacts you and they contact you about a new employment opportunity, that opportunity is more than likely is better than the job you have right now.

Samantha: Stacy, is this also something that some professionals don’t understand? Or don’t think about right away?

Stacy: I believe so. I certainly believe that it’s not something they think about right away.

So in addition to being flattered and pleased about being contacted by a recruiter, a professional should also be intrigued. They should be intrigued because the reason that the recruiter is contacting them, in addition to the fact they’re considered a top candidate in the marketplace, is the recruiter has an employment opportunity that may be better than the job they currently have. Not only that, but it could also be clearly better than what they have.

Samantha: Clearly better? What do you mean?

Stacy: An experienced recruiter knows that a top passive candidate will not typically make a move for an opportunity that is close to being a lateral move. So in the vast majority of cases, they will not even contact a top passive candidate unless they have an opportunity that is clearly better than the job the candidate currently has. It just doesn’t make much sense to do so if that isn’t the case.

Samantha: So what you’re saying is that if a recruiter contacts a professional about an employment opportunity, that professional should assume that the opportunity may be clearly better in some way than their current job?

Stacy: Yes, that is exactly what they should think. Because the recruiter would NOT be contacting them at all if that wasn’t the case. A good recruiter does not want to waste anyone’s time, especially their own. They certainly don’t want to waste their client’s time and they don’t want to waste the candidate’s time, either. They’re contacting the candidate because they have something of value that the candidate might want. The problem occurs when the candidate does not want to hear about the value. In other words, they don’t want to hear about the opportunity. They sometimes say no before they even know what they are saying no to. For those individuals I recommend they read the article on The VET Recruiter website titled, “I am not open to opportunity” because I believe that will change their perspective.

Samantha: It’s interesting to think about someone not being open to hearing about another opportunity or saying no before they know what they are saying no to. They should be flattered and pleased about being contacted in the first place and even being considered, especially if the recruiter has an opportunity that might be clearly better than their current job that has the potential to change their life for the better.

Stacy: Yes, and I could not have said that better myself because when you put it in those words, it illustrates how short-sighted it can be to simply dismiss a recruiter when they contact you or not being open to opportunity when you don’t even know what the opportunity is. There have been a couple of candidates this year that went beyond just dismissing an opportunity.

Samantha: What do you mean?

Stacy: A couple of Veterinary professionals this year said they’re offended that a recruiter contacted them, especially since they were contacted at work. Many times, a work phone number is all that a recruiter has. So that’s what they use. The fact of the matter is that recruiters have been calling professionals at work ever since the recruiting profession started. It was an acceptable practice back then, and it’s still an acceptable practice today. A recruiter’s job is to get in touch with the candidate and if all they have is a work number then that’s the number they call.

Samantha: And if a candidate wants to provide another phone number to the recruiter, they’re free to do that, correct?

Stacy: That’s correct. If you want a recruiter to stop calling you at work, simply give them your home number or your cell phone number. That’s an easy enough fix.

Samantha: And Stacy, correct me if I’m wrong, but if an organization is treating its employees well, it should not be worried about those employees going somewhere else? Is that right?

Stacy: That’s right. I’ve said this many times, that recruiters do not “steal” employees. A recruiter does not walk across the street, knock an employee on the head, stuff them into a bag, and then go back across the street to their client with the employee in tow. It simply does not work that way, and it’s inaccurate to portray recruiting in that fashion.

Recruiters present opportunities to professionals every day in this country and around the world. All the professionals have to do is listen to what the opportunity is. Then they can decide for themselves if they want to move forward or not. They can always say that they don’t want to move forward. That is certainly an option. But not wanting to hear about the opportunity is foolish. There’s no other way to say it.

Samantha: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. I think you’ve cleared up some of the confusion that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals have about a situation in which they’re contacted by a recruiter.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Samantha, and thank you. It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!