Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health Companies and Veterinary practices hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
Today, we will be talking about basic rules of engagement for working with an Animal Health or Veterinary recruiter. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.
Julea: Stacy, we have talked in the past about working with a recruiter on the podcast. How will today’s episode be different?
Stacy: Today we will be talking about the practical details of a relationship between a recruiter and a candidate. That is because much of what we talk about will revolve around the offer stage of the hiring process, which is arguably one of the the most important stages of the interview process.
Julea: Stacy, in the past, we have discussed how to start a relationship with a recruiter. Will today’s podcast episode deal with what happens after the relationship has already been started?
Stacy: Yes, that will be the case. Just like any relationship, there is a lot that goes into starting one or creating one, but there is also a lot that goes into maintaining that relationship and making sure that it’s beneficial for both parties.
Julea: That makes sense. Where would you like to start today?
Stacy: I would like to start with what happens after an Animal Health or Veterinary professional has decided to align themselves with a recruiter, specifically after they have sent their resume to a recruiter and has indicated that they would like to explore the employment opportunities that exist in the job market.
Depending upon the person’s situation, including their skill set and their experience, their recruiter might not have a new opportunity for them to consider right away. If that is the case, then there’s a couple of things that the person can do.
Julea: Which things are those?
Stacy: The first thing is to stay patient. A recruiter may intend to get back to you, but in the world of recruiting, whatever is most pressing gets done first. If a recruiter does not get back to a candidate, there is nothing to talk about because the recruiter doesn’t have an appropriate position available.
The second thing is to stay in touch. This means you should occasionally call and/or send resume updates so that the recruiter is aware of your continuing interest in being considered for job opportunities the recruiter has open with their clients. Obviously, this doesn’t mean calling the recruiter every single day or sending them a bunch of emails. Obviously, your career and your placement is important, but it does take time.
Julea: Stacy, what happens once a recruiter does have an opportunity to share with a candidate?
Stacy: There are a couple of things. The first thing that could happen is that the candidate decides that the position is not for them or that they do not want to move forward to explore it.
In this situation, if a recruiter calls about a position that is not right for you, it is a good idea to pass along the names of potential candidates to other people who might know other potential candidates. There are a couple of good reasons to do that. First, your participation in the process will be kept confidential. And second, the recruiter will remember that you helped them, and because of that, they’ll be more likely to want to help you in the future.
Julea: Is that the Principle of Reciprocity?
Stacy: Yes, it absolutely is! And according to the Principle of Reciprocity, when someone gives you something, you usually feel compelled to give them something in return. Conversely, when you first give something to someone else, they will feel compelled to give something to you in return. This principle can be applied to this situation.
But above all else, it is important to brand yourself in the right way when dealing with a recruiter. Obviously, you want to brand yourself in a positive way.
Julea: I imagine that not everyone brands themselves the right way.
Stacy: You’re right about that. Not everyone does, and I have an example of this.
I once sent out the same message to two individuals, asking them if they knew someone who would be a good fit for a particular job. I will remember both of their responses, but for different reasons. As I read them, think about which person I would be more likely to help in the future.
The first reply went like this:
So, you are sending me an email to ask me if I know somebody who could fill this position?
Has it ever crossed your mind that I might be qualified for this position?
I recommend you review your whole paradigm of mass email fishing expedition.
Now here is the second reply:
Stacy, sorry I am not on LinkedIn as much, so I hope you get this reply. I am not movable, but if [it’s the place you referenced], it is one of my former places of employment and a great group of people!
I am happy to recommend to you one of our great young pathologists who remains interested in pursuing academic opportunities and would be interested in relocating.
So which person do you believe I would be more likely to remember in a positive way and be likely to help in the future?
Julea: I am going to guess the second person.
Stacy: That’s right Julea, of course. If and when this person reaches out to me in the future, I’ll remember her willingness to help and the great attitude she had.
Julea: So what’s next?
Stacy: What’s next is if a recruiter calls you and you decide that you do want to consider and explore the opportunity. First, you will officially enter the hiring process for the organization that has the opportunity and a job opening that it wants to fill.
Second, it is important that you listen to what your recruiter has to say and follow their directions. Your recruiter often knows more than you do about the client, the hiring manager, and the interview process. So be sure to listen closely to the recruiter’s instructions and suggestions. Third, it is critical to always do what you say you are going to do. If you say that you are going to send an email with important information, then make sure that you send the email. If you say that you are going to be available at a certain time for a phone call, then make sure that you are available. The reason that this is important is also personal branding.
Julea: Is that because you are branding yourself as dependable and reliable?
Stacy: That is exactly right! And when you brand yourself as dependable and reliable, that is the first step toward branding yourself as trustworthy. And recruiters want to work with dependable and trustworthy candidates and employers want to hire dependable and trustworthy candidates.
Fourth, resist the temptation to contact the recruiter too much during the hiring process. That can be counterproductive.
You can give a recruiter feedback after phone screens or a face-to-face interview. However, don’t continue to contact them unless you have a reason. Sometimes job seekers become overly zealous because they’re excited about a job opportunity. And that’s completely understandable, but you have to be aware of what you’re doing.
While it’s good to express that excitement to your recruiter, don’t hound them because you’re apprehensive or worried about the next steps. They are prepared to help you through all stages of the process, and it is in their best interests to position you well so that you’re considered a viable candidate.
So, if you do end up interviewing for the position, you should call your recruiter as soon as possible after the interview is over.
Julea: Explain why that is important Stacy.
Stacy: It is important for two reasons. First, when you call as soon as possible, everything is still fresh in your mind. A recruiter prefers to have your input before calling their client to follow up, and they want to have the most accurate information. Second, if you say that you will call after the interview and you do not call, the recruiter may take it as a sign you are not interested or are unprofessional. That is not the way you want to brand yourself when you are looking for a new job, as we just discussed.
Julea: I have a question, Stacy. What happens if the person does NOT get the job? Because I imagine that people don’t get the job more often than they do.
Stacy: That is a good question, and it can be disappointing for sure to not get a job offer, especially if you were really excited about the job. However, there are two important things that you should do in that situation.
The first thing is to try not to take it personally.
Julea: I am guessing that is not easy to do.
Stacy: Sometimes it’s not, but it’s very important. Think about it terms of numbers. Of 200 candidates uncovered during an initial search, perhaps 50 of them will make the first cut, five will be finalists, and one will get the job. The search process aims for a perfect fit, and if you’re not chosen, it’s probably in your best interests, anyway, although I know it’s tough for some people to view it that way.
Julea: What’s the second thing Stacy?
Stacy: The second thing is to not “burn bridges.” Even if you didn’t get the job and you didn’t like what the recruiter had to say, be professional and polite. You must remember that the same recruiter might be the one to hand you your next job on a silver platter. If you “burn bridges” with your recruiter, though, they’re probably not going to reach back out to you in the future about other job opportunities.
In fact, I once had a candidate write a note to me saying that the hiring manager was stupid for not hiring them. No good can come from a letter like that. As a recruiter, I’ll be less inclined to work with that person in the future. And calling a hiring manager stupid does nothing to advance your career.
Julea: I’ll bet. And I’d also guess that’s not the only time when a candidate has been angry about not getting a job or “burned a bridge” or two after they found out about it.
Stacy: Oh, it isn’t the only time. It has happened on far too many occasions, and the problem is the same problem that is always seems to be. The candidate is too focused on the short term and they’re not thinking about the big picture. Just because you did not get this job, even if it is a job that you really wanted, doesn’t mean that your career is over. You never know what the future holds, and you might come across a job that is even better than the one you wanted. In fact, your recruiter could help you to find that job. But if you “burn bridges” with recruiters. . .
Julea: Then you may never know about that job opportunity.
Stacy: Exactly. But not everyone gets rejected, of course. Someone does receive an offer of employment, and if that someone is you, then there are some best practices in this case, as well.
Julea: What would those best practices be?
Stacy: Well, let’s back up for just a moment, because the first thing I’d like to discuss when it comes to receiving an offer of employment is the possibility that you might receive more than one offer. This is because, of course, you might be exploring more than one job opportunity, and as a result, you might have interviewed with more than one organization.
So if that’s the case, it’s generally best to let your recruiter and all potential employers know. If handled properly, disclosing interest from other parties can work to your advantage.
The second thing I want to say about the offer stage is to not take too long to think about the offer. The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think that you’re not committed. And if they think that, then they’ll think that perhaps they’ve made a wrong decision in extending the offer to you. We have even seen cases where, because of delays, employers have retracted offers of employment.
Julea: Employers have retracted offers?
Stacy: Yes, they have. But there’s one more thing I’d like to say about receiving an offer of employment, and that’s there’s never a good reason to “ghost” on the offer.
Julea: What does that mean? I know that we’ve talked about “ghosting” on a phone screen or a face-to-face interview.
Stacy: “Ghosting” on the offer is when a candidate receives an offer of employment, but never says whether or not they’ve decided to accept it.
Julea: Really? How does that work, exactly?
Stacy: Just like it sounds, unfortunately. A candidate interviews with one of my clients. The client likes the candidate enough to make an offer to them. I communicate the offer to the candidate, and the candidate says they want to think about it.
Julea: Do they tell you how long they want to think about it?
Stacy: They usually say a day or two, which is typical. However, when they “ghost” on the offer, they simply disappear.
Stacy: Yes, disappear. The client or I can’t reach them by phone or through email, even after repeated attempts.
Julea: By that time, you probably know they’re trying to avoid you.
Stacy: Yes, I do, which is a shame. That is because they’ve “burned bridges” with me, they’ve “burned bridges” with my client, and neither I nor my client will want to work with them again. If the offer is not good enough, then reject the offer. That is perfectly acceptable. What is not acceptable is just vanishing from the face of the earth, or more accurately, making it seem as though you have. The world is too small for candidates to burn bridges. You never know where you will run into that person again.
Julea: Stacy, we are just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we end today’s podcast episode?
Stacy: Yes, I would like to end today’s podcast episode with a saying that I’ve referred to before. That saying is, “It’s not what you know, but it’s who you know.”
Growing your career is all about networking, and you should have a search consultant in your network. If you do not have a good recruiter in your network, then you should have a plan for finding one and building a relationship with them.
Also keep in mind that working with a recruiter is all about timing. They might not have the ideal opportunity for you today or in six months, but in two or three years, they could have the perfect job for you.
And this is yet one more reason why your relationship with a recruiter is one of the most important relationships you will have in your career.
Once again, work with a search firm that has experience in your industry. You want an Animal Health Recruiter or Veterinary recruiter that has a proven track record of placing Animal Health and Veterinary professionals just like you.
Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about the basic rules of engagement for working with an Animal Health or Veterinary recruiter.
Stacy: It has been my pleasure Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
Julea: For the members of our listening audience, remember that there is additional information about The VET Recruiter and the services that it provides on its website. So we encourage you to visit www.thevetrecruiter.com.
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