by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
I have spoken with numerous Animal Health industry and Veterinary professionals during the course of my career. I’ve spoken with them about employment opportunities, I’ve spoken with them about their careers, and about the Animal Health and Veterinary industry. I’ve even spoken with them about their families or things happening in their lives or in their workplace.
I can say that I can’t remember a time when I spoke with a candidate in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession and that conversation was detrimental to them in any way.
However, there are some professionals in the world who are hesitant to speak with a recruiter if one calls them on the phone. This is unfortunate because it’s a good thing if a recruiter calls you. First of all, it means that you’re a “hot commodity” in the marketplace and your value is being recognized. Second, the recruiter is likely going to present to you an opportunity that could be better than the job you currently have. What’s so bad about that?
So in this article, I’d like to explore the reasons why some people are hesitant to have a conversation with a recruiter and set the record straight regarding this topic.
The twin dangers of comfort and fear
First and foremost, let’s explore the reasons that some people are hesitant about talking with a recruiter. There are two main reasons:
#1—The desire to be comfortable (with a corresponding allegiance to the status quo)
Unfortunately, some people like being comfortable so much that they’re almost addicted to it. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, they’re making enough money (or what they thinkis enough money). And second, their employer is treating them well enough. In addition, there’s a chance they may not be working exceptionally hard. Since how hard a person works is subjective, that’s up to each person and depends upon their particular situation.
I’ve addressed this before, but I’ll ask the question again: do you plan to retire at your current employer? You might be thinking, “Well, maybe . . . I haven’t thought that much about it.”You need to think about it. It’s your life and your career, after all. Because if you don’t retire at your current employer, then you are going to make a move at some point in the future. It’s not a matter of “if you make a move,” but rather a matter of “when you make a move.”
Since that’s the case, it’s far better to be proactive instead of reactive. In other words, it’s better to move from a position of strength instead of a position of weakness.
I’ve also discussed this in previous newsletter articles and blog posts. People in this situation fear two things, specifically. First, they fear the unknown and uncertainty. For some of these people, the desire to be comfortable helps to stoke this fear. That’s because they know what to expect at their current employer. They don’t know what to expect from another employer. That fear of uncertainty affects the decisions they make about their career.
Second, these people fear their boss will discover that they’re talking with a recruiter. That then leads to another fear: their boss and/or other company officials will believe they’re a disloyal employee. That then leads to yet another fear: they might get fired simply because they spoke to a recruiter.
Do you see how fear can snowball quickly and dramatically? And all of these fears are irrational. If there’s one thing about which I am 100% sure, it’s that irrational fear produces irrational behavior.
Nothing to lose by listening
What these individuals need to understand is that they have nothing to lose by having a conversation with a recruiter, especially a good Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. Let’s approach the situation through a “best-case scenario/worst-case scenario” lens.
In this scenario, you learn about an opportunity that is better than the job you currently have. It could be a position that gives you significant career growth. It might involve more compensation. It could have better benefits. It might be a more prestigious employer with a better reputation within the industry. It could be all of these things and more. Whatever the reason (or reasons) that the opportunity is better than what you have, you have the chance to take advantage of that opportunity. It is now an option for you.
In this scenario, you decide that the opportunity is not all that better than what you have. Or you’ve decided that you want to continue being comfortable despite the fact that the opportunity is clearly better. Regardless of the reason, you are free to have the conversation, hear about the opportunity, and then say, “Thank you for informing me about this, but I’d rather stay where I am right now.” Telling a recruiter that you’re not interested in an opportunity is NOT a bad “worst-case scenario.”
Sometimes people say, “I am not interested” before they know anything about the opportunity about which the recruiter is calling. They say “no” before they even hear about it and know what they are saying “no” to. From a recruiter’s perspective, this can be a frustrating experience. The reason is because as a recruiter, I know that I have a great opportunity for the candidate that they should at least know about. As already noted, though, some people do not want to hear what the opportunity is about. They just know they are not interested when they know nothing about it. Instead, they say they’re not looking for Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs at the moment.
The sad part is that they don’t even know what they’re saying “No” to.
They could be saying “No” to something that could change their life—both their personal life and their professional life—for the better. I know this because I’ve seen it happen multiple times. I’ve seen people say they would listen to an opportunity, and they find out the opportunity is something that could change their life dramatically for the better. I’ve had candidates thank me after they were hired for taking the time to present the opportunity to them. Some of these people said they weren’t interested when I first called before I told them what it was about. Then I convinced them to at least hear about it. Then they agreed to be introduced to my client. Then they went through an interview process and received an offer and accepted the position. Then they called or sent a card or an email or even flowers to thank me for convincing them to listen to the opportunity. One even sent me a really cool watch which was really nice. One Ph.D. who said “no” multiple times but finally said “yes” told me that the opportunity I presented to him that he ultimately accepted changed his life. He thanked me for being persistent enough to convince him to listen. Even though that was a number of years ago, every time we talk he still thanks me for convincing him to talk with my client. Those are some of the reasons I get out of bed every morning to go to work because I know with every phone call I have the opportunity to change someone’s life for the better.
These people mentioned above were not addicted to being comfortable. These people did not have an allegiance to the status quo. They were not afraid of uncertainty and the unknown. And they were not afraid that their boss would find out they were talking with a recruiter.
This is why it never hurts to at least have a conversation with a good recruiter. It’s a low risk, high-reward move that could lead to the next step in your career. That is a good thing.
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