How to Keep Your Career Thriving: tips for befriending recruiters
Good retained search consultants operate at two levels: help clients keep cash
flow by finding new employment and teach clients how to keep clients' careers
thriving during economic turbulence. Most of our clients work hard with us to
achieve the first objective. Sadly, few of them apply the lessons we teach
regarding the second. While it is true that the best opportunities do come
from networking with personal contacts, quality executive search firms will
always have some exciting positions to fill. It is in your interests to keep in
touch with two or three search professionals. Make these people your personal
How Recruiters Can Help You
Three top quality recruiters might have appropriate job opportunities for
you. Even if they do not, there are other good reasons to put them on your
- If you are offered a new assignment, recruiters can tell you the probable
impact of that assignment on your future marketability.
- Recruiters have the external perspective to be able to tell you where your
compensation is in relation to the marketplace.
- Recruiters can tell you what is "hot" and what is emerging as "hot."
- This information can help guide you in terms of selecting job assignments
or continuing education. It can even help guide you regarding what books to
- Good recruiters have enormous networks of their own. You might be able to
tap into their networks.
What Recruiters Want From You
If you have recently completed a job search, you probably found that few
recruiters were genuinely interested in you. Even fewer were good at follow-up.
These are the recruiting relationships you want to cultivate over the long
Ed Kiradjieff of Boston is a search consultant who has been working with
senior financial executives throughout his career. He suggests the following:
- Send a warm, personal letter to the key recruiters when you find your new
- Invite the recruiter in for a tour of the facilities, followed by lunch
with you and the head of human resources.
- Tell the recruiter that you have contacts and would be delighted to be a
source of leads during talent searches.
- Have lunch with each recruiter once a year. You will pick up great
ideas on what is going on in the larger business community. It also
affords anopportunity to keep the recruiter aware of where you are in your
Kiradjieff notes: "As a search consultant, I prefer candidates who
keep in touch over the years to candidates that only call when they
become unemployed. I like to hear from candidates when they get that new job,
that all important promotion, or would like to invite me in to visit their
Other ideas we recommend to clients include:
- Clip Articles and Mail Them to Recruiters. If you see an article in a
business publication that you know would be of interest, clip the article along
with a hand-written note. It is an inexpensive way of saying, "I think
about you even when I don't need your help."
- Invite the Recruiter to Your Professional Association. For some
professional associations, membership is confined to active professionals or
professionals who have specific job titles. If you belong to such a
professional association, invite a recruiter to be you