Psychology Today: Here To Help

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 career advisors.

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 team:

  • 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 read.
  • 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 term.

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 job.
  • 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 career.

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 company."

Other Ideas

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