A Recruiter Called Me. What Should I Do?
If a recruiter calls you, it's likely a positive reflection
on your abilities as a professional. Maybe you have a special
skill or background, or maybe you've been targeted for your
unique experience. Whatever the case, listen carefully, because
the door to this opportunity might only open briefly.
But why do recruiters call me at work?
Unfortunately, the workplace is often the recruiter's only
option for reaching you to conduct an introductory call. If
you aren't in a position to talk, give the recruiter a time
(drive home from work or evening hours) and number (cell phone
or home phone) when you will be available, and be available
when you say that you will. Recruiters do not want to jeopardize
your current job, and will be very flexible, if you are interested
But I'm not really interested in changing jobs at this time.
If you aren't interested in other opportunities or can't move,
simply be honest with the recruiter. He will probably ask for a
referral to a candidate with similar qualifications. It's a nice
gesture if you can provide that, and a recruiter will remember you
if he comes across a position you simply can't refuse.
If I'm not in the market for a different job, why should I even
talk to a recruiter?
Even if you have the world's most perfect job today, positions,
companies and management change, and it might not be as good six
months or a year down the line, if not sooner. The recruiter who
called you today might be your best professional ally, if things
start to sour in your current position. Recruiters often work in
specific industries, and if he works in your industry, he'll probably
be aware of good jobs that you might want, and he might be your
best bet for career advancement.
How do I know that the recruiter is legitimate and not just
my company testing my loyalty?
Though I'm sure that it happens, I've never seen nor heard of a
company going through such drastic measures to test an employee's
loyalty. That said, if you are still nervous, a legitimate recruiter
should be able to provide a company Web site or e-mail address for
you to check for verification or at least a number for you to reach
him at work.
What if I change my mind after agreeing to a callback?
Go ahead and take the recruiter's call, and simply explain that
you had a change of heart. Again, a recruiter doesn't want a candidate
who isn't truly dedicated to evaluating an opportunity. Lukewarm
candidates usually just waste a recruiter's time. If that describes
you, do a favor for all involved and just be honest.
Can't I just ignore the recruiter's call?
Again, the best approach is the professional approach. Keep your
commitment and be honest. The recruiter doesn't want an uncommitted
candidate, and very well might reward your honesty with help down
the road somewhere.
If I am interested, what is the next step?
The process sometimes varies slightly with each job order, but
generally, after the introduction call, you and the recruiter should
have a good idea that you are qualified for the job and interested
in pursuing it. Of course, that can change in the subsequent steps
of the process. The next call will be much more thorough. The recruiter
will probe deeper to make sure that your qualifications make you
a good candidate for the position. Be honest, because you don't
want to pursue a job that doesn't fit your qualifications or professional
goals. The recruiter will also likely tell you more about the company
and position, before setting you up for a phone conversation with
the hiring authority.
Is this going to cost me anything?
Nothing but a little time. Any reputable recruiter will not charge
you for his services; his client is footing the bill, hoping that
he finds a quality candidate like you.