Why Is It I Only Hear From You When You Need a Favor?

Manage the key recruiters who will help you manage your career

Posted Sep 02, 2012

Social Networking will always be the best way to find the best professional opportunities.  Great jobs, however, are sometimes referred out to quality executive search firms. Do you treat recruiters in your life as transactional encounters: unless you need them you don’t think of them?

     Stop it! 

                                               How Recruiters Can Help You

Select two or three recruiters you respect and you have worked with as a candidate or as an employer.  Perhaps these two or three recruiters might have an opportunity that is just right for you when you contact them.  But the odds are against it.  There are other good reasons to keep a long-term valued relationship with these recruiters:

o          If you are offered a new assignment, recruiters can tell you

    the probable impact of that assignment on your future

   marketability.

o          Recruiters have the external perspective to be able to tell

you where your compensation is in relation to the marketplace.

o          Recruiters can tell you what is “hot” and what is emerging

as “hot.”  This can help guide you in terms of selecting job

assignments.  That guidance can be used to steer you to the right courses to talk,            books to read, and lectures to attend.

                                               What Recruiters Want From You

Try the following :

l    Send a warm, personal letter to the key recruiters when you find your new job.

l    Invite the recruiter in for a tour of the facilities, followed by lunch with

 you and the head of human resources.

l     Tell the recruiter that you have contacts and would be delighted to be a source of leads during talent searches the recruiter may conduct.

Former executive recruiter Ed Kiradjieff once complained:“Why is it I only hear from my ‘friends’ when they are unemployed?  I want to tell them, ‘where were you when I was looking for assignments for my firm?’”

                                                      Other ideas:

Clip Articles and Mail Them to Recruiters.  If you see an article in a business publication that you know would be interesting, 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 your guest.  It helps enlarge that recruiter’s network.

As you actively help recruiters enlarge their base of contacts, you will probably find that they are ready to help you tap into THEIR network for you when the time comes.

                                                  “My Personal Database”

We once visited an executive recruiter who works for well-known international firm.  On his desk were two computers.  He proudly showed us the firm’s global talent bank.  He said that all resumes submitted to the firm routinely go into this wonderful database. 

We pointed to the second computer on his desk and asked him the purpose of that machine.  “That,” he said, “is MY personal database.  This is a large company.   One day the company will fire me.  Or one day I will be so fed up with the politics of this place, I will open my own boutique.   The data in the company database belongs to the search firm.  I can’t take it with me. 

“The people in this database are MY people.”

If you intend to survive during uncertain times, manage your recruiter relationships so that you know where the recruiter files YOUR contact information.