Occasionally I read career advice columns in which career coaches write, “Do not to call recruiters. They will call you.”
Well, no, recruiters may never call you. Here is how recruiters conduct searches. First recruiters contact the qualified applicants they already have in their database, especially those people who are most recently active. When recruiters have contacted the qualified candidates in their database, they get on the phone and call other people who are already in their database and ask these people for referrals to qualified applicants.
Recruiters do use job boards and membership sites. The most successful recruiters use these sites as a last resort to find people for a search. The reason is that hiring companies are using job boards and membership sites as well. The likelihood for recruiters to find people the hiring companies have not already found on the Internet is small. Therefore, the best recruiters are not using membership sites and job boards as their sources of finding applicants.
Of course, nearly every recruiter is a member of LinkedIn. The main resource LinkedIn gives a recruiter is to develop a larger database of people the recruiter can use for ongoing business development. For a recruiter, LinkedIn is similar to a blood drive for a blood bank. The resources recruiters develop on LinkedIn come into use for the long-term development of their business. Hospitals must continually replace and add to their sources of blood. Recruiters must continually create new relationships as people come and go over a career.
Another piece of advice that I read from career coaches is to email recruiters instead of calling recruiters
The reason that every search firm in the country has a phone number on the company website is so that job seekers and hiring managers can call the firm’s recruiters. Check out the company websites for firms that do every level of search from entry-level to c-level and boardroom search. You will find a phone number.
The advice from career coaches about not calling recruiters is bad advice, especially if you need a job fast. In the job market, you are like a patient in the hospital. If you need blood, you go to a hospital. If you need to work with recruiters, pick up the phone and call them. Find out which ones you like and trust. Build relationships that you can use your entire career.
Image: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig/Flickr