What if you were a BMW car collector and reseller? You made your living by finding out about all the great BMWs available, buying and reselling these to others that collect BMWs. What if every day you got calls from people asking you to spend your day talking about Mercedes? Got so that every day you could spend 6 to 8 hours talking to collectors, owners and resellers of Mercedes. Do you think that spending 6 or 8 hours a day on Mercedes discussions would improve or damage your income, skills and reputation as the best darn BMW reseller in the world? You could learn about how to make Mercedes run more like BMWs, you could become expert in being the nicest BMW collector in the world, but your sales and income would forever be impacted by investing so much of your time on something that is not going to support your core business.
Think of a recruiter as that BMW expert. As a candidate you may be the Mercedes enthusiast. While you are working on similar searches, they are not exactly the same. Every minute invested in non-core activity (other than learning, searching, discussing BMWs) is time lost that will impact income.
I use this example to show what candidates expect of contingent recruiters. Recruiters tend to get a reputation for not being helpful to candidates in the ways candidates expect. There is good reason for recruiters to remain focused on what makes them income. Most recruiters understand the expectations and reasons for candidate calls, but candidates do not understand the lack of action they get from recruiters. Candidates are sometimes all about the Mercedes and the recruiter is collecting and reselling BMWs. This is why recruiters don’t return your call.
- Recruiters have limited time. Are you asking the recruiter to spend time outside of a core area of focus? Not returning your call is a calculated business decision.
- You want to CHANGE careers. Are you telling a recruiter that you want to change careers? If so, consider this: recruiters help people move into roles they are very qualified to do and where there is a proven track record of results. They are not typically career coaches helping you move from one profession to another. If they see a call as a coaching session, they will not return it.
- Your resume is on too many job boards. If your “car” is already being sold online and listed in every enthusiast’s magazine, then the recruiter needs to move on to candidates that are not as well known. Recruiters do not get paid a fee when employers can grab your resume off many different job boards. If you have not established a win-win relationship with a recruiter, they will not take the time to even present you to a client. They need to know you are talented, looking for a job in an area where you excel and not posted on every job board out there. If your resume is all over the web, you may not get a return call.
Don’t get angry about these comments, just look for the nugget of truth in each of them. These are real. I am not saying they are right or wrong, I just want candidates to be realistic. These comments do not hold true for all recruiters, but most focused contingent recruiters cannot and will not be accommodating to every candidate. Their goal is income and survival in their competitive industry.
Job Seeker Tip: Find a recruiter expert in your industry. Engage them in a discussion about your proven track record. Limit the exposure of your resume to the just one trusted recruiter. Tell them about target companies you want to work for. Have a weekly talk about opportunities and action being taken. Be patient, be truthful, be open to change and something good could happen!