Working with Recruiters. Worth It?

Good post on RecruitingBlogs titled A Candidate’s Guide to Working with Recruitment Consultants

At the end of the article the author says it is a two way relationship.

In the first comment, the commentor says “being in control of your CV and where it is being sent is so important.”

Can you have a two-way relationship with a recruiter?  I found it very difficult to have a real relationship with a recruiter.  The 30-or-so recruiters I tried to network with during my job search were very busy.  I was a potential transaction to them.  But I wasn’t interesting to any of them.


Because they didn’t have any openings I would be a fit for at the time.  They were focused on filling jobs… and they were looking for people who fit those openings.

The advice on the post I linked to is marginal.  I think it’s basic and common sense.  I like Nick Corcodilos’ book: How to Work With Headhunters… and how to make headhunters work for you

Nick tells it like it is, and is very candid.

Here are my quick three tips for working with recruiters:

  1. Don’t expect anything from them.  Lower your expectations or you will be disappointed quickly and regularly.  No matter what you do, you are not entitled to their time or attention.  They live in a fast-paced world and should be very focused on filling their jobs.  Their job is high-stress.
  2. Open up your network to them.  If they reach out to you, stop getting upset. I’m always surprised when I hear people get mad that recruiters reach out to them frequently.  Oh, what I would have given for that!  Instead of getting mad, offer to make introductions for them.  You’ll find some recruiters really appreciate it and try to work on a deeper relationship.
  3. Stay in touch with them.  Send recruiters a very concise note every month or two and let them know what you are up to, what skills you have, or about new contacts you want to introduce them to.  Stay top of mind, with frequency, but don’t expect them to spend much time on the email… so keep it short.

This is part of the “dig your well before you’re thirsty” idea… if you don’t need a recruiter, but you provide value to them, you might have a small team of people who are ready to go for bat for you when you most need them.

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