HR Resources Database

HR Resources Database September 2012

What To Do When a Recruiter Calls

Lorraine Manners

You’ve just received a call from a headhunter and you: 

a)    Bark “not interested” and hang up. 

b)   Hear the person out about the opportunity and indicate whether or not you’re interested. 

c)    Return the recruiter’s call—even if you’re not interested—and suggest some people who might be. 

d)   Erase the voicemail and never return the call. 

e)    Postpone the call until it is more convenient for you

If you selected option a) or d) as your typical response, then you should understand you aren’t doing yourself (or your career) any favours. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a recruiter and I am often the one making such calls. I’m suggesting that these two options aren’t ideal because you never know when you, or someone close to you, may need to call on that recruiter or someone else in that recruitment firm for assistance when seeking a new role. 

Perhaps you have a full schedule and can’t find the time to respond. We all know that those in the healthcare field are stretched thin with heavy workloads, ever increasing responsibilities and constant demands on their time; a call from a recruiter is just another task to be dealt with. And if you aren’t looking for a new role, it’s a task that isn’t high on the priority list (if it’s on the list at all). On top of this, healthcare is suffering from a serious health human resources shortage, meaning those that are gainfully employed receive numerous calls from recruiters about a variety of opportunities. 

When we call you, we realize you are busy and that you may not be interested in the particular opportunity we are calling about. However, the way you respond can still have a positive impact on your reputation in the recruiting world. Recruiters rely on the knowledge they gain when speaking with candidates over the phone—whether a candidate is interested in the opportunity or not. Not only are we learning about the experience and skills candidates have, but we’re also observing how candidates handle themselves. If you aren’t interested in the position, take it as an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism. Show you are eager to learn more about the position and, suggest other potential candidates. Offer details on your career background for future consideration. In doing so, you are showing strengths in mentorship, helpfulness, good judgment, as well as an understanding of the importance of relationships; all of which are highlighted qualities recruiters will keep in mind for future reference.

As you know, the healthcare industry is changing rapidly in response to higher demand and less funding, and the result is further amalgamation of organizations and resources. This poses the risk of restructuring that could leave you out of a job you thought was secure. It is always better to be prepared. Careers are built on relationships, connections and reputation just as much as skill and experience. The more you are able to broaden and strengthen your network and connections, the better you position yourself and your career for advancement down the line.

About the Author(s)

Lorraine Manners is an Associate Partner at Four Corners Group, a leading Canadian professional services firm specializing in retained executive search and recruitment. The company is respected nationally for providing innovative talent solutions and for delivering exceptional results.


Originally published here: The Corner Office


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