When you are at a networking event, are you pleased to meet Recruiters and Search Professionals? As an Executive and eMBA Coach, I strongly encourage my clients to make good connections with these hiring influencers, even when comfortably employed.
Why? Because these professionals value long-lasting productive connections and work hard to place them when they do need a new position. Because they often fill C-Suite and Board positions before the opening is announced. And because they are committed to placing candidates in a position that is a comfortable, lasting fit, to everyone’s benefit.
So, now you know WHY you should network with Recruiters and Search Professionals, do you know how? Here’s 4 tips on what to do:
- Understand what they do. These hiring influencers are hired by companies with positions to fill. They work hard to understand the requirements, the remuneration, and the corporate culture, so they can more accurately determine which candidates will fit the best into the team and add value to their client organization. You are actually the product they sell to their clients!
- Understand what they’re seeking. Recruiters are looking for candidates who match the positions they’re hired to fill. So even if you’re not looking for a job right now, you become valuable for suggesting names of connections who are searching, or who might become interested. Every connection is a potential sale for them!
- Make the contact a personal one. They can’t sell you if they don’t know you. Make the effort to get to know recruiters, offer connections that will benefit you both, and never send out mass emails with attached resumes to dozens of recruiters at once. Most people are sharp enough to spot a generic mass email, and if your email isn’t targeted to a particular position or industry that they specialize in, and isn’t solicited, it’s likely to end up in the trash folder. If you want to “cold contact” a recruiter, make it an individual communication that is targeted to that specific professional and their specialty. That way, they’re more likely to follow up. If you learn about a connection searching for a job in between networking events, that’s the perfect time to re-connect with this hiring influencer and remind them of who you are while you offer them a new connection. The more value you add, the more memorable you are.
- Be prepared. As with all networking events, be ready to introduce yourself with a confident elevator pitch, have business cards ready, and it’s nice to have a copy of your resume with you or the address of your personal website where your resume lives online! Know your resume, and be ready to discuss it in more depth if asked. Have your social media profiles match your resume, and ensure they will pass the scrutiny of recruiter research!