Vanderbilt Search Group: Reflecting your need for quality people
Making The Most of a Recruiter's Contact

Q. I've been approached by a recruiter for a new job. I wasn't looking and
I'm not sure I'm interested enough to follow up. How should I play this?

A. Most people are excited to be contacted by recruiters. You can better
your chances of being contacted again by taking several steps to present
yourself in the most professional light.

Return recruiter's calls (or acknowledge their emails) to thank them. You
may ask how they identified you and your skills. If you have absolutely no
interest in this particular job but want to continue to be contacted in the
future, express that: "This role is not for me. I'm more interested in."

It's also helpful to refer others you believe might be interested and who
you believe might be qualified for the particular job. You should also
indicate whether it will be okay if the recruiter mentions to that person
that you were the referral source, or if you prefer to keep your referral as
confidential. These actions position you for a relationship with a
recruiter who may have other opportunities in the future that you may be
interested in.

If you are interested in this particular job, then you want to obtain a full
description of the job, additional information on the company and their
website address, why the position is open (a replacement for someone who
left or an add-to-staff), how the submission and interview process would
proceed, (if you're employed) assurance that your submission will be kept
confidential, etc.

If you do proceed and are invited in for an interview, the recruiter can
provide you with the proper address for the meeting, tell you who you can
anticipate meeting with and their backgrounds/capacities, and how long you
should anticipate being there. You can also ask the recruiter for a copy of
how you were presented to the client in order to have the same information
in hand as the interviewer has, and to review the submission for accuracy.

A good recruiter will also be able to help you avoid the 'black hole' of the
interview process where you don't receive any response or feedback from the
hiring company. The recruiter should be able to either close the loop with
you, or arrange for the next round of interviews. You want to work with
someone who is open in their communications and who keeps you informed.
Your relationship with the recruiter will hopefully continue beyond this one
opportunity, and that they'll check in with you periodically to assure that
you're still happy. They may also want to run future assignments they're
working on by you in case you can refer other candidates. If the recruiter
handled you and your job change effectively, then you will more likely to
feel comfortable doing so.