"Most job seekers wouldn't dare cold call a senior-level executive and ask for a position within their company, yet search firm recruiters often find themselves on the receiving end of requests for jobs. The same networking care and consideration (give before you get) should be given to executive recruiters as to any other contacts, but many only think about them when they are in need of a job.
Whether you're currently in job search or not, there's value in having a few recruiters in your network.
ExecuNet CEO and Founder Dave Opton suggests three ways executives can make connections with recruiters and begin building relationships with them – in advance of when they are in job search.
- It helps to diversify your contact list.
- You likely have industry information that's helpful to their business.
- Your company will have recruiting needs.
- You are considering new opportunities.
1. If you are a member of a professional association in your industry segment, become more than just a name in the directory. Get involved, on committees, on the panel discussions at their regional and/or national conferences. Become an officer in the local chapter and maybe invite some of the recruiters with whom you would like to build a relationship to be a presenter at one of your meetings.
2. Contribute to publications within your industry. Recruiters read trade magazines in order to maintain their level of knowledge but also to see who is contributing to thought leadership in the segment.
3. Network your way to them. If someone in your network has a relationship with a recruiter, ask for an introduction. Recruiters rely on their networks, so if a recruiter's connection, someone he trusts, tells him to meet you, the recruiter will listen. This is a better avenue than their databases.
"The name of the game when it comes to effective career management is to be remembered and to be referred," says Opton, "and you have to be visible to those you wish to have remember you." "
- Go a step further and share your knowledge with a recruiter.
- Offer to write a guest blog for a recruiter.
- Offer to write a guest article for a recruiter's website.
- Consider sharing a job lead with a recruiter. You never know what might come back to you.