By Liz Ryan
One of the biggest problems in the recruiting business is that there are no barriers to entry. Anybody can become a recruiter. That fact makes life harder for excellent recruiters, because so many job-seekers have had unpleasant interactions with unskilled and impolite recruiters that the profession suffers from a bad reputation.
If you want to start a contingency recruiting business tomorrow — the kind of recruiting practice where the employer pays you a fee when you find them new hires, and doesn’t pay you a dime unless they hire one of your candidates — you can do it easily.
There’s virtually no cost to set up your recruiting business. You don’t even have to get business cards. You only need a LinkedIn profile, an internet connection and a phone and you’re good to go. You can start recruiting candidates in minutes. You don’t even have to have legitimate job opportunities to start building a candidate database.
You only need to get people to agree to connect with you on LinkedIn or share their contact information with you a different way.
The glut of less-than-sensational recruiters is one of the biggest problems qualified and competent recruiters face. The whole recruiting industry gets tarnished by the unprofessional actions of some of its members.
Nearly every working person who has spent ten or more years in industry can tell you horror stories about getting calls and email messages from recruiters who were rude, unprofessional, poorly equipped to contact candidates or all of the above.
It’s easy to screen a recruiter who contacts you, to determine within a few minutes whether he or she is one of the excellent recruiters who help job-seekers get great jobs and help employers fill out their team rosters, or one of the charlatans who will only waste your time and exasperate you if you let them into your life.
Here are five questions every competent recruiter can easily answer:
1. What is the salary range for the position you’ve contacted me about?
2. If I send you my resume as you’ve requested, when will I hear from you next?
3. You have contacted me about a position that your client employer is trying to fill. What was it about my background that got you to contact me? Which aspects of my career history make you feel that I might be a good fit for this job?
4. How many positions did you or your firm fill for this particular employer over the past year?
5. What is the short job description for the open position you’ve contacted me about, and why is the job open right now?
These five questions collectively make up an excellent, quick litmus test for any recruiter who contacts you. Anyone who can’t answer the five questions is not worthy of another millisecond of your time!
Some recruiters aren’t calling you about specific job openings. They are just trying to get you onto their firm’s database. Why should you join the firm’s database when they’ve done nothing whatsoever for you? Tell them that if they don’t have a particular opportunity that looks like a good fit for you right now, they can contact you again when they do.
Some recruiters won’t tell you their client’s salary range. They’ll say “I don’t know the salary range.” Yeah, sure! You took the assignment to fill this job but you don’t know the salary range for the position? Any recruiter who tells you “I don’t know the salary range for the position” or “The salary range isn’t finalized yet” is either incompetent or is not being honest with you.
Life is long as they say, but it’s still too short to waste any of your precious time with recruiters who won’t be straight with you or haven’t taken the time to prepare for a call with a highly-qualified candidate like you. Get off the phone with those folks politely but quickly! Only the recruiters and employers who get you deserve you, after all.