A recruiter’s day is filled with non-stop conversations. Talking to candidates, hiring managers, HR people, recruitment team. But, what if you are the one in need of a new opportunity or want to make a change? You can’t just sit around, wait, and hope for a recruiter to reach out to you. Or you have reached out to some recruiters but no one has responded tangibly. Have you ever wondered how to approach recruiters effectively?

If you are an experienced professional, chances are you have worked with a few recruiters already and probably have one or two that you prefer working with. But for some of you who haven’t had success so far, you might find this interesting and hopefully helpful too. 


1. Be nice, these recruiters do not owe you anything.

While recruiters’ primary work is to match talents with open roles, most recruiters do not have the bandwidth to go out of their way to find you something they don’t have already. Even if you think you are a stellar candidate, dropping the arrogance and being polite will probably give you more of an edge than your ability to do job interviews well. Recruiters are human too, they value a nice candidate who is polite and respectful, and will register extra attention for you the next time they see something suitable.


2. If you treat your recruiter’s email like a P.O. Box, then you get exactly that, a P. O Box.

Blasting your CV to different recruiters out of nowhere will not give you much headway in securing a call or jobs start coming your way. It takes guts to sell yourself to a recruiter and finesse to do it properly. Take the time to reach out and ask, establish a connection, and make your intentions clear. Just like how you would approach a stranger on the streets asking for directions.


3. Connect. Make the connection and be a valuable part of each other’s network.

Ask what roles are you working on now and perhaps I can link you up with possible candidates. The recruiter will most likely do their best to return the favor. A recruiter’s network is very much the differentiator in today’s landscape. Moreso, if it’s a highly invested and valuable network.


4. Be clear in your “offer”

Imagine sending a CV and asking the recruiter to “do the work” to think of what roles you are looking for…In sales, we always say to make it easy for people to do business with you. E.g “Hey how's it going? I’m looking at changing jobs - ideally a sales role with more coverage in the FSI space than the six clients I'm covering right now. I see you have relevant xx roles published or you came referred from a trusted contact of mine who says you specialized in my type of role. Would you be free to connect for 15mins and see if we can help each other out?


5. Have Empathy for their work

In their line, they speak to many people. The trouble is there are candidates who tend to treat recruiters badly or have a general lack of respect. After all, there are a lot of us in the industry and you have to find the good ones. In our experience, candidates who have very high opinions of themselves tend to treat recruiters with little respect. They expect recruiters to fight each other to sell them and if recruiters don’t answer your not-that-nice text immediately, they are again getting a bad rep. 

There are also some junior sales and presales people who haven't had the chance to work with really good headhunters, they tend to come across as very condescending to recruiters. Not all recruiters know the intricate USPs of what you are selling but they know the market, the client, how much people are willing to pay for talent, and every other crucial info you need to land a good job.

They will treat you differently if you treat them nicer. Just like everything in life, really.