I received this exasperated email from a networking friend of mine who happens to be an inside recruiter for a large, locally headquartered insurance company. She clearly needed to release some frustration and chose a safe place to do it…with me, her friend.
What’s the big lesson to be learned here?
Never approach a recruiter under the guise of networking when your real intent is purely transactional. Recruiters are people too. They are not there to fill your orders.
My suggestion is to take your time to get to know the recruiter as a person, to build a relationship with them, to help them achieve their goals. They are, after all, running a business too.
Remember networking is the art of building and sustaining mutually-beneficial relationships before you need them.
My personal mantra which I chant inside my head prior to any networking encounter is “Think relationships, not transactions; think conversations, not sales pitches.”
“The Ranting Recruiter! What not to do!”
– written by an anonymous, frustrated recruiter
I’ll give you a great example of what I hate. Here is a letter I got on Monday. I never heard of this person before, no intro from the person she references. Just this note from her with her demands.
Hi [recruiter’s name],
I had the pleasure of working with [contact’s name] at [company name] and he suggested that I contact you.
I have applied for the following positions and was hoping that you could provide a status:
Position Posting #
- Vendor Services Operations Specialist xxxxx
- Business Process Senior Specialist xxxxx
- Project Manager – Online Experience Program xxxxx
- Project Manager xxxxx
My position was eliminated along with several others due to company downsizing and restructuring. I have been attending webinars at the [group name]. I am currently enrolled at [college name] in a [program name]. Upon completion, I will obtain a certificate in each of the five components. I also belong to three networking groups.
I am attaching my resume for your review. Please advise if you have any questions.
Kind regards and a happy New Year!
[job seeker’s name]
This economy is ruining the spirit of true networking! I have to vent and since this is your chosen soapbox, you get to hear it! Pass it on and hopefully it will help…at least someone!
First, wanting to network lately is understood to be “I need a job and fast”.
The whole definition and multipurpose of networking is lost. Can’t we all just connect and get to know each other without an immediate need?
I wanted to connect my husband with someone. That person immediately said they had no openings. Oh my god. How short sighted..but then again.. we are all doing it.
OK.. here’s my real pet peeve. I keep getting these notes:
Hi, I’m Betty, John gave me your name. I am trying to get into [company name] and I was hoping you can give me an update on the positions I applied for..
I am hoping you can introduce me to the hiring manager…
Can you hire me?
Hello! Aren’t we skipping a part here? Sure, I know and like the person you are referencing, but I don’t know who you are. What do you expect me to do?
Hi, I would like to refer someone I never met, never talked to and would like my company to hire.
That just doesn’t sound right to me and I have my reputation here to consider. Why would I help someone who I haven’t even had an introduction to, or a conversation with, or met in person?
As I said to someone who contacted me like this, “I really don’t think I can do you good service since I haven’t yet gotten to know you. I really don’t know how to explain who you are or what you can do. Maybe we can meet and get to know each other better before I refer you.” Makes sense to me.
People get so excited because they know your name, but skip everything that is important about networking.
Hi, I saw your name is connected to mine on LinkedIn and my mother’s best friend applied for a position at your company….
This does come close to “Hi, you don’t know me but will you marry me?” I’m sorry. But the answer is no.
Net net: Before you reach to a professional recruiter for the purposes of networking, stop, breath, and put yourself in your shoes. How would YOU react getting an email and/or phone call with an overture of demand or desperate plea? There’s got to be a better way to engage recruiters and to create more mutually-beneficial, positive experiences. Yes, even in job search.
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