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You need to start seriously grooming your recruiter relationships. Here is how

If you don’t do this now, you could regret it later. September is a comparatively quiet time of the year for headhunters and recruiters. They are milling around quietly, gently schmoozing clients and surfing the internet. In a few months they will be frantically fighting for jobs to fill in 2012 whilst fending off waves of the newly unemployed. If you want to get a headhunter/recruiter on your side, now is the time in which to do so.

Senior headhunters already report a rise in the number of people suddenly trying to be nice to them. “A lot more people are sending in their CVs,” says one, “But it’s the change in attitude among people who are our clients that I’ve really noticed. They’re fearful for their jobs and are suddenly becoming a lot warmer towards us, calling up and wanting to meet and be our buddies.”

“I’m getting a lot of calls,” says another. “I had one five minutes ago from someone I’d never spoken to before who’d been recommended by one of my clients. It’s happening almost every day. Frankly, I’m having to turn a lot of them away.”

If you’ve spent the past few years repelling recruiters and headhunters, sucking up to them may seem strange. It will help if you’ve sensibly cultivated some key recruiter relationships while the going was good. If you haven’t, you need to make rapid amends – before everyone else does. “The number of CVs coming through is already starting to pick up,” says Jim Nairn, director at recruitment firm The Cornell Partnership. “People know whether they’re bottom the 10% and that they need to do something practical about it.”

How can you groom a recruiter without being repellently sycophantic?


1) Become an information conduit

Do you know something a recruiter/headhunter would like to know? Specifically, do you know who’s hiring or approximately how much someone is being paid. Recruiters will like you if you pass this on to them. “You need to share market information that they may find useful,” says career coach Sital Ruparalia.


2) Refer good candidates to them

Recruiters/headhunters will like you if you help them make money. If you refer someone excellent to them who enables them to earn a fee, they will owe you a favour.


3) Use your immense power as a client to make life pleasant for them while you can

If you’re a line manager or are in the position to work with recruiters, be especially nice to those you work with in the hope that they’ll be nice to you if you need their services as a candidate. Ruparalia suggests writing them a LinkedIn recommendation without them requesting it. “You will be immediately on their radar and they’ll talk about your recommendation to their colleagues,” he points out.

Comments (7)

  1. and it doesnt hurt taking your friendly headhunter to lunch once in a while either..we do get hungry you know !

  2. Ho ho, good try…

  3. Helping parasites be parasites? In the hope that they will suspend their parasitic ways to aide you in your time of need?

  4. PRO – Clearly no one wants to headhunt you!

    isnotlikingpro Reply
  5. Most recruitment agents do not bother to even inform the results of forwarding your Cv. Most unprofessional bunch. Many of them do not read CVs or understand the job requirements. They are useless. Go direct if you can.

  6. @stillhere – ‘most’ and ‘many’…not all! The recruiter I have used for my last 2 positions has been great at understanding what I want in a new role and sending me forward for really interesting roles. She also keeps me up to date regularly with feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.
    I don’t understand why people tar all recruiters with the same brush – it’s the same in any profession – there are people who are better at the job than others. I keep in touch regularly with my agent even when I’m not actively looking for a role. Looking at the market now, I’m glad I do!

  7. This is the most pathetic and lame reply ever written by a recruiter in disguise (happy banker) on this website. You can see through it from a mile apart…

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