Why You Should Listen When A Recruiter Calls By Chinedu Duru



Picture this scene -you are sitting at your desk or maybe even in a meeting and your mobile phone rings. You see a strange number and out of curiosity you decide to pick the call. The caller introduces him/herself as a Recruiter from XYZ Company. Your first thought is," How the heck did they get my number?!” Irritated, you are about to ask him/her how he got your mobile number and ask them never to call you again.

But hey, not so fast! That is a Recruiter calling. The one person who can change your life and career in one fell swoop!

Wiki describes a Recruiter or Head hunter (it always sounds like some ritualist when put that way) as someone engaging in recruitment or the solicitation of individuals to fill jobs or positions within an organization. They may work in an HR department or on an outsourced, third party basis.

Okay, you will argue that I am making a case for Recruiters-which is what I am (no shame there!). But it is a decent case to make! Your Recruiter can change your life, and that is the truth of the matter. In fact, I wish I could change my life/ career as well and as often as I change it for others!

Here are a few reasons why you should pick up that call, move out of earshot and listen attentively when your ‘friendly neighborhood’ Recruiter calls.

Recruiters make it their business to know the plum jobs in the market. They typically achieve this through personal contacts in corporate organizations, networking with other Recruiters, and unfortunately, having to pound the streets in back-breaking business development. The executives in these corporate many times have positions they want to fill discreetly, wishing to avoid publicity and possible internal upheavals that advertising a position online or in newspapers can cause. He informs his 'favorite' Recruiter who then calls you, if he believes you are qualified.

Secondly, you and your Recruiter have slightly different objectives that work very well together. You want a plum job, a career move that will take you from your N10 million per annum to N22 million per annum, perhaps more. Your Recruiter wants to provide his client with the best candidates possible for the role. Do you see the congruence of purpose here? Well, especially if you are one of those qualified? It's a win-win situation for all three parties involved- Recruiter, Client and Candidate if you will take that call.

Thirdly, once you take that call from a recruiter (and you treated him or her nicely) there is a tendency for a relationship to initiate on the spot. The Recruiter then quietly slips into the role of your adviser, compensation expert, labor rights advocate, lawyer....even P.A. sometimes- considering how many times you have to remind some candidates to attend interviews and other forms of assessment they agreed to in the first place! Some Recruiters have been known to act as marriage counselors! (Just kidding!). The important thing is that a relationship develops and I have had cases where I have guided the careers of my candidates (now friends) way beyond the scope of work for many, many years. This of course includes, where off-limits rules do not apply, informing the candidate-friends about new opportunities as they arise.

Another important reason you must pick that call from your Recruiter is that your interaction with him will help you establish your worth in the market place. I have seen managers who were shocked at what they could potentially earn in their fields but had buried their heads in the corporate sands of one firm, like the proverbial ostrich!! The Recruiter tells you what you are actually worth as it is his job to know what salary ranges are across sectors in the economy.

There is also the educational role the Recruiter plays in the lives of the candidates. A candidate who has not been interviewed in say, 5 years, usually is tentative and 'un-confident' when he or she has to confront the job market. Part of the role the modern Recruiter now plays is to prepare candidates to face the whole job process. Many firms (ours inclusive) now offer outplacement services which revolve around helping candidates who are leaving job roles to resettle in new jobs- career transition and new career development in a nutshell. Aspects of outplacement include CV development, change management, psychometrics, interviewing and negotiation skills, etc.

So, is your phone ringing? Check it! It could be your Recruiter that has come calling. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by accepting that call.


Chinedu Duru is a Managing Consultant at Hamilton Lloyd and Associates