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Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

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Re: Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

Postby Nate W. » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:23 pm

Dave Jensen wrote:Can't you see that this is just how it works? Also, company employees in HR are taught NOT to "direct recruit." He may have INDEED been "fishing" to find out if you were interested. I think I suggested this before -- why not just say, "What about me?" in a call or email.

Dave


I am sorry I don't speak HR code. So, you might have to translate. Why not direct recruit? It seems like a good idea to encourage qualified candidates to apply. If he was fishing, he has an odd way of communicating it; expecting a favor with nothing in return. This is a one way request.

If he wanted just a PhD, why contact me? My profile clearly states MS and this organization has many experts on its board.

Yes, I could do an experiment in recruiter behavior. I could feel him out and see what his reaction would be. But I have been down this path before, the recruiter got angry when I asked him for a return favor.

Was this previous reaction justifiable if he made no offer of reciprocity?

My bet is thus guy will react the same way.
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Re: Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:43 pm

Nate, most recruiter calls are the same way . . . "Who do you know" calls are what we refer to them as in "Recruiting 101" for new headhunters.

People are taught not to ask directly about the candidate's own personal fit, until they have been "sourced" (insider jargon) and then, only then, do recruiters come around to the "What about you?" question. And most of the time, they don't bother because that's almost universal code speak and is a complete given that it's a recruiting call. Most of the time, we don't have to speak those words. If a person is interested, they let you know.

Dave
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Re: Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

Postby Dave Walker » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:24 pm

Nate W. wrote:There is a difference between you asking me for the same favor and a complete stranger asking me for unsolicited referrals.


I know we are discussing the more philosophical points of this exchange, but isn't this how a complete stranger gets turned into a contact? Isn't this literally the definition of networking? I appreciate that it takes time, and that there is zero guarantee that helping someone will reward you in a reasonable timeframe...but nobody bats a 1.000 in networking, right?

Nate W. wrote:If he wanted just a PhD, why contact me? My profile clearly states MS and this organization has many experts on its board.


Again I appreciate your ethical breakdown of this conversation, but do you think it's unfair to just get him on the phone and ask him? You'll get an answer either way.

Nate W. wrote:But I have been down this path before, the recruiter got angry when I asked him for a return favor.


This I have a problem with. Networking is not a zero-sum game. How many people have you helped that never paid you back? Even think about this very forum -- I know the majority of the souls who have taken our good advice did nothing for us in return. Should we seek them out and demand reciprocity?

I don't mean to say never ask for favors -- if you helped someone, you can ask them for help when you need it. Heck, when you're in a bind you should ask favors of anyone you can! (As long as they're not burdensome favors.) If someone "gets angry" over your asking, then that's their loss.

I don't know what your exchange was like -- I will assume you didn't badger this person with a favor or demand it. If they snubbed you that's a shame. But not an example to follow.

If you helped out ten recruiters, and you really hit it off with one and landed you your dream job, would you hold it against the other nine? Have you ever taken advice from someone and not returned the favor? I know I have. I lurked on this forum for years!
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Re: Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

Postby Nate W. » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:55 pm

Dave Walker wrote:I don't mean to say never ask for favors -- if you helped someone, you can ask them for help when you need it. Heck, when you're in a bind you should ask favors of anyone you can! (As long as they're not burdensome favors.) If someone "gets angry" over your asking, then that's their loss.

I don't know what your exchange was like -- I will assume you didn't badger this person with a favor or demand it. If they snubbed you that's a shame. But not an example to follow.

If you helped out ten recruiters, and you really hit it off with one and landed you your dream job, would you hold it against the other nine? Have you ever taken advice from someone and not returned the favor? I know I have. I lurked on this forum for years!



DaveW,

You make some excellent points. The problem for me is the presumption by the recruiter. There is no offer of reciprocity in his email. If I knew this recruiter and developed some trust with him, this wouldn't be an issue.

A good analogy to this situation would be paying for a tip at an expense restaurant. Your family and you have just spent $1000 at a five star steak house. The service was good but not great; so the standard 15-20%. You inadvertently give the waiter more that enough to cover the bill plus a 50% tip. When the waiter comes back with the change you are expecting, the waiter presumptuously states, "Do you want any change?"

In my opinion, this is similar to the recruiter's request (but by email; horrible idea!). I have actually had this happen to me in a restaurant. With an email, you can't take back the implied presumption nor establish rapport. This is why a phone call would have been much better.

I did sent this recruiter a nice email today. I offered to help in anyway possible. Also, I asked him about my potential candidacy and why the position was open. I urged him to call me anytime. We will see if he responds.
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Re: Recruiter asking for a referral: What are they really saying?

Postby Nate W. » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:28 pm

Thanks for the advice. I just wanted to follow-up. As suspected, the recruiter never call me back even after I left a voice message. Given my experiences with recruiters (internal and external), I feel they are only in business of excluding qualified candidates so they can justify their existence. Yet, almost all recruiters don't have the needed scientific expertise to effectively evaluate candidate qualifications and the relevance of those qualifications to the hiring manger's needs.

So why should one deal with the middlemen?

Thus, this is why I think candidates should go around the recruiters and network directly with the managers at target companies. Despite my best efforts to use recruiters properly and go through the formal channels, I think candidates should do exactly the opposite. Frankly, I don't see what value recruiters add to the recruiting process.

I have never gotten a job by responding to ads and going through the HR screening process. Why should it be any different now? Like they say, if you want something done right do it yourself; network with managers assertively and tap into their needs plus those hidden jobs not advertised.

Please note, there are good recruiters out there. However, it is hard for candidates to tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones. Retainer recruiters are better than contingency. Going forward, I'll only talk with recruiters if a manager or colleague refers me to a recruiter (i.e. they make the introduction for me).

Otherwise, my time best spent with managers, not recruiters.

Here are some good articles/blogs on the topic:

http://career.sa.ucsb.edu/articles/play ... rs-get-job

http://insights.dice.com/2011/07/25/the ... ecruiters/
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