Get to know good, relevant recruiters before you need them

Picture the scene. You’re happy in your current role and life is gooood. You rock up just a tad early as usual, put your coffee down and then, uh oh, the dream crumbles. Your former toxic boss has taken up residence at the desk opposite. She breezily announces, ‘I followed you here!’ and her half sneer/half smile turns your heart to stone. Need a good recruiter urgently?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal warns against waiting until things sour at work before building relationships with good, relevant recruiters. Your work environment can change in an instant. The best way to prepare for unforeseen changes, including potential staff cutbacks, is to start building relationships with people who can help find your next job while you’re still satisfied with your current one.

Here are some tips from the article on how to go about cultivating such relationships:

Identify relevant hiring professionals

Don’t take a scattergun approach. Research recruiters (individuals and agencies) on LinkedIn to find out who’s looking for candidates for roles similar to your current or future dream one. Conduct a job search to identify them. Make contact and be honest about your motivation.

Factor in your future goals. If you want to make a side-way move to another industry, investigate companies operating in that area. Start ‘following’ companies that interest you and make contact with their hiring managers, even if it’s just to ask for ten minutes of their time to say hello.

A search for #hrcommunity groups on LinkedIn may also lead you to relevant recruiters to contact.

Be proactive in your approach, not transactional

When reaching out to a recruiter, use your interpersonal and communication skills. Successful relationships are built on trust so be honest about your intentions, even if you aren’t actively job hunting right now. Be professional but warm, and always be prepared to talk about your experience.

– Stay on the radar!

Once you’ve connected with a recruiter, ask how they’d like to keep in touch going forwards. Enquire about the best way to stay on their radar. Weekly emails can be annoying. Maybe a quick update call at the start of the month would suit better? Or a quarterly coffee date? Some recruiters will simply prefer for the ball to be left in their court, so they can contact you when something relevant comes up.

In conclusion, however happy you are in your current role, building relationships with recruiters now is really important to protect yourself against future unwelcome changes at work. Like all networking, you’ll need to be patient and take time to nurture those relationships. If that former toxic boss suddenly becomes your new manager, you want to be in a strong position to find a suitable alternative quickly.

ABL is the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment agency. We’re always on the look out for new candidates for our near, medium and long-term future vacancies. So, even if you’re not actively looking for your next career move right now, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us a little about your skills, experience and aspirations and, when there’s a match, we’ll be sure to let you know. Please get in touch!