I got another email from a Baby Boomer who asked me for a list of good headhunters he could approach to find him a job. I had to shake my head because this is not how recruiting works. I spoke to Biron Clark, a former Recruiter and the Founder of CareerSidekick.com, a popular job search advice website. He worked for two agencies and recruited for small tech organizations, midsize, and Fortune 500 companies looking to hire new employees.
"Many job hunters make fatal mistakes when they approach recruiters on LinkedIn," Clark stated. "Job seekers, especially Baby Boomers, have no clear understanding of the real role a recruiter does." Biron shared his personal experience and insight. He said, "Before you ever send a recruiter one word, you need to realize how recruiters work and how they get paid. A recruiter is compensated by the hiring company to find appropriate people to fill the specific job openings. They are not paid to find jobs for people." That means a headhunter or recruiter is NOT going to shop your resume around and find a job for you.
"Recruiters get a job opening assignment. Then, the Recruiter looks for individuals with certain types of skills to fill that specific job," Clark continued. "Research the recruiter before you email them. Find the appropriate recruiters who do searches in your field," he recommended. "You will be more successful if you target five appropriate recruiters than if you randomly blast 50 recruiters that don't have any job openings for people in your industry or with your skills." For example, if you are in healthcare sales, seek out 4-5 healthcare sales recruiters, and research them. Look at their LinkedIn profile and google the company they work for. Recruiters do not want you to waste their time. "Be targeted now when we have so many people job hunting," he cautioned.
Clark has received hundreds of messages from job hunters on LinkedIn trying to get his attention. Most got ignored. He talked to colleagues, including fellow recruiters, coaches, and other experts. He found that they follow a similar pattern when deciding which messages to respond to. Here are his guidelines on what LinkedIn messages are effective and which ones won’t work.
Making Initial Contact
Any time you are messaging an HR person or recruiter for the first time, follow these rules, and you will get more responses.