Lindsay Olson

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First Things First

I'm surprised how many times I'm asked, "How did you get my name?" or "Out of curiosity...?". Once given an answer the person doesn't want to hear, I can hear the frustration boiling on the other end of the line. Sometimes, it all comes to an end before I can even get a word in.

Is it that surprising a recruiting specialist with an industry expertise may have come across some  professional information? It's my job to know who you are!

Unfortunately, as a result of a bad experience with a recruiter, or just simply not understanding a recruiter's role, this person automatically takes the defensive stance and the questioning begins.

Why does a recruiter call?

A recommendation - usually confidential. If I were to track the roots of a single placement, I could probably track it at least 3 layers deep in referrals. The people who are referring others will many times ask for their name to be kept confidential. It could raise questions in the company or word could spread about the conversation with the headhunter. It's not that the recruiter is lying about where a name came from. It's simply respecting the confidentiality of the source.

Profiled background. If someone wasn't referred, a recruiter or a research assistant probably profiled the background through his magic search powers and recognized an experience that indicates a close match for a current or future position.

In both cases, I usually won't know if the person is actively looking upon first contact, and frankly, I don't really care either way. Most people will consider an opportunity if it's intriguing enough and the circumstances are right (intriguing doesn't necessarily mean $$) and the only way to figure that out is to present an opportunity and open a dialogue.

At the end of the day, does it really matter where a recruiter found your contact details if that conversation could land you an opportunity you would have never expected in a million years?

Photo by: Janneke Hikspoors

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