The Value of Responding to a Recruiter

Has a recruiter reached out to you while you were gainfully employed? Initially, it might annoy you. Some candidates don’t want to be bothered when they aren’t actively looking for a new job. Keep in mind that recruiters regularly reach out to candidates who are working. The unemployment rate remains low at 4%, meaning the majority of eligible candidates for an open position are already employed.

Think of it this way: What is it hurting if you do respond to a recruiter interested in your skillset?

Here’s why you should always respond to a recruiter, employed or not:

  1. A better job opportunity could fall right onto your lap. Connecting job seekers to careers is a recruiter’s job, and they’re experienced in finding the perfect match for the company and the candidate. With that said, if the recruiter reached out to you directly when you haven’t applied, clearly they thought you could potentially be a great fit for the position. You may love your job, but it never hurts to hear about other opportunities that could be an even better fit for you. The position could offer better pay, or provide that work-life balance you’ve been wanting.
  2. Recruiters have knowledge of the current job market. If it has been awhile since you looked for a new job, feel free to ask the recruiter questions. You might find out that you aren’t making the salary you should be making.
  3. It’s confidential and free. If you’re worried about your current employer finding out that you are open to learning about other opportunities, recruiters keep everything confidential. Oh, and if you do end up being interested and accepting the position, it’s at no cost to you!
  4. You’ll be on their radar for other opportunities. If you aren’t interested in the particular opportunity they presented to you, the recruiter will learn what it is you are looking for, so they can reach out if that opportunity arises. Tell them your salary goals, benefit needs, flexibility wants, etc.
  5. Regardless, you’ll make a connection that could benefit you long-term. If you are truly not interested in leaving your current job, let them know that. Don’t burn a bridge by ignoring them completely. Think long-term! What if something happens to the job you thought you loved? You never know when the relationship could benefit you in the future. Feel free to refer a friend who could be a good fit as well.

Ignoring a recruiter could do you more damage than good. What do you have to lose? Be open to learning about what else is out there, and most importantly, take advantage of the current job market!