The life of a recruiter - or what it’s like on the other side
We've all been there: a stranger asks you to connect on LinkedIn. When similar requests come in from other social media, like Facebook or Instagram, I stick to my golden rule: don’t share your private life with people you don’t know and don’t value personally.
LinkedIn, however, is a different story because it focuses specifically on professional use. Connections on this platform can easily become important for your current or future prospects. That’s why I often accept these unsolicited requests. You never know, right?
I’ve been a recruiter for some time now, so I know what it’s like on both sides of the fence and often send out requests myself. For recruiters, finding that perfect candidate for that great job often starts with a short message like, “Hello, I saw your profile on LinkedIn and would like to add you to my network.” For you, this might be just another message like that. For us recruiters, it’s often the result of a very thorough selection process. We’ll look at maybe 50 possible profiles before we find anyone who might be suitable to reach out to, for the one specific position we’re looking to fill.
It won’t surprise you, therefore, that I’m always genuinely happy when the red light at "network LinkedIn" flashes on to indicate that someone’s accepted my request. Once you make this first contact, you can explain things in more detail and gauge your connection’s interests and ambitions.
Often, you won’t receive an answer to a second message. Now, I myself hate being “stalked.” But if you, as a recruiter, don't get an answer to your question, it's hard to know what the lack of response can tell you. Does it mean your contact isn’t interested in the job? That the message hasn't been read yet? Or maybe the person in question is busy and forgot to reply?
In the absence of a response, I often try to make contact again, especially for the one candidate who looks so great on paper.
And when an answer does come, and it’s clear there’s interest in the job, there’s a thrill of excitement as I feel I might just be able to make a difference—a difference for the candidate looking for a new career path, and a difference for the client searching long and hard for suitable applicants but never able to find one.
The personal investment in professional matchmaking distinguishes the passionate recruiter from the rest. We don't accept just anybody; we don't introduce just anybody to any client: we must be able to add something extra for all parties. And if it turns out well, it gives you a real thrill and makes you realize what a wonderful job this is!
Things can of course turn out differently than expected. Hitches may appear here or there, whether it's experience, knowledge, or work-life balance. In these cases, we don’t keep candidates in unnecessary suspense. We explain that, unfortunately, despite their obvious competence, they didn’t quite make it this time around.
The candidate and client may fail to “click” or because another candidate had a trump card up their sleeve. Even in these cases, our sincerest sympathy goes out to the rejected candidate. We stay in contact with them over the long term and keep them on our radar for future vacancies.
But every time it goes well, - and it does most of the time - we enjoy it intensely. Every time your candidate is over the moon about the new career path you have worked on. Every time a company that gave you a selection assignment is telling you to be absolutely delighted with the selection process, and with the result. Then we know we have again managed to have a real positive impact. And that’s exactly why we do it!
So yes, please. Let's connect!