3 Reasons to Talk to a Recruiter Even When You Love Your Job

Apr 11, 2024

When a recruiter reaches out to a candidate who is happily employed, it’s common to hear responses like, “I don’t need to talk — I’m not looking for a career change right now.” It makes sense: a lot of people think recruiters are all about making a sale, no matter what. They might worry that a recruiter will push them into a career change they’re not interested in, or try to convince them that their current company isn’t a good fit.

No great recruiter is going to do any of those things. If a recruiter contacts a person who says they’re happy in their current role, a great recruiter’s response is going to be, “I’m glad to hear it!” Because the truth is, recruiting is not all about making a sale — it’s all about building relationships.

Here are three ways having a relationship with a recruiter can benefit employees at every stage of their careers, including when they’re happily employed and have no intention of making a change:

Recruiters know the local market.

In the same way that a financial planner helps clients maximize their return on investment for money, assets, and retirement plans, recruiters help employees get the most value out of their time, career, and salary. Recruiters can provide market data on salary ranges, benefit packages, growth opportunities, and more. This kind of information can help candidates prepare for annual evaluations, ask for raises, or better understand their short- and long-term options in their particular market. And in most cases, these conversations won’t cost candidates anything. So recruiters can be a great resource for career planning information.

Recruiters are great networking partners.

Networking is one of the most important things a candidate can do to develop their career in the direction of their long-term goals, and it’s a skill set that many people find challenging. That’s another place a recruiter can be of service: they’ll know all the key players in your local market and can connect you with individuals and events that can support your professional development. By building your network, you make yourself more marketable in general and also bring more value to the job you currently hold. Any company can benefit from a wider pool of contacts in the market, and by connecting with a recruiter, you can be the top market liaison for your team. It’s a win-win! In addition, while you might not be interested in a career opportunity, you might know someone who is, and you can always refer friends and colleagues and help support their career growth and development.

Recruiters will be there when life happens.

Let’s face it: not every career change is planned in advance. Layoffs, changes in life circumstances, relocations, changes in company leadership, and many other personal and professional challenges can arise that might affect your job security or contentment. When and if you need to consider making a change, having a relationship with a recruiter can save you a lot of time and stress. They’ll know who you are, what your needs and goals are, and what kind of environment you’d thrive in — and they’ll have the resources to connect you with opportunities that are a great fit for you and your family. And until you’re ready and motivated to make a move, a great recruiter will never push you to do so. A recruiter’s job is to serve you, and to develop a strong long-term relationship, not to force a square peg into a round hole.

Most importantly: there’s truly no downside to speaking with a recruiter. Having a conversation with a great recruiter, asking questions, sharing details about your short- and long-term career goals, and learning about market opportunities can only benefit you, and there’s no commitment involved or expected. So take the call — you never know what you might gain from a simple conversation.

About the Author

Bill Wolfe

Bill began working at Kimmel & Associates in 2007, and he concentrates his service on heavy equipment and heavy civil clients and professionals. He also serves on Kimmel & Associates’ Board of Advisors.

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