Traditionally, this is a time of year that creates an interesting challenge for recruiters. Clients often want to start searches and prospective candidates are hard to lock down. They are either waiting for their year-end bonus or too caught up with the holidays, which is understandable since many missed last year’s festivities.

Recruiters and hiring managers are reaching out. What should you do if someone calls you OR you hear of an opportunity that you are interested in learning about but the timing is off?

  • Take the call. You never know when you will be looking and it is good to have that relationship in place. Remember, what goes around comes around.

  • By all means, research the recruiter who is reaching out to you. If they are in your industry, return their call and let them know your timetable. Ask to be kept up to date if that ideal job comes in, but let them know the timing is not right. Things change quickly so always be open.

  • If the recruiter is not in your area of interest, drop them an email or leave them a VM, thanking them for considering you but that you are not interested in speaking as it isn’t a fit.

  • Many companies do not publish all of their upcoming open positions. Many want to hire on the ‘QT’ so as not to upset their current team. Those jobs are often given out to recruiters so not following up with them could hurt your chances of landing a great new gig!

  • If you see a job of interest, reach out and be honest about your timetable as hiring at this time of the year can drag out. But it is important to be on their radar.

Remember, recruiters are not there to hassle you, to harm you, or to stalk you. They are impressed with your skills, background, contacts and feel you are a high-quality person to know.

Take the time to build that relationship!