I realize that there are recruiters out there who waste people’s time. Nevertheless, when I contact someone I don’t know and they say: “Sounds good, send me the information”. I don’t do that. I’m not going to send information on a job with all the specifics (and I do work hard to have the specifics) when I don’t know the candidate. We live in a connected world and it’s far too easy to do an end-run around a recruiter and either apply online (bad idea 99.99% of the time) or talk to someone you know that works there who will pass along the resume. Instead, I say, “I have the details and will give them to you but I need two minutes of your time.” And I’ll literally take two minutes of their time.

Rarely does the conversation just run two minutes, but I do stop and take a pulse check to make sure we’re tracking and if not the candidate is back on track with the rest of their day. If it’s interesting to them, then they get the details. They can still do an end-run around me, of course, but hopefully we’ve got something established, like trust and they know and believe I can help them get this position should they decide they’re in. That’s called partnership. And it works.

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