Should I Refer Others for a Position I Want?

How should you answer a recruiter’s message asking for candidates for a particular position when you are personally interested in it yourself?

This is a terrific question, and I’m so glad you asked it!

In order to answer this question, I need to give a little lesson on high-end recruiting.

When we are conducting a search, there are two types of approaches we use.

1) Direct Approach: The most commonly used recruiting method, where we create a list of all potential candidates who appear to meet all of the mandatory requirements we are looking for, and then set about calling and emailing them. We are very straightforward in this approach, and after introducing ourselves, we briefly outline the opportunity, and ask if they are interested in pursuing such a role. If they answer in the affirmative, we then segue the call into screening them against the requirements, and proceed accordingly.

2) Indirect Approach. This technique is typically employed for high-level searches. We strategically target all potential candidates who may be a match, and depending on how large of a potential candidate pool that we have identified, occasionally will expand the list to include one level higher. The goal is to cast a wide net, offering a general profile of the opportunity, and asking for referrals.

We always stress when asking for referrals that we are not asking for names of candidates who are shouting from the rooftops that they are unhappy in their current role, but are simply looking for names of qualified candidates. We then call and either do a Direct or Indirect Recruiting call, and the cycle continues.

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