How do you deal with recruiters?
March 5, 2012 2:34 PM   Subscribe

A recruiter contacted me on Linkedin. I may be interested. What's the protocol here?

I'm 2 years deep in my first gig out of college and a recruiter just sent me a job opportunity on LinkedIn. Speak of the devil, I'm in the market looking for a new job these days.

In her message she gave the job description, said I could be a good fit, and said to contact her if I'm interested in "more details". I've never worked with a recruiter before, especially not a random one reaching out to me online.

So what is the process here?

- Do I just message her back and say "Hi, yes, I'm interested in more details"?

- Do I ask for salary info? How much of a cut does the recruiter take? I'm concerned because I'm...sort of overpaid given my experience levels, but I'd only switch if I could make equal or more pay.

- I assume I can't outright ask what the company is?

- ...But can I ask more about the work itself and company culture?

- Do I give her my contact info?

- What types of things should I look out for when working with a random recruiter on Linkedin so I don't get "burned"?

That said, it didn't seem scammy or sales-y so I'm sort of interested do you do this grown-up style?
posted by windbox to Work & Money (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I start with "James, I'm interested in hearing more about this. What's the salary range?" Then I put contact information below my name.

It's cool to ask a recruiter about money immediately because unlike the employer, they have an incentive to be upfront about it. They get paid the same or more if you make more, and they don't benefit from sending you on just to have you reject the offer because it doesn't pay what you want.

You could certainly also ask about culture when you reply in the same direct tone. Recruiters are busy and they expect you to be as well, so direct is perfectly fine.
posted by michaelh at 2:39 PM on March 5, 2012

- What types of things should I look out for when working with a random recruiter on Linkedin so I don't get "burned"?

Did the message from the recruiter read like someone actually sat down, read your profile and wrote a message just for you, or does it read like a form letter? Is the recruiter located in the same city the job has been posted in, or are they off in another state? Does the recruiter have a lot of connections with people from local software companies , or does the recruiter only have connections with other recruiters?

I've gotten a lot of LinkedIn-spam from less-than-fantastic recruiters, who obviously haven't read my resume, saying they've got a great job working VB.NET in Omaha, Nebraska or whatever, and to get in touch. They tend to be located outside the area the job has been posted in, and they tend to only be related to other recruiters. Those are the ones to give a wide berth.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:52 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would just get right to the point and schedule a call. You'll be able to find out a lot more and more directly, and you'll also be able to gauge any potential scamminess.

I work in an industry where recruiting is a huge part of everyone's job, and at one point I held a position that was solely focused on recruiting. Cold hitting on LinkedIn would be a rare (and kind of desperate) move. It might be different in your industry, though.
posted by charmcityblues at 3:04 PM on March 5, 2012

I got my current job (best job I ever had) on LinkedIn when a CEO contacted me directly. I get contacted by recruiters many times per week - I think LI can be a great place to find a job. Good luck!
posted by thatone at 3:12 PM on March 5, 2012

Response by poster: My industry is digital advertising/marketing/PR, which is chock full of plenty of people and companies who aren't legit, but this didn't seem like one of those "NO SALARY CAP! MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU WANT" types of sales gigs as the job description seemed real and matched some of my experience.
posted by windbox at 3:14 PM on March 5, 2012

You asked how much of a cut the recruiter takes. In my experience, the recruiter's deal is with the company. If the recruiter wants money from you in order to submit your resume, that's scammy. You're not buying a Wendy's franchise.
posted by Mad_Carew at 5:30 PM on March 5, 2012

I'm weary of recruiters. In the past I spent hours on the phone educating them, explaining my work history, and rarely did it amount to much. They continue to contact me many years later
via email with jobs which are only remotely related to what I do.

Do not give them your salary expectations, maneuver them into giving you the range. There are many discussions about this. I've posted a few below.

Get a phone call with the hiring manager asap. Be weary of anything less. Be very weary of a recruiter that wants to meet and chit-chat.
posted by uhom at 10:53 PM on March 5, 2012

See I can't speak to uhom's experience, but I can say that the people who won't give salary expectations and are weary of meeting a recruiter face to face tend not to get the best experience from recruiters.

Definitely give them your salary expectations. The recruiter doesn't want to waste your time or theirs if you are looking for a salary that's too high. Any recruiter worth their salt will tell you if your salary expectations match their range.

Don't be afraid to go in a meet the recruiter if they ask. You are how the company judges them, so not only can meeting with them to 'chit-chat' act as a first round screening interview, it also helps them articulate your background better. Plus, if you're actually looking, it can help them find other things you might be interested in as well.
posted by Carillon at 7:23 AM on March 6, 2012

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