Can You Help Me? I’m in Transition…

Feb 4, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Have you gotten that call lately? Someone you know, respect, admire, used to work with, contacts you to let you know they are in transition and was hoping they could submit their resume to you. Of course, we are used to getting those calls. As recruiters, it’s common, everyday business to receive unsolicited resumes. In the past, we were much more able to help, and at times, some resumes that came our way were absolutely great matches to some of our searches.

But things are different now. The openings are few and the calls from candidates are multiplying. We are now hearing from our own friends, co-workers, relatives, neighbors, people we really care about. How can we help when there aren’t any openings? It’s a new game out there, but we still can make a difference, if we take a bit of time. Even though we cannot directly hire these people there are still many things we can do to help tip the scales in their favor with their search.

  • First off, try to respond to each person you hear from, if not by phone, at least send an email. Being ignored is the worst part of being in transition.
  • Ask the candidate if it would be all right if you sent their resume out to your contacts. Most people are happy you can do this, but it’s best to get permission first. Send out a bcc email to those you know and introduce the candidate to them. I believe most hiring that will happen now will be ‘quiet hiring’ — not necessarily openings blasted over the job boards, but careful, and quiet gathering of candidates for a search. Helping those you know can get their resume into the hands of those hiring, even if they aren’t going public with their search.
  • Send resumes to hiring managers in and out of your company if it makes sense. Most managers know long before HR does if they will have a need, and they may welcome the resumes from you.
  • When giving leads to a candidate, suggest they use your name in their cover letter. If they are networking with someone who knows you well, their letter and resume has a better chance of being read, with your name as the introduction.
  • Write a recommendation for the candidate on their LinkedIn page, and if they aren’t yet on LinkedIn, send an invite. Adding a recommendation as a co-worker, a co-member of a group, or as a client/ vendor will help the person to complete their profile, and can add valuable information. Be generous with your comments.
  • Invite the candidate in transition to group meetings that you are part of. Most often they can come as a guest, and you can introduce them to others. This will also work with virtual groups, blogs, and online networking.
  • Give the candidate a list of your favorite agencies you have worked with in the past, or forward their resume to the agencies that know you. They will appreciate the recommendations, both ways. Remember too, when agencies call to get your business, tell them about the people you know in transition and see if they will accept a referral.
  • Put the candidates in transition in touch with each other. Many informal groups are created this way, and sharing leads and information is very helpful to the candidates. They don’t have to be searching in the same field either to be a help to each other.
  • Forward articles and blogs; sharing information is a great way to help. Some people who have left their company and thus have left behind their company email address lose the link to information we get everyday. Forward it over so they can start getting connected again.

There are so many things we can do to help, even if we can’t directly hire those who come to us. This list of ideas cost nothing but a bit of time, and can make a world of difference. All the help we give others will come back to us someday, so build the bridges, make the connections, and help if you can. Today’s candidate could just be tomorrow’s hiring manager. It will always be appreciated and never forgotten.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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