Recruiting Your Recruiter Washington Post Article

It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then you are made aware of an article that you just know will become a new and critical tool in your search best practices toolbox (thank you, now forgotten LinkedIn contact who first made me aware of this gem).

That is exactly what I thought when I read The Washington Post article by freelance writer Vickie Elmer titled Do Your Own Recruiter Searching Long Before You’ll Be Job Searching.

In my mind it is an instant classic.  One you can use with every single candidate you recruit, or try to recruit, who says, “I’m not looking right now.”

When I hear that, I always wish I could say (scream);  “Did you not just hear what I said?  I don’t care if you are looking for a job right now or not.  Eventually, you’ll need a recruiter with a recruiting specialty in your profession who places at your level, and I AM THE ONE YOU NEED TO KNOW.  So let’s start getting to know one another now so I can help you then, when you need my skill set to advance your career.”

And the truth is, the higher up the food chain these candidates are, the more important it is for them to begin that relationship with a recruiter who has a proven track record in their profession, and at their level, ahead of time.

But they don’t hear what we say, though most of us say things similar to what this article says with every recruit call we make to candidates we are looking to make contact with or put in play.

That’s why, this article, sent as an email or Twitter follow up, might get them to listen, because it comes from another source, a trusted and respected source, one that says what we have been saying for years:

Don’t try to find your recruiter when you urgently need one, take the time to develop a relationship with one BEFORE you need them so they know who you are when you do need them to conduct a confidential career search for you.

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I have already sent this article to about two dozen candidates, and not just as a link, which you could do, but in that form it doesn’t extend your brand as much as it could.

We have reformatted it and created a PDF ( to share this article via email that is very similar to this one for our search peers, but it is for candidates with my Jefferson Group Search branding instead.  I do this so my name and my brand remain attached to this good advice, AND so if they share it with anyone else, it is clear who shared the advice originally, and thus increase the likelihood that I get called after it has been shared.  This is especially useful if it was shared with a similarly skilled peer in my niche.

It also helps when they forget who you are, but saved the article.  All your contact information remains right there with the saved article.

I hope you find this new article as helpful as I think it is going to become for my search practice, and my thanks to Vickie Elmer as well as the search professionals who contributed to the article, for creating this great new tool for my search toolbox.

Jeff Skrentny, CERS, had an inauspicious start in the search/recruiting profession as his first placement quit after 93 days. Then he was sued by his client. Despite that start, Jeff has been a thriving executive search entrepreneur for the last 23 years; and has also been a trainer, author and motivator for his profession for the last 15 years, as well as a business consultant and advisor for its producers, managers & owners for the last 10 years; all while still running his search business, Jefferson Group Search, in Chicago. You can read his blog for search entrepreneurs & professionals at