I just got off the phone with a recruiter about an opportunity.
I saw the role posted last month. I suspected it might be too junior for me, but the job description was well-written and interesting, the organization is well-known and well-respected, and the industry is one that holds great interest for me.
And when that happens, I ALWAYS apply. Because it's better to have a conversation and confirm the role isn't the right fit than assume and potentially miss out on something amazing.
This recruiter (who was an employee of the company, not someone retained to find people) was very friendly and very professional.
Do you know the first question I was asked?
"Before we start, do you have any questions for me about the role or the organization?"
Imagine that: a recruiter that starts off with what I may want to know, instead of diving in with their own agenda!
When I said I thought the job description was well-written and I didn't have any immediate questions, the recruiter went on to explain the organization (including the team structure) and the opportunity in a way that was clearly intended to get me excited about both. (It worked.)
Then, before we got into my background (which, after all, is clearly visible on my LinkedIn profile and on my resume), I was asked why I applied for the role and what I was looking to get from it in terms of opportunity... and compensation.
I answered the question candidly, which included providing a specific base salary number I'd need to proceed. Then I said, "Is that within the range you have budgeted for this role?"
It wasn't. The recruiter told me the range they had pencilled in for this new position and transparently said that even doing the very best they could do, they likely couldn't get to my number and still maintain internal equity.
That was fair. After all, I said I suspected the role might be too junior for me... and now I had confirmed that it was.
But you won't believe what happened next.
The recruiter said, "I thought this might happen, but I wouldn't be doing my job as a recruiter if your resume came across my desk and I didn't call you. But I'd really like to stay connected... we have a much more senior role that will be posted soon, and I think that one might be a much better fit for you in terms of your experience and seniority."
To recap: friendly, professional, "candidate-first", transparent, proactive, positive, relationship-oriented, planning-for-the-future.
Do you think I left that call with a better perception of the organization than when I started?
Remember: your brand is built on EVERYTHING you do.
Even recruiting. ESPECIALLY recruiting.
Job-seekers: these incredible recruiters do exist! So when you come across the "other" type, stay positive in your search, okay?
Recruiters: want to be 500% better than your peers? I just gave you the template.
P.S. Given the incredible response this post has earned on LinkedIn today, I feel it's important to underscore one other thing this recruiter did exceptionally well that might have been buried in the story. Even though this person thought I might be too senior for the role, they decided to have a chat with me anyway... which, in general, is a really smart thing to do. When an "overqualified" candidate applies for an open role at your company, there are only four reasons for you not to consider this person for the available position. I wrote about those four reasons here.