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Do you answer recruiters?

The job market being as hot as it is right now, I'm sure a lot of us are getting bombarded with messages from headhunters.


I assume if you're unhappy at your job, then you respond to them to check out opportunities, but this is a question for all y'all who are happy where you are - do you still respond to headhunters or are they a nuisance? I've heard both sides on this and I'm curious about the broader sales community's take.

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45
Rallier
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
Depends on how much effort they put into their message to me 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
And how pissed off I am at my job.
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Unless it's so obviously span sequencing I will always give the recruiter at the least a response. Can appreciate they're doing our jobs just selling opportunities rather than products/services
SaaSsy
Politicker
+2
Sales Executive
Absolutely agree, I also tell them I’m not actively looking but happy to talk because sometimes they have other job orders come in shortly after that fit something I’d be willing to leave for.
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
Agree.  Or, in some cases, you know a guy...
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
I always answer as you never know what might happen in the future. 

I also might know someone who I can refer for a bit of £££
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
Oh I hadn't considered a referral fee. What are they giving for referrals typically?
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
It varies wildly, mate. 

anywhere from £200 for a placement to £1,000 after probation for leadership referrals. 

I’ll also been given vouchers/gift cards for just the referral into the process 
Incognito
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
Yes and no. If it’s obviously an automated email and/or I already have a contact in their company, I’ll get grumpy. 

If it’s someone specifically targeting me, absolutely. I never mind hearing about opportunities. I can always say no and/or point them in a better direction 
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Always, never burn a bridge.  
Bueller
Politicker
+2
Account Executive
I will yeah- at the end of the day they're selling stuff too. I will at least give them a not interested at this time message.
Accidental_Sales_Guy
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
I respond to find good companies to keep tabs on
BigCheese
Arsonist
+8
Agency Recruiter
There are more shitty recruiters than good ones, but some of them are good connections to have even if you're not looking - I'd recommend replying unless their message shows they're not a good recruiter. You never know when something better is available when you're not actively looking, and having a solid recruiter in your back pocket can be a valuable asset to have. Also, a fair amount will offer lucrative referral bonuses to you if you have connections that would fit their roles.
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
Have you ever considered franchises as a next step?  
BigCheese
Arsonist
+8
Agency Recruiter
Honestly, no I never have. Not that I'm opposed to it, just never thought about it. The industry my current company recruits for is extremely lucrative and consistent so I'm looking to ride this out, especially as it's still a startup and I'm groundfloor. Franchise recruitment also appears to be a lot more volatile and inconsistent. 
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CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
If they reach out to me on LinkedIn I respond with a quick thanks for reaching out and if I'm interested or not. 
GDO
Politicker
+6
BDM
I just answer no when not interested. 
KB24
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
If it's a good message & doesn't use a bunch of hyperbolic language, I'll always say I'm happy but want to stay connected & ask them to send info to me so I can read over and respond with interest or a referral from my network to reach out to.

But if the recruiter continues to push for a call after I've said that, I'll start to get pissed. 


Justatitle
Politicker
+7
Senior AE
Recruiters are as much in sales as we are so if anyone gets it we should. Even if happy it’s a decency thing to respond and say not interested. 
Nairobi
Politicker
+7
BDR
Now that I’m in sales, I always do even when I’m not interested, I just say no thanks
Brbman01
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
1. They're working just like us to hit the phones. I let them qualify out fast if it's very clearly a bad fit.
2. I think it's important to keep interview skills sharp so if it's even remotely interesting I take the call. Worst case scenario I spend 20 practicing to get the next job I want
RampagingDog
Politicker
+5
Recruitment Consultant
As a sales person in tech recruitment (obvious bias) I think you should always respond to recruiters.  Why? Because the individual contacting you (if working for an independent firm) has an opportunity available and has vetted, what seems to be, the top talent.  Maybe you're happy where you are, sure....but you could always be happier, make more money, get better benefits elsewhere.  Also, a recruiter will be inclined to fight for you, as they only get paid if you get hired.  Having that "inside man" can often help you negotiate better terms.  Which benefits them as well, at least at my company, where we make a percentage based off of the candidates first year salary.  In other words; the more you make, the more I will make, so I'm always inclined to get you the best deal possible.  
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
The counterargument I've heard is similar to why people don't answer extremely generic sales emails - recruiters often blanket spam anyone who even remotely looks like they could fulfill an open req, and waste your time. 

I had a recruiter try to chat me up about an SDR position - I don't blame her for trying, but what about my SDR->AE->AE progression led her to believe I'd have any interest in being an SDR again?
RampagingDog
Politicker
+5
Recruitment Consultant
That's fair.  I should have made the stipulation - "a GOOD recruiter has vetted what seems to be the top talent for the position".  There are some lazy individuals out there, as in any field, that won't do their due diligence.


Also, I've found myself in a similar predicament simply because the individual I'd contacted had not updated their linkedin.  They were not pleased...even though their information was not updated.  
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
As you might imagine, I respond to recruiters if it makes sense.  But, like a cigar shop owner, I talk to many but have my inside team.  Recruiters are not equal and need to be vetted just like any other service provider.
Kinonez
Arsonist
+8
Team Lead
I also answer even when I'm really happy where I am. It's good to leave the doors open!
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Never burn any bridges in the corporate world. I engage with recruiters. Sometimes to understand my market value and sometimes to get info on which companies are hiring etc. 
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
I'm hearing this a lot, but - respectfully - it is absolutely not burning bridges to not answer a spammy, generic email/LI message... 
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
True. But us sales folk have high standards when it comes to receiving outbound communication. I cut the HR folks some slack because we all can't be good at cold outreaches. 
The_raging_racoon
Opinionated
+1
BDR
If it is an interesting position for me I reply, even though I am happy in my current role. You never know when a connection to a recruiter can be of interest.
SalesOctopus
Opinionated
+2
Enterprise Business Development Representative
Recruiters reach out to me every day, so I don't usually answer every single one (especially for irrelevant opportunities or if its clearly a copy/paste job).

I reply when:
- there is effort and personalization in their message
- they presented a solid opportunity that would be worth exploring if I wasn't happy in my current position
Indakitchenwhippin
Opinionated
+1
MDR
Yeah I always try to respond, you never know when it might help in the future. However I have called out recruiters before, whether they are clearly sequencing me, or if they send me an entry level job, despite the very clear experience on my LinkedIn.
TheLaughingWolf
WR Officer
+7
Account Development Representative
I've only ever had 1 recruiter reach out to me. And he used the wrong name. lol 

I won't feel like I make it till I start to get messages from recruiters that actually spell my name right. 
Haast
Notorious Answer
+9
Account Executive
My typical response is to ask what company they are reaching out for before agreeing/committing to time to speak with them. They can be cagey about it up front but you never know if they represent a gem.
ChiefGreef45
Catalyst
+5
Account Executive
I recently just accepted an offer that initially started from a recruiter reaching out to me.  I think it depends on the messaging I read.  If they've done their homework, then I'm always willing to have a conversation.
Th
The_Envisioneer
Sr. Director, Sales Development
Always! 

A few reasons, 


* they saw value in we and I am curious why
* see what the details are of the opportunity
* Practice my interviewing skills if its remotely interesting
* if its not a good fit, I usually know someone that may be and I make the referral
* network with recruiters, duh
dryspongebob
Opinionated
+2
Business Development Manager
Always, and it it’s a decent opportunity I’ll offer recommendations. Networking™️
countingmyinterest
Politicker
+2
Account Executive
Yep - I always do. Helps to always answer them as we face similar struggles and I hate to not respond to people. 

If it's something I'm interested in, then it'll usually warrant a response. 
Su
Sunbunny31
Good Citizen
Sales Executive
If it's a recruiter who researched my profile and are offering something interesting, even if it's a funny quote, I'll respond.  It's usually to thank them for the interest and explain I'm not currently looking. 

If it's someone who pastes that they've seen my profile (100% sales, with the past decade+ enterprise field) and that they're very impressed, and they are looking for a WCM engineer, I don't even bother.   
MaSaaSter
Opinionated
+4
US BD Lead
I always try to answer them and develop some sort of rapport if they are aligned with my interests/career. I am happy with my current role, but it can be helpful to have those relationships in place if anything ever changes, or if something new comes up thats ideal. 
Bl
Bloodhound
Good Citizen
Recruiting Manager
Recruiters who use LinkedIn Recruiter get measured on their response rate. If the response rate falls below something like 15% (I forget the actual number) we get a 2 week ban where we are unable to send mass emails InMails. A Yes OR a No counts as a response. If the recruiter is clearly putting some thought and effort into the message, throw them a bone and at least hit the "No" if you're not interested so they can have ammo to move on to the next message.  
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