A Recruiter Messaged You on LinkedIn - Now What?

If you have a LinkedIn account, chances are that a recruiter has messaged you about a job opening. In this era of spam emails, pop up ads, and unwanted solicitations, you may wonder if the message is worth reading or responding to at all. By understanding how the recruiter discovered your profile and what they are hoping to accomplish through their message, you will be prepared to know the best way to proceed if you are interested (or uninterested) in the job opportunity.

How the Recruiter Found You

When you receive a LinkedIn message regarding an open position, you may wonder how this person found you. Many people don’t know that recruiters have a special version of LinkedIn that they use to find candidates for positions they are looking to fill. Recruiters will search specific keywords, job titles, and locations to find candidates that fit the necessary criteria for their open position. To ensure you are appearing on recruiter’s searches, be sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and has keywords that are relevant to your field.

Why the Recruiter Contacted You

The person contacting you is either an in-house recruiter who works for the company, or a recruiter from a search firm that has been contracted by the company to find candidates on their behalf. The recruiter’s goal is to find great candidates, screen them, and send a qualified selection to the hiring manager or client.

The initial message is a way to present their open position as an attractive opportunity and solicit your interest. From there, the recruiter is hoping to have a phone conversation with you to see if your career goals are in line with the position, and that you are a good fit in terms of personality, skills and other qualifications. The recruiter’s ultimate objective is for the client to hire you, or another one of the candidates they have submitted.

How to Respond if You are Interested in the Job

If you are interested in the job, respond as soon as possible. That way, the recruiter can give you more information about the position and get the process started with a phone screening. If the recruiter thinks that you are a strong candidate and you decide to move forward in the hiring process, the recruiter will submit your resume and information to the employer.

How to Respond if You are Not Interested in the Job

If you are not interested in the job, it is still recommended that you respond back with a polite message. A simple note along the lines of “Thank you for reaching out, but I am not interested in changing jobs at this time. Let’s connect and keep in touch” is straightforward, but also leaves the door open for future correspondence. You may also provide your current resume for the recruiter to keep in their database for future positions that may be worth considering. It would also be appropriate to add the recruiter as a LinkedIn connection and provide your contact information.

Replying to a recruiter goes a long way. Whether you want to hear about that particular job or not, it’s always good to build connections with recruiters because you never know when they may be hiring for a position that you could want down the line.

If you are not sure whether you are interested in the job, it’s worth asking some questions to find out more information. Schedule a phone call with the recruiter so you can learn more about the position. There may be aspects of the job that were not mentioned in the initial message that would appeal to you. Once all your initial questions are answered, you can decide if you would like to be considered as a candidate.

Though it may seem out of the blue, you never know when a recruiter may contact you with an amazing employment opportunity. It is in your benefit to develop relationships with recruiters in your industry. If you keep an open mind, your next LinkedIn InMail message may lead to a great new career.

This article has been updated from an original Bristol Associates post from 2016.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital & healthcare, hotels & resorts, travel, tourism & attractions, facilities & concessions, nonprofit, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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ban-the-box

Ban the Box, also known as The Fair Chance Act, is a law that prohibits employers from inquiring about a candidate’s past criminal record on a job application. The name “Ban the Box” stems from a common checkbox question that asks applicants if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. Including the question on job applications has caused the 70 million American adults with previous criminal records to have a harder time getting past the application stage of the hiring process.

The legislation is designed to prevent employers from automatically disqualifying candidates based on their criminal history. By removing the box, ex-offenders have the opportunity to showcase their skills and qualifications without their past records hindering them in the initial stages of the hiring process. Through this legislation, employers are encouraged to heavily consider the severity level and how long it’s been since the offense(s) occurred before ruling out a candidate. 

As of July 2019, 35 states and over 150 cities and counties have adopted a ban-the-box or a fair-chance policy, either for federal agencies or the private sector, or both. According to NELP, “over 258 million people in the United States—over three-fourths of the U.S. population—live in a jurisdiction with some form of ban-the-box or fair-chance policy.” And the amount of localities that are adopting these types of policies, or even policies that are more strict, are growing exponentially.

Below are some resources that provide additional information regarding Ban the Box: 

Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Ban the Box Laws by State and Municipality 

National Employment Law Project
Ban the Box: U.S. Cities, Counties, and States Adopt Fair Hiring Policies

Employment Screening Resources
Legislation Compliance: Ban the Box

GovTrack.us
H.R. 1076: Fair Chance Act

What are your thoughts regarding this legislation? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.

Phone Screening Image - Business person holding up a phone and about to answer a call from another executive

Ever been contacted by a recruiter to schedule a 15-minute phone call? It’s a good sign to be selected for a phone screening. With the hundreds of applicants that they receive daily, recruiters will utilize their limited time and prioritize candidates who have the best chance to be considered for a particular job.

The phone screening is the first opportunity for the candidate to express who they are and why they are the best fit for the position. The recruiter will be highlighting the candidate to the employer based on the call, so it’s important for them to show the recruiter exactly what makes them stand out from the rest.  And if the candidate is unable to successfully explain to the recruiter why they would be a good fit for the role, then they may not submit their resume to their client, the hiring company. Remember, executive search firms are paid by their clients to attract talent and fill key roles.

We asked President and Executive Recruiter Ben Farber his perspective on how to have a successful phone screening experience.

How do you normally approach your phone calls with candidates?

The main purpose for the call is to learn the candidate’s character and personality more so than experience. I usually have a sense of a candidate’s experience based on their resume, but I want to know what makes the person tick. How do they lead a team? Do they understand the importance of having fun and get along with their team in a social setting (in a professional manner of course)? If someone fits the job description, but not the company culture, it will be challenging for employees to work with that person day in and day out. This in turn leads to turnover. We strive for tenure, always.

While some recruiters may go by the book when it comes to phone screening, my calls are typically spontaneous and free flowing. Once a candidate opens up and answers a question, I answer follow-up questions based on their answer. Doing so helps to get to know who the candidate is while keeping them on their toes.

In your opinion, how have candidates knocked the phone screening out of the park?

A candidate who is able to make a strong impact in showcasing their personality and skillsets within the 15-minute phone call is ideal. I look for someone who is personable, passionate, and self-aware during the call. The ideal candidate will also be able to answer a question fully without overtalking. I am impressed by a candidate who can be serious when talking about numbers and how they can add value to the company without being arrogant. And the really sharp executives also know how to throw in a touch of tasteful humor. These candidates get us excited to present them to our clients, which makes for an even smoother recruitment and interview process.

What are some reasons you do not consider candidates after a phone screening?

As mentioned before, it’s all about energy and interest. I would be less inclined to present a candidate to a client who has a lack of enthusiasm for the opportunity and has not done any homework before our call about the company or position. While some candidates give me short, incomplete answers to my questions, others can stray away from the conversation all together and talk about topics I didn’t ask. A candidate who is not giving their full attention during the call can also be concerning. On some occasions, I have even heard candidates taking care of chores such as dishwashing or cooking mid phone interview! We all lead busy lives, I get it. However, undivided attention shows respect and focus. If a candidate can’t sit still for 15 minutes during a call with a recruiter, how are they going to function on the job?

Any last piece of advice for candidates who are starting the initial stages of the hiring process?

Treat everyone as if they were the CEO and follow the basics for a phone screening. Speaking respectfully to anyone affiliated with the company is an opportunity to differentiate oneself throughout the process. Be on time, research the company, and try to carve out 15 minutes of peace for the call. If there is a need to reschedule or there is no longer an interest in the opportunity, let the recruiter know in advance. It’s better to follow up and stay transparent with the recruiter in order to build a good rapport for any future opportunities.

The way a candidate acts during the phone screening sets the tone for the rest of the hiring process. While the initial phone screening with the recruiter may seem like a casual conversation, treating the conversation professionally and authentically will lead to a successful experience. We never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Bristol Associates, Inc. has launched its 19th Annual Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey in conjunction with Spectrum Gaming Group. 

The goal of our survey is to help the gaming industry attract, retain, and motivate its executive talent. We aim to provide insight on executives’ attitudes and preferences towards their workplace and the industry at large.

The following questions will be analyzed in our survey results:

  • How often do executives experience “vacation guilt?”
  • Which casino companies do executives want to work for?
  • How do executives quantify overall work satisfaction?

Please allow 10 minutes of your time to fill out the survey. As a token of our appreciation, two casino executives will be randomly selected to win a $50 gift card for completing the survey. All individual responses will be kept confidential.

By Haydee Antezana

Business woman on top of a mountain holding up a flag. 3 Ways to Increase Your Influence and Impact Blog Image

Successful people are not born with a success gene; they develop a scientifically proven secret sauce: the ability to influence and impact with intention. As an executive, you are constantly influencing and impacting those around you. Being aware of how to increase these skills matters greatly in your career.

Follow these three crucial steps to increase your influence and impact as a successful leader in today’s competitive market.

1. Upgrade Brand YOU.

Do a Brand Performance Appraisal.

Whether by design or by default, you have a personal brand. How you are perceived and received by the people you seek to influence and impact matters. 

Imagine everyone you’ve interacted with over the last year had to “review” your personal brand on TripAdvisor or Yelp.

On a scale of 1 to 5, what would your rating be? Would you be offered the position of Head Marketer of brand YOU?

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Master the Art of Small Talk

Do you dread participating in small talk during networking events or company functions? Making an effort to improve your small talk skills and refining your business etiquette will assist you in climbing the ladder of success. Stop stressing and start impressing with these tips on how to make your conversations at any event a successful and pleasant experience.

1. Before the event practice in low risk situations; e.g. the line at the supermarket.

2. Do your homework and be prepared – this will help you feel more confident. Contact the event organizer and try to find out who will be attending. Identify specific individuals you would like to meet at the event.

3. When walking around the room – catch the eye of an approachable looking individual. Don’t approach a group of two people – they are probably deep in conversation – you will feel awkward and they will feel uncomfortable.

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CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained a lot of recent media attention due to a number of industries incorporating it in their food, beverage, and beauty products. Food vendors, restaurants, and hotels have begun introducing or considering the use of CBD infused products in their menus, which makes it essential for professionals working within these industries to understand more about this trend.

While CBD is promoted to ease anxiety and inflammation, people continue to have misconceptions because it’s a chemical compound in cannabis. There is much stipulation to the legality of CBD depending on the composition and origin of the product. It continues to be regulated per state until further clarifications have been made. While some states consider CBD legal, others are unclear or have yet to form an opinion on the matter.

Bristol Associates’ Vice President David Alford recently made four placements in one of the largest vertically integrated hemp producers in the county. We asked David a series of questions to learn more about CBD and its impact on varying industries.

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Back of moving truck filled with boxes for relocation.

You’ve just been offered an amazing career opportunity, but it requires a move – now what?

For most, relocation can be a challenging and stressful experience due to the amount of time and resources it takes to undergo such a big change. Packing and unpacking, scheduling moving services, booking flights, breaking leases, buying and selling property, and family situations are just a handful of common hurdles that can be faced during the process. However, all the work and effort it takes to relocate can lead to a brighter future for your personal and professional life.

According to our 18th Annual Casino Executive Satisfaction Survey, 82% of respondents are willing to relocate for the right job opportunity. With so many open to moving, it is important to understand the decision-making and negotiating process for relocation to be as pain free as possible. We asked our executive recruiters to provide their input when it comes to executives relocating for a new job.

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Kelly Nelson sitting in a prior Bristol office in 2004

Pictured: Kelly Nelson in a prior Bristol office in 2004

April 17, 2019 – Today marks Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson’s 24th year at Bristol Associates. Kelly joined Bristol in 1995 as an executive recruiter in the Hotels & Resorts industry. He became a key contributor in the development of the Travel/Tourism, Theme Park & Attractions, and Facilities & Concession Services practices that further expanded our Hospitality industry practice to what it is today.

He is a native of the Midwest and a proud alumnus of The University of Iowa as a member of the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. He is a past and/or current member of numerous professional associations, including AHLA, HSMA, SITE, MPI, USTOA, PATA, ASTA, CLIA, and IAAPA.  Prior to Bristol Associates, Kelly served as Vice President Marketing, Lady Luck Gaming; Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines; and COO of The Carlson Travel Group.

We asked Kelly a series of questions to reflect on his career journey thus far.

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[Image] Magnifying glass hovering over candidate resumes (What Do Employers Look For in Executive Candidates?)

Experience isn’t the only aspect that employers look for when it comes to hiring. Having worked with clients for over 50 years, Bristol understands the complex wants and needs of employers searching to fill a role at their company. It takes the right mix of experience, skill, personality, and fit within company culture for a candidate to land an executive position. Our seasoned recruiters share their insight regarding what employers commonly look for when searching for executive candidates.

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