Let’s assume you’re doing very well in your current job, then get a phone call from a recruiter who tells you he has the perfect job, with a 30% increase in compensation, a higher title, in a fast growth company within an exciting industry. What do you do? My advice? Take 2 aspirin and think calming thoughts. What not to do? Do not get excited and call your spouse, family and friends with the great news, nor dream about your new lifestyle and a vacation home.
As a recruiter, it’s very easy to hype an opportunity and get potential candidates excited about a dream job. You need to make the assumption that you’re probably being hyped, until you can validate that your not. Here are some suggestions:
- Pull out the file you should have created earlier called, “What will it take for me to leave my current job?” This file should have four headings and lists:
- What are my “Must Haves”? (This list identifies what you will not compromise on)
- What are my “Nice to Haves”? (These are the “add-ons” to make a change very attractive)
- What are the things outside the job to be considered? (Family, social, education, relocation)
- What are the items to avoid at all costs? (These are the knock-outs)
- Always ask what kind of recruiter your talking to! A company recruiter? An Executive Recruiter (exclusive to the hiring organization?) A Contingent Recruiter (one of many looking to fill the same job)? Or an Agency Recruiter that is paid by you, the candidate?
- Many times the following questions won’t be answered until you commit to being interviewed by the recruiter, but it’s worth asking anyhow:
- How did you find me? (Is your current company testing your loyalty?)
- Why do you think I would be interested in this position? (The answer could save time)
- Is the hiring company a competitor? (Tread lightly, they may be looking for sensitive data)
- Why is the organization looking to fill this position? (A new position, replacement or crisis?)
- To whom does the position report? (To a key decision maker?)
- How long has the position been open and when does it need to be filled? (A hasty search?)
- What are the salary range, incentives and benefits? (Is it worth it for you to pursue?)
- Assuming the #3 questions above will be answered later, here are more immediate questions:
- What industry is this position in? (High growth, a potential takeover, acquisition bait?)
- Is the function at a plant, division, sector or corporate level? (Responsibility level?)
- Where is the position located? (Do you need to move or commute?)
Having a good job and a better opportunity is the best combination: Two birds in a hand. However, leaving a good job for a high-risk venture is the worst situation to be considering. Take these moves very cautiously.
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