To be “head hunted” used to be a real badge of honour. Nowadays it’s more of an irritant to be contacted by recruiters, who with the advances in technology, can find you through so many social channels, which don’t usually involve a call to your current workplace, as they did in yesteryear! – So count yourself lucky, that there are tools such as LinkedIn etc. that offer some shelter from cold calls!
I would suggest that if the recruiter is contacting you about an opportunity – that hypothetically if you were actively looking for a role – and the role in question, would actually be a real live possibility, it’s always a good idea to respond with a short mail to politely advise that you aren’t currently looking, but in the future may be looking for XXX in X location, or something to that effect.
Essentially, whether we like it or not – we are all ambassadors for our own employer. Regardless of the functional role that we hold, we also have to represent our brand, our product or service in the best possible light.
To demonstrate a hostile attitude, or unresponsive manner, can sometimes lead the consumer (which the recruiter might be or their many connections ultimately are) – to form a maybe misplaced & jaundiced view, that the company that the potential candidate represents, is maybe not actually a product, service they may want to avail of as a buying consumer, at some stage down the line! And who wants to turn off consumers?
Remember, your current working situation might be your utopia, but how quickly things can change in this fast-moving cut throat world and you may find yourself in need of the services of that recruiter, if you find they are the eventual gatekeeper to that job of choice you may aspire to in the future!
So, recruiters don’t have to be the enemy or the pest, not good ones anyway! There are a huge amount of ineffective recruiters out there, but if you find a good one, you might just want to build some rapport, as none of us knows what is going to happen in the future! If you politely engage with the recruiter, who seems to have an idea of what you’re about, they can maybe help you with a CV, a cover letter, some market advice, salary appraisal etc. for you or someone you know that needs help. It doesn’t always have to be about ultimately, what your “scalp” is worth to them!