For the past year, I have had some back-and-forth email exchanges and one phone call with a recruiter from a company. This recruiter works at the company, (not for a recruiting firm), and looks for software developers to join the teams there.

The issue is that I don't feel I am ready to apply to this company, and I can't predict when I will be, since I am completely happy with my current position. However, because this prospective company is a good fit for me, I want to keep in contact with this recruiter so that whenever I do become ready, I can immediately obtain a chance to apply.

The recruiter seems happy to repeatedly check-in with me every three months, but what if I (hypothetically) kept this going for the next three years? How long is it appropriate to keep this up? Would the recruiter ever get bored? Is it rude to have her expend all this energy for me?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., Chris E, Dawny33, Jane S Dec 1 '15 at 5:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I would say, your best bet is to let them know this in advance. Simply tell them you're not quite ready to apply to their company, but would like to keep in contact for the moment that you are. If they still feel like they want to stay in contact, then they know they are potentially wasting their time. – New-To-IT Nov 30 '15 at 22:47
  • I have done this quite a number of times already. Basically: "I'd like to keep in contact for the moment" but I don't really know how many times I can do this without being rude. That is why I have had emails every three months from her for the past year. – StanMarsh Nov 30 '15 at 22:52
  • Why don't you just ask the recruiter? If he's been placing people this this company for the past 10 years, he may not mind waiting a few years to place you. If he's just looking to place as many people in as many places as possible, they he may tell you to just come back when you're interested. – Johnny Dec 1 '15 at 0:23
  • I did ask a long time ago and I got a typical "No its no problem at all" so it seems fine but I wanted a second opinion from stackexchange, such as others' experiences or insights into how recruiters do their work. – StanMarsh Dec 1 '15 at 1:15

Think about it this way -- if you were suddenly fired from your current position, would you contact the recruiter for assistance and a possible employment opportunity? If your answer is yes, then you aren't wasting the recruiter's time.

This is a recruiter's job -- staying in touch with as many qualified people as possible to be there when the timing is right. A few minutes every few months isn't really much of an investment from either side.

If recruiters feel you are wasting their time, they will simply not contact you. I would not consider it rude or inappropriate to stay in touch.

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