"I like working with you," the candidate says to the recruiter.
"You sound knowledgeable and professional but the job you represent is not exactly what I want. Can you help me find what I want?"
No. That's not what a recruiter does. They are hired by an employer to sell a specific job. They will screen dozens of candidates and present a slate of 3-5. One will be hired. Maybe. If that's you, great. If not, no worries on their part.
We get referrals from executive recruiters frequently. The prospective client will usually say something like, "Susan said I should call you. She placed me 3 years ago and I liked working with her. But, she doesn't have anything available at this time. She thought you could help."
Yes, we can. It's the main reason I started my company nearly a decade ago. I wanted to help individual executives and professionals.
Recruiters play an important role for their client, the employer. They don't have time, or incentive, to work in-depth with candidates one on one over a long period of time. A recruiter can only present the one job for which they were hired.
If you want to tip the odds in your favor, you need someone who will help you, as an individual, over a sustained period of time. Happy hunting!