Answer the damn phone! Just kidding…..you don’t have to pick up the phone if you don’t have time at that moment or your boss is in your office.
But it might be worth listening to their voice mail or checking your inbox (mail or LinkedIn) to see what they have to say.
Frequently, companies partner with third party recruiters to do the initial screening of the applicants for a role. So that recruiter might be calling about something you actually applied for. You would not want to miss that.
They might be calling you out of the blue to tell you about something they are working on. Recruiters are not much for wasting time. We only get paid if we are successful in helping our client solve their problem. There is a reason you have been selected for a call. Your name was not randomly chosen out of a hat.
Find a quiet place to have a brief call to explore what they have to say. You are not saying “yes” to a job and you are not leaving your current job. You are just taking a few minutes to learn more.
I realize that I am quite biased, but there is a lot to gain from this investment. You could get some valuable market intelligence on your worth, your marketability, your competition. You might come away thinking the recruiter is a dolt and has no idea what you really do. But you might also be able to think of someone who is looking for exactly that sort of role. You would be a hero then right?
Take a few minutes; you never know what you might learn.