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|Working with Headhunters
What should I be aware of when I work with headhunters?
Working with headhunters can be tricky. Some are honest, and some are not.
Some have the best interests of candidates and their clients at heart, and
others do not. This should not deter you from using the services of a
recruiter. Knowing what to expect from a good recruiter and knowing the warning
signs of a less-than-scrupulous headhunter can make the experience of working
with one more rewarding, whether you are a potential client or a candidate.
However, understand that all headhunters are sales people, and good ones are
trained to get what they want, quickly. What they want is a placement, and of
course, their fee.
|Therefore, I always
tell companies that when they are dealing with headhunters to set ground rules.
And those rules are:
everything in writing and don't accept a resume until you see the details of
the fees, guaranties, etc. in writing.
Not all hires are good. Be
sure there is a guarantee period that is at least 3 months.
sure that the fee is on base salary, not total compensation. You don't want to
pay a fee on bonuses, commissions, and the like.
What is the
candidate screening process. Do they meet the candidates or do they just do
What are the payment terms? Is money due up front or
when you hire someone? Recruiters work on both contingency (you pay when they
find someone), and retainer (you pay up-front and as you go along). There
really isn't a preferred method. More experienced headhunters (like the author
of this article), or executive search companies, will only work on retainer,
they want to know that the client is committed before they start a search. That
doesn't mean that inexperience recruiters work on contingency, many are simply
more comfortable with a contingency arrangement.
resumes from headhunters whom you do not have an agreement with, and let all
your managers know. Be aware that in the United States it is not legal for
anyone to send an unsolicited fax. Therefore, if you receive solicitations from
headhunters via facsimile, send it back.
will not disclose the names of their clients to candidates. They do that for
| The client
doesn't want people knowing who they are.
The client doesn't want
candidates calling them directly.
The headhunter does not want you
calling the client, and going around them.
The headhunter does not
want word to get out that the company has an opening, thereby increasing the
chance that the client getting a sales call from another recruiter.
The position isn't real.
must keep the following in mind:
| Know who the
headhunter is working for. People work for the person who pays the bills, and
that is not the candidates. NEVER FORGET THIS RULE.
send resumes to all their clients and don't even tell the candidates where they
went. Ask yourself, "Do I want to be some resume or an individual?" Most people
want to be an individual and be seen as someone with value. Therefore, always
know where your resume is going and why.
If you are not interested
in the position, don't send your resume. However, don't be too selective and
picky, or the recruiter will stop calling you.
Good headhunters will
not just send your resume. They want you to buy in before it is sent to a
client. They want to ensure that when the client says schedule this person for
an interview, you, as the candidate, are sold.
Good headhunters know
how to screen a candidate well so that they only send a client people they want
to see. What does that mean? There really aren't a lot of good headhunters. But
since there are a lot of headhunters, it serves you well keep looking for a
good one, and only give your resume to those you trust.
|This article was written by
Vault.com HR and recruiting editors. To sign up for Vault's FREE recruiting
newsletter, or to post unlimited jobs on Vault,
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