Headhunter Myths

Headhunter Myths and other Bedtime Stories

Article by Jeff Burridge

Most candidates do not understand how the executive search process and headhunters work. Most candidates think if they post their resume to the web, fax it to a recruiter or respond to a “job posting” and sit back the calls will come. Lots of calls and e-mail responses should bring lots of opportunity… right? So how has it been working for you so far? Are you getting disillusioned yet?

Let’s look at some Headhunter reality:

Perception is reality:

Recruiters need you, but you need them.

Every candidate is convinced they are the “perfect candidate”.

Companies pay recruiters to present candidates who match their requirements as well as yours. Companies hire candidates who have the right chemistry, qualifications and experience. Companies pay recruiters. Recruiters must first search for the right candidate for a job not the right job for a candidate. Recruiters do not have a drawer full of ideal jobs waiting for you. Timing is everything.

However, recruiters will work hard for candidates and present a candidate to numerous companies when the candidate:

  • Possesses good personal communication skill sets.
  • Possesses good skills and qualifications based on their number of years of experience.
  • Has a fairly consistent employment history and valid reasons for prior job changes .
  • Is realistic about income required, title, relocation, etc.
  • Is sincere and motivated to make a change and accept a new opportunity.
  • Is responsive & cooperative with the recruiter.
  • Contacts the recruiter within two hours of leaving the interview.
  • Is not working with a lot of other recruiters.
  • Is not mailing or e-mailing their resume directly to every company / job opening they can find. If you see a position that interests you contact your recruiter first. If they can’t present you to the company they should let you know, then you can go it alone.
  • Is not posting themselves all over the internet for the world (and their current employer) to see.

Remember, the worst thing a recruiter can ever hear about you is “we already have his / her resume” regardless of how they got it.

What can you do:

  • When a recruiter calls, LISTEN.
  • When a recruiter calls be very responsive.
  • Do not lie to a recruiter. Tell us where you have already applied, who else you are working with, etc.
  • Never try to get a recruiter to submit you somewhere you tried to apply on your own and were turned down or just never received a response.
  • If we ask you about your interest in a certain company and you have already submitted your resume to them let us know up front. Not doing so is the cardinal sin.

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