The title is "caveman / cavewoman" speak for one of the most common questions / requests I get from people looking for a new job. 

Here's how it goes: 

Them: Hi Kelly: I'm wondering if you can introduce me to some headhunters. Can you help me? 

Me: Well, not a fan of the term "headhunter" as it strikes me with primitive and barbaric images of scalping and what not. BUT, I do know plenty of people that recruit. Why might I ask are you interested in meeting these people? 

Them: I'm in the process of looking for a new job and want to find a (headhunter) recruiter to help me do that. 

Me: Gotcha. Here's the thing, recruiters actually work for their company and/or clients to find people that fit open positions. Helping people find jobs is not what recruiters are paid to do. And, those that do expect pay to do such a thing probably should be avoided as they are likely unscrupulous and sketchy. 

Them: Oh I see. (sounding totally dejected and assuming I have no idea what I'm talking about). 

Me: Well, is there anything I can do to help? Are there any questions I can answer about your situation? If anything comes to mind, please feel free to get back in touch.

Them: Ok thanks. (thinking what a waste of time. I can't believe she won't give me names of recruiters to help me find a job. What a B....!)

I don't know about you all, but I get a wave of deja vu every time this happens. Which is ALL. THE. TIME. 

~KB @TalentTalks 


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Oh yes. At least 3 times a week. I especially love the random linkedin invites asking if I "have any jobs" for them. Like I just have a bunch of jobs, lined up on a shelf. Oh, here's one! Would you like it? No? Here try this one!

Yeah, that's what recruiters do. Sigh.

Yes, an old and worn refrain, Kelly-

People (usually salaried non-exempt) are still asking where to find a 'headhunter' who can get them a job.

And Kelly, by the way, 'headhunter' when used in its appropriate context, is okay to say.

I use it from time to time as part of my quick self-introduction with new prospective clients who are in industries that are deluged with uh, headhunters.

Also, by the way, it is not entirely correct to say we 'only' recruit for clients.

For those of us who specialize, it is not entirely unheard of to be making marketing calls on behalf of someone in our niche industry who is an A/A+/A++ quality candidate.

And, in spite of what Amy Ala, below, says, those of us in niche recruiting do have multiple openings in the same industry so yes, someone (candidate types) can ask us "waddaya got?" even though answering that without knowing more about the person and their particular likes, needs and interests would be premature.

The rub for anyone listening to this is that we will only do this for 'stars' for whom a typical client would be willing to pay a recruitment fee to hire.

I think that is why we have so many mid-level and slightly lower-on-the-org-chart people looking for one of us to agree to find them jobs plus, some of these same people elevate themselves (in their mind) by thinking they can get a 'headhunter' to find them a job when in fact they are more like Employment Agency type candidates.

Referring to headhunters is part of their self-delusion they are headhunter material.

Thanks, Kelly!

Headhunter is old school for 'you're so awesome everyone is going to want you!'.  Times have changed and not everyone understands how the market has changed.  Still around is the throwback notion you can just walk into a 'temp' company and they have a rolodex of companies to send you to tomorrow.

We keep educating people...every day....every. single. day......   :)

Thanks, Linda . It's been my impression tor a very long time: "If you need one you can't get one, and if you get one, you don't need one."


I made a great amount of money taking great candidates and finding them jobs....just saying.  

Me, three, Noel.

Every once in a while someone in one of my niches is floating around for some reason and it is almost like free candy since I did not have to find them and almost anyone in my niche would be glad to hire them.

Very interesting topic. In my opinion it's always good to try and help, if possible. However, managing people's expectations and explaining to what degree you might actually be able to help is very important.

Ionut:"However, managing people's expectations and explaining to what degree you might actually be able to help is very important."

Very true

In my experience, there are three types of  candidates:

1) They're not fit for anything except being used for organ transplants.

2) They're not fit for anything except being ground up into pet food.

3) The remaining few you MIGHT be able to help in some way...

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