You are looking for a job, your resume is posted on several job boards and you have a LinkedIn profile among others as well. It’s chum for recruiter infested waters! So, how do you choose between a good headhunter and a bad headhunter, and what should you know about the internal recruiters at companies you are targeting?
Let’s start with headhunters (they hate this name by the way). Many headhunters out there are bottom feeders that are scouring the internet for resumes that can possibly lead them to a fee. It’s a numbers game for many that the more candidates/jobseekers they speak to, the more likely they will make placements regardless of how good or bad a particular candidate may be. These types of recruiters will sound like they are talking at you from a playbook to gather some amount of information (bare minimum) so they can send your resume to wherever they think they can get a fee, and it won’t truly matter to them what you think. When you are contacted by a headhunter you really want to feel like they are listening and responding to your comments and that they are putting your best interests first, before their own. Also, tell them they must contact you about a position prior to submitting your resume in the event you are already into that company through a referral or otherwise.
Okay, that’s some of the bad side of headhunters. There are good ones too, but they can be far and few between. So, how do you indentify the better and/or excellent headhunters?
Good headhunters will actually take an interest in you, your career, your professional aspirations and be seriously interested building a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship. They know that if they spend valuable time with you in an effort to get to know you, that not only might you become a placement fee, but because they went the extra lengths to take an interest in all that you are, there is a strong likely likelihood that you will refer them to other people you know. Remember, it’s all about networking and who you know. And, bad news travels much faster and greater distances than good news, so negative feedback takes ages to overcome, and good headhunters know that.
Also, when being contacted by a headhunter you should always want to meet them face-face in their office. Making eye contact, shaking someone’s hand and seeing that they are a real professional with a professional establishment versus just a voice on the phone is essential for you to feel confident about anyone that is representing you and your brand to prospective employers.
Finally we come to the internal recruiter that works for the company you are applying to. This is not dissimilar to the people above, however there are few differentiators between good and bad. For example:
We could go on and on, but these are some good things to be aware of when working with recruiters either inside a company or outside. Not everything has to be warm and fuzzy, but you certainly want to know that the individual you are dealing with is focused on a Win-Win outcome for everyone, not just themselves. And you should never be made to feel like you are just another candidate, but if you do feel that way, is that really the person or company you want to be working with?