Here's what you get from establishing a relationship with an executive recruiter:
Greater exposure We not only maintain a myriad of existing contacts within your discipline, we can also scout out new companies and opportunities you may not be aware of.
Increased efficiency We are obsessive networkers; they spend their time researching and penetrating the job market. Our knowledge can save you time in identifying and pursuing prospective employers.
Personalized public relations Employers generally look more favorably towards a candidate who's professionally recommended. Headhunters stake their reputations on the quality of their candidates, and will always present you in the best possible light.
Confidential representation Some job search situations require a great deal of discretion. For example, you may want to explore an opportunity with your present company's direct competitor. In such an instance, a headhunter can present your background confidentially, thereby protecting your identity, and eliminating (or at least minimizing) your risk of exposure.
Authoritative career consulting We can help you determine the job or career track that's right for you, based on current market conditions and your own values and abilities. We are also in a unique position to walk you through (and monitor) each step in your job changing process.
Private training We can give you practical, time-tested suggestions on how to strengthen your resume and improve your interviewing technique. In many ways, a headhunter acts as a personal coach.
Third-party representation As experienced recruiters we find ways to put favorable deals together and iron out differences you and the hiring company may have regarding your salary, benefits, and relocation package. In addition, working through a recruiter can actually improve your chances for success once you've been placed. That's because the search fee the hiring company paid the recruiter represents a sizable financial investment in your future success -- an investment worth protecting. Don't Get Lost in the Shuffle Even though we can't guarantee you a new job, you have much to gain from working with us. And vice-versa, since you represent an addition to their continuously perishable inventory. While it's true that we owe their allegiance to our client companies (who pay the fees), without candidates to fuel the fire, we simply wouldn't exist. All respected recruiters are fair to both candidate and client. We try our best to be up front with every candidate we talk to. If your skills fall outside our area of expertise, we’ll steer you to another recruiter who can be of assistance or provide you with some general coaching which we hope will be of value. Always look for a recruiter who takes an interest in your background and who specializes in your industry. The last thing you need is to pin your hopes on someone who's not in a position to help you. Be prepared for mixed reviews when you talk to recruiters. Even the most qualified candidacy is subject to the whims of a supply and demand job market. In many cases, a headhunter simply won't know what your chances of getting another job might be until he or she puts out feelers or sends you out on an interview.
Some Common Sense Ground Rules
Compatibility -- Make sure you feel comfortable with the style, personality, intensity level, and integrity of the headhunter. As in any other business relationship, you want the other person to understand your needs and act accordingly.
Confidentiality -- Make sure your resume isn't going to get plastered all over town without your knowledge. An inept (or anxious) recruiter can overexpose your candidacy; or worse, reveal your intention to change jobs to your own company.
Good Judgment -- Make sure you're being sent to interviews that match your background and interests with the needs of the recruiter's client company. The most common complaint from both candidates and employers is that recruiters "throw candidates against the wall to see what sticks."
Honesty -- Make sure there's either a bona fide job opening or an upgrade possibility where you're being sent to interview. Otherwise, you'll be spending your valuable time on one wild goose chase after another.
Tempo -- Make sure to let the recruiter know at what pace you want to proceed in your search for a new position. If you're not ready to make a change until a later date, or simply want to explore the market, don't let the recruiter waste your time by sending you on an interview.
Arm-twisting -- Don't be pressured into accepting a position or a compensation package simply to please the recruiter.
Exclusivity -- It's fine to work with a recruiter on an exclusive basis, as long as you feel comfortable with the arrangement and the recruiter has earned the right of sole representation. On the other hand, you might not want to limit your options. Despite what you may be told, no recruiter has the exclusive "ownership" of your candidacy.
By the same token, you must be fair with the recruiter. For example, if you're pursuing a job search on your own or through another party, keep the recruiter aware of your activity, so you don't cross paths. A recruiter's time and reputation are his most valuable commodities. He or she deserves better than to be manipulated or left in the lurch. Also, you must be honest with your recruiter. You can expect your recruiter and any company that may want to make an offer to extensively check your references. To that end, you should be prepared to provide a copy of your most recent W-2 to verify salary. Remember, recruiters can't work miracles by waving a magic wand over your resume. All they can do is match your background with a suitable opening, and help guide you through the job changing process efficiently and competitively. While it's true that headhunters have their limitations and can't be all things to all people, it makes good sense to build a solid relationship with a competent recruiter.