Recently I came across an article about headhunting in the scientific world, where companies can be few, candidates scarce, and everybody wants to get the best talent on the market. Here’s where the headhunter enters.
Nowadays the lines are getting vaguer, more and more industries opt to use the services of a professional to get the person they want. Do you feel uncomfortable when you get a call from a recruitment consultant? Knowing what to expect and what to avoid could give you heads-up before that talk.
Appreciate the effort. The headhunter put some time and effort in finding you, getting through your secretary or just leaving you a voicemail message. You never know what’s going to happen in the future. If you are not exploring other opportunities right now, you can always exchange contact details and remain in touch. If you are looking for new challenges, read further!
- Be prepared. You are a successful professional eager to develop their career. You might only get this call once, so be prepared. For starters ask direct and obvious questions – how did the headhunter find your name? Who recommended you? What clients/opportunities do they usually have? How many people has he/she put in the same position before? Make your own list, write it down, and remember what information you need from the headhunter. First impressions are important and can help you make a decision later.
- Research. You talked to the headhunter and you liked what you heard. Don’t send your CV to the consultant immediately. Do your homework – get some information on the agency or the independent consultant, on the clients if they are unknown to you, and ask your colleagues or friends if they have worked with them before. Reputation is vital in the recruitment world, no money can buy you that, so check the sources.
- Define expectations. You and your headhunter have developed a working relationship. You passed each other's tests and now you are working towards a mutual goal – getting you that job. A good headhunter (and any recruiter) will keep you updated on every step of the process and present your profile in the best possible way. From a candidate’s side they will expect commitment, cooperation and honesty. Good communication on both sides is vital to the process.
If something didn’t work the first time round, sit down with the headhunter and talk about what went wrong. Share feedback, reevaluate expectations and your goals. When you have a good connection with your recruiter and mutual expectations are fulfilled, you can expect to receive the offer that suits you perfectly.
With that thought in mind, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone/return a headhunter’s phone call. Who knows? It may be the turning point in your personal and professional life.