If your job search has led to you working with a professional headhunter, realize that not all recruiters are alike. Headhunters may promise to find you a job, but not all are successful. Before jumping into working with a headhunter, you need to do some research and ask some very important questions to make sure the experience is not a waste of your valuable time and money.
Starting the process is simple. Check your local directory for headhunters in your area. Many specialize in specific careers or skills, so be sure to find one that can find a job in your field. Treat your communication the same as you would a potential employer. Check their level of professionalism including speech and appearance. Remember, they are the person who needs to sell you to any potential employers.
Before deciding on which headhunter to work with, do some research to find out the following:
- What companies does the headhunter work with? Do they work mainly with well-known organizations or do they work with a wide variety of organizations? Sometimes it’s good to consider the lessor-known organizations which can offer packages just as good as the large companies or even better. You want to make sure that your headhunter has a wide base to choose from.
- How many clients do they have? If a headhunter has too many clients, how do they manage to give special attention to each individual? While they may act like you’re their only client, headhunters are in the business to make money. Are your calls returned timely? How often are you offered prospects? Be sure the headhunger gives you the individualized attention you need and pay for.
- How many clients have they successfully placed in jobs? Headhunters are doing the leg work for you, but If they can’t find jobs then they probably shouldn’t be in the business. Ask to talk to some of their clients directly. “Testimonials” are nice, but it’s better to get the word directly from the source.
- How many clients are still with the organizations where they were placed? Headhunters need to be sure they are finding a good fit between the clients they place and the organizations they place them in. If clients quit or get terminated shortly after they are placed, the headhunter may not be as skilled at successfully making a match.
Working with a headhunter has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you commit to the time and cost, be sure you do your homework.