Head hunting, or an executive search, is one of the most effective methods for sourcing and getting candidates who might not be necessarily looking for a job change but would be perfect for their company. This is why many companies have turned to external providers, like Inter-Consulta, to fill their vacancies. Like with candidates, not all Headhunters are the same, there are admittedly some bad fish out there. Talking with them, however, can be invaluable and even if you only have a tiny bit of interest, we would recommend answering that message! Why? Quite simply, you don’t know what it could lead to.
Headhunter (noun): A person whose job it is to find people with the necessary skills to work for particular companies and to persuade them to join those companies. Alternatively, also called an „Executive Recruiter,“ and the function they perform is often called „Executive Search„.
However, this should be done with respect from both sides. We have therefore compiled a few tips for talking with a headhunter to ensure that both sides can get the most from this experience.
- Give them your full attention
Sometimes you will get a phone call out of the blue from a Headhunter during the day and it will not be convenient – that is okay! You can tell us. Arrange for a different time or give us your email address, we would rather have your full attention then (we promise we won’t go on too long!)
- Do some research
This may be difficult to do in some cases as the company may not be given or even the role itself. However, at Inter-Consulta, we pride ourselves on being open with our companies – in most of our messages the website of that company is right there. Please go through it before talking to a Headhunter! Read the message carefully – is it in a different location? Can I move there? Is this a company that I am really interested in? Nothing makes a candidate look more disinterested than not knowing information that was in the first contact. If you do not have time or interest, then we don’t need to talk and that is okay too!
- Commit to appointments
There has been a call scheduled all week and then suddenly your boss calls a meeting and you are unable to make it, please just let us know. We would do the same for you.
- Do not expect too much
Of course, a Headhunter should be 100% clear on the position and company they are telling you about. We are all human though and may not have all the information that you want i.e. technical details etc. That is why we have interviews with specialists in the company!
- Make your case
If you are serious about the position, tell the Headhunter why. It shows your interest and understanding (as far as you can give it!) of the vacancy and company. You may have always had a love for the technology, you want to work in that area, the company looks interesting etc.
- Be honest…
To us and to yourself. Is this really interesting for you? Are you actually suitable for this role? Just because it says “sales”, do you actually sell? We are only trying to help you find a good position and our client are perfect employee – in the end, it will come out and then it is just embarrassing for everyone.
- Keep them updated
You’ve slept on it and decided, actually, I don’t want to do this. Or you’ve been given an opportunity elsewhere? Tell us! It is okay. The more information, the better as far as we’re concerned.
- Be yourself
There is no use trying to pretend to be someone else in order to land a job. It will just lead to unhappiness in the long run. If your personality does not suit the company it is actually better for you that we realise this early on otherwise it will just lead to bigger problems.
- Do not waste time
This is a tricky one, on the one hand, you are actively searching and trying to expand your network meaning you know that position isn’t interesting for you but talking to a Headhunter could benefit you. On the other hand, just have a look on their website to see what type of recruitment they do, will it actually be helpful to contact them “just because” or should you be more targeted? I would always recommend just being honest (again!).
- Be helpful
Not for you? Then maybe you know somebody else in your company or in your network who may be interested. If not, just keep your eyes and ears open. You never know, one day somebody may do it for you!
In the end, the contact between the two of you should be valuable to both and these tips can be applied both ways. Even if the position turns out not be right for you, you want to leave a positive impression, as we say in German „Man sieht trifft sich immer zweimal im Leben„.