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Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?

 
#1 Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
06/06/2012 17:17

Seeker71

I'm a headhunter focused purely on the Consultancy industry, so am always looking to refine my methods of contacting Consultants at all levels, not only how to make contact by any means, but how to do this in the most convenient way for the individual involved.

As a Consultant hopefully working on client site much of the time, what would be your prefered method of being contacted by a headhunter?

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#2 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
06/06/2012 18:05

Camster to Seeker71 (#1)

Seeker71,

Definitely not looking my profile up on LinkedIn, then calling my office, pretending to be a client, getting my mobile number off reception.

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#3 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
07/06/2012 12:43

Seeker71 to Camster (#2)

Thanks Camster,

Do you have anything against being contacted at work without the subterfuge, assuming it's done with discretion, of course?

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#4 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
08/06/2012 15:49

FemaleConsultant to Seeker71 (#1)

I definitely do like to be contacted at work. I personally prefer email than telephone. It is really disstressing to get a phone from a headhunter in the middle of your team meeting or client workshop. Emails let you think about an offer in privacy and peace.

http://www.femaleconsultant.com

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#5 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
08/06/2012 16:11

Arby the Manager to FemaleConsultant (#4)

If you have a serious offer which you have dilligently scoped and assessed against my LinkedIn profile and you honestly think I will be the perfect candidate and that you will be speedy in your communication to me- then you can call me at 3am in the night and I will gladly take your call.

If however you will be like EVERY other headhunter I have worked (except for 1 notable exception) and:

> Consider me the "perfect" candidate for a role because of some tangental experience I have mentioned on some online CV somewhere

> Blanket mail me with an advertisement for the role disguised as a personal note and hope either me or the other 200 people you have written to respond

> Ask me to give you names of my colleagues who I can recommend

> Make me spend hours updating my CV for the role then never contact me again

Then I would tell you to take a hike...

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#6 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
08/06/2012 20:27

CheckingOut to Arby the Manager (#5)

Consultants, love em or hate em truth is we all need them.

1) Don't call me at work;

2) Don't call me on my mobile at 10am or 4pm and expect me to call you back ASAP for a "maybe" role that doesn't quite fit my profile; and

3) Don't bombard me with sms, emails and voice mails on consecutive days. I am most likely on an "away job" outside the UK working on crazy deadlines and back to back meetings finishing at stupid o'clock.

1) Do drop me an email with a brief outline of the role or opportunity you have. You should be able to do this without leaking confidential information;

2) Do give me a couple of days to assess the role before calling me back; and

3) If I do send a CV (updated/revised/edited) for the role do tell me "yay" or "nay" as soon as you can.

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#7 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
12/06/2012 07:31

Camster to Camster (#2)

Seeker71,

I would expect the headhunter to invest a little in LinkedIn and get a premium account. I wouldn't mind contact via LinkedIn, but calling my office, pretending to be a client, getting my mobile number, then calling me (or even getting the office to call me, pretending it to be urgent), that's just poor. I can't tell you the number of times I have had such calls while on an overseas engagement.

Contacting at work? For me, that's a big no no.

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#8 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
12/06/2012 08:52

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Camster (#7)

This is a fascinating thread - and I really feel for everyone concerned, on both sides of the fence.

The sad reality is that the rules of the game make it impossible for recruitment agents to work in the manner we've concluded here would be most acceptable to the candidate.

Only a tiny tiny proportion of roles are filled through retained search (where the recruiter is paid an ongoing fee to look for a candidate for a role). These are usually exclusive, so the recruiter can broadly behave in the manner you've described you'd like.

The overwhelming majority of roles are given to recruitment firms on a contingency basis and are farmed out to multiple recruitment firms at a time. That's to say the recruiter puts in all the hard graft to find the best candidate - and is only ever paid in the event that:

- they get their shortlist candidates to the client super fast before the competition either contacts those same candidates or puts forward alternative candidates who are then progressed through interview.

- the candidate makes it through the interviewing process and i) isn't already working with another recruitment agency that put them forward to that employer already, ii) is made an offer that is acceptable, iii) doesn't choose to stay put either because the market has become jittery or because the employer has moved the goalposts or delayed the hiring timescale or because their existing employer makes a counter offer; iv) isn't made a more attractive offer by another competitor; and v) the candidate doesn't move on / leave the job within a certain time window after joining.

I'm afraid that all the above conspire to produce rules of the game that aren't really compatible with recruiters operating in the manner that most candidates would want them to. At the very senior end of the market - where hiring briefs are filled on a retained basis - conduct is quite different. But for the vast majority of candidates, you are exposed to a market where the workings of that market force recruiters into the types of behaviour you've documented here.

Doesn't really provide an answer I appreciate, but thought you might find it enlightening to know some of the reasons things are as they are.

Tony Restell

Founder, http://www.Social-Hire.com and http://www.Top-Consultant.com

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#9 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
12/06/2012 12:20

Passive to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

I agree - this is a quite fascinating thread.

For another view from the headhunter perspective:, the most frustrating aspect of this job is the uphill battle you often have at the start of any candidate contact; quite simply, many people have a mistrust of recruitment agents. Whether it's from bad personal experience or word-of-mouth, it's too often an obstacle you need to overcome.

As Tony suggested, the headhunting market is very over-crowded and exclusive mandates are at a premium. A symptom of this is more desperation and more agents using the practices outlined by some of the people above.

However, I don't think an overcrowded market is an excuse for bad practices like these. A genuinely good recruiter will still be successful, make placements and make money while still operating in the 'proper' way ie; focusing on building trust, long-term relationships and a credible reputation. In the long term, surely that serves you better anyway!

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#10 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
13/06/2012 14:49

Camster to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

Indeed, I can understand the "need for speed".

But put yourself in a candidate's shoes. I am in a meeting, important meeting with a client. I get a call on my mobile, which I ignore (it's on silent mode anyway). My client then gets a call from my office, asking for me. Apparently, it's an urgent call. I answer to find out that it's an agent.

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#11 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
14/06/2012 22:05

Anon66 to Camster (#10)

A little off-topic, but generally I treat recruiters well (within the limits of consciability regarding my current employer).

What I mean by this is that I listen to their offer before I dismiss it; point them in the direction of individuals in my extended network that might be interested (not colleagues); and try not to screw them for information if I have none to give them.

MAJOR EXCEPTION is one recruiting firm who shall remain nameless. During 2008, after I got made redundant, they tried to emotionally blackmail me into accepting a rubbish job. They told me if I didn't I would be unemployed for months/years and would struggle to pay my bills/feed my family.

When they contact me I screw them for information before refusing to help them and am rude; and when my current firm recruit I do my utmost to ensure we do not use them. My little way of trying to ensure they are too bankrupt to do it to anyone else. Moral of the story? Everyone is in a rush and has targets, but if you screw your candidates over enough, you will start losing business...

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#12 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
17/06/2012 06:18

Camster to Anon66 (#11)

I think it's safe to say that we all (especially in MC) treat others well. I've come across some really good headhunters. Of course, there will be less-than-ideal agents, but I try to hear them out.

The topic of this thread is about ways to approach a potential candidate. I'm not keen on getting a call in the office. I 'm sure there are others who feel the same.

Some of these great headhunters, they are creative. One, upon perusing my LinkedIn profile, noted that a recommendation I received was from a mutual connection. He leveraged this, we had a great chat.

There are other ways, e.g. Skype, etc. I think we have Skype on most times, especially if on an overseas project. Or Facebook even.

I can understand the need for speed, but the office culture in Germany and such, it's different from the UK.

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#13 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
22/06/2012 08:57

unizm1980 to Seeker71 (#1)

Receiving an email from headhunters is much better. That way, I can even keep a copy of the emails.

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#14 RE: Headhunters - Pleasure or Pain?
26/06/2012 10:57

boipeza to Seeker71 (#1)

Referral is the most reliable recruitment procedure. But you may try contacting through LinkedIn also. Try looking on Job sites like Jobstreet or Monster.

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