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Why Use A Headhunter?

Nov 3, 2007
Why use a headhunter? Headhunters are used for varied reasons, including and most especially for people looking for middle management and executive positions within their chosen industry. Headhunters specialize in a broad search that provides candidates that are both related and directly related to the job positions they are researching. However, headhunters or contingency executive recruiters are not as widely regarded, respected or considered to be as reputable as retainment executive recruiters.

Generally speaking companies such as consultants and staffing agencies use headhunters to find people for contract or full-time/permanent jobs. Other larger companies and corporations do use them on occasion, but they are more geared to general staffing.

Headhunters are useful when looking for more generalized positions, including general management, but their focus is helping their client to find potential candidates that the client themselves were unable to find despite all their efforts - advertising online and in the print media. They tend to be less interested in the needs of the candidate and therefore their search is based on limited criterion such as basic job experience matches, limited skill sets and some or no qualifications. They will follow the same procedures in some ways as a retainment executive recruiter by compiling candidate lists, conducting initial interviews with candidates and then forwarding the best resumes to their clients. However, there is a high risk that the candidates being sent to clients may not be totally suited for the positions in question.

Unfortunately, headhunters vary in ethics, ability and the willingness to do a proper job. This is one of the reasons that they have received such bad press. There have been cases where candidates have worked with headhunters and ended up not getting a position at all. Some of them have been known to collect resumes as well as retention fees from candidates when most reputable recruiters charge a candidate nothing and only charge their clients. Some have terrible recruitment policies, including a lack of communication with clients and candidates, leaving everyone in the dark as to what work they have done at all. Some are not as prudent in their searches and have breached confidentiality, causing potential candidates to lose their current positions as their employers have been tipped off as to their job search activities. In fact, the worst type of headhunter will forward any and every resume to their clients with total disregard to whether or not the candidate is suitable or not. This wastes time, money and sometimes contracts with clients.

The best approach with headhunters has been for candidates to wait for headhunters to contact them because this clearly shows they are interested in those candidates for specific positions. However, this is not fool proof and client and candidates can find that a random list of candidates are contacted

When using a headhunter it is important to find someone that can be trusted before engaging them in a contract. This is best done by finding another firm that has used their services before and getting a recommendation. Also, it is critical for a company to insist that they are not sent every resume in sight and that they are kept totally informed of the work the headhunter is doing.

The most important things to keep in mind when using a headhunter are:

Quality work for a reasonable price

Good communication policies

References and recommendations from other companies that have used their services

An ability to do a proper candidate search for people who are suited to a job position and not just anyone and any resume

In conclusion, using a headhunter can be extremely beneficial for middle management and executive positive filling as long as the headhunter is reputable. Headhunting is so varied in its ethics and business practices that it is very easy to get caught by a company that charges large fees for little or poor work.
About the Author
Greg Heslin is a best selling career advice and "street smart" tips author on how to survive in the 21st Century workplace.To learn more about FREE cutting edge career tips and techniques, you can visit his web site at http://www.My-New-Career.com
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