Developing a Partnership with a Headhunter
Know Yourself – Before contacting any recruiter you should take the necessary time to evaluate where you are in your career today and where you want to be in 3 –5 years. Take a little time to reflect on your goals. Write down what you have achieved and, more importantly, what you still want to accomplish. This is your check list for evaluating future jobs.
Examine your personality style and decide if you are in the right field. For example: If you have a low-key personality, are task oriented and like detail work you might be a better accountant or banker than a salesperson.
Get Committed - Before you decide you are ready to look at some new opportunities, it makes sense in many cases to see if what you want is available with your current company. Job responsibilities, locations, money and direct reports can sometimes be addressed if the company wants to keep you on board. Make a list of what you want and discuss it with your boss. It can’t hurt and might help. At least you have tried and if it doesn’t work you can be committed to move toward a new career.
There is a second benefit of going to your company first. If you do decide to leave it will make the resignation smoother and less traumatic. After all, you told them what you needed, and they were given the chance to provide it. Also, if your company comes to you with a counter offer you will know that it is simply a ploy and not based on good faith.
Finding a Recruiter – The first step is to locate a recruiter who works both in your specialty area and at your salary (position) level. Since you are already on our web site we can assume that you are a salesperson and that sales, marketing or sales management is your career path. If you have been sent here by a recruiter, then the relationship already exists. If you do not have a current recruiter relationship, by simply registering on our site you will be showcased in our database according to your background and achievements. Recruiters who have needs for someone like you will contact you directly.
To be more proactive (and you should be) we suggest that you browse our current openings on the system and apply for any openings for which you are realistically qualified. Your background will be sent to the appropriate FI partner (the one who has the opening) and they will contact you if they feel it is a fit.
Have Realistic Expectations - Executive recruiters such as the ones you will find on First Interview are professionals that can be of incredible help in advancing your career, if you understand how they work and WHO THEY WORK FOR.
Recruiters work for their client companies – they do not charge fees to candidates and they do not work for candidates – their obligation is to find the best people for the client companies who pay their fees.
However: Every recruiter knows that good candidates are the lifeblood of their business and what may not be a fit for one client may be a perfect match for another. So, maintaining solid relationships with candidates is vital.
Don’t expect a recruiter to be your career coach. Some will take that role, but most recruiters are too busy “searching” for the right candidates for their clients to do much hand-holding. If you qualify, you will be contacted. After all, that’s how recruiters make their money. If you are not contacted, there is some reason why you are not the right fit for their current searches. Be patient. Sometimes it just takes time to make that connection.
Working with your Recruiter – Here are a few rules that will ensure a successful and productive relationship:
Be brutally honest about your background and any possible problems that might arise during the interview process. The negatives will come out. Better to deal with them now than later.
Let your recruiter know of all interviews you are scheduled to go on and keep them totally up to date on any progress with existing companies.
If you are not interested in an opening let your recruiter know immediately, but don’t hesitate to ask to be considered for future assignments.
Call your recruiter immediately after every interview to give them feedback. They need to know how you feel in order to help you with the company. Communication here is critical.