What to do when a headhunter comes calling…
A headhunter is a recruiter that has located your details without you being on their database. They do this by primarily by asking for referrals and market intel.
Headhunting, more commonly called Executive or Targeted Search used to be reserved for high paying roles. With the advent of social media sites headhunting has now moved to include roles below $100k.
So what happens when a headhunter calls?
First, a good headhunter will first ask for you by name without reveling who they are. This is to protect you from embarrassment if someone else picks up the phone.
If correctly identified they will reveal who they are and ask if it is a good time to talk.
They most likely will ask you who you think would be a good fit for their role. If you are a good source of referrals they will be happy to come back to you with other opportunities that may be more suitable for you. This is because they bank on that even if you are not interested, they have not wasted their call as they have gotten a lead to the person that might be. This expands your opportunities.
If you are not a good match for the role, a good headhunter will ask to send you their details so that you can send your resume to them. In this way they can learn more about you and promote your skill set to interested employers. It is in their best interest not to send your details without first gaining your consent. If you are at all concerned about their ethics - don't send your resume.
After ascertaining that you are a good match, they will outline their role in more detail. They will then ask if this is something you are interested in. Don't be afraid to say no. An Executive Recruiter hates wasting time and will remember those that have.
The Exec recruiter will then ask you specific questions about what you have achieved that is relevant to the role. This may take some time, so don't be afraid to request a call back out of hours.
An Exec Recruiter is usually asked by their client to provide a list of names of all the people they have spoken to and comments on the conversation. This usually includes your remuneration aspirations.
At the end of the call the Exec recruiter will request a copy of your resume and to see you in person. If it is a high paying role the Exec Recruiter is usually happy to come to you.
Things to be aware of:
Currently MACRO maintains a 100% success rate in filling their Exec Search briefs.