Saturday, July 3, 2010

The 21 Best Reasons to Work With a Headhunter (Part 4)

13. We know how to check references. Clearly some recruiters check references in such a way as to make the candidate look as good as possible. As a candidate, that may be the type of recruiter you want to work with. But the best recruiters ask questions that are designed to find out why the candidate may not be the best fit for the position. Realistically, whether you are the candidate or the employer, this is the best approach. Most recruiters as well as employers can do a reasonably good job of digging up the negative stuff on a candidate. That is certainly a key part of reference checking. But, most of the time, a top notch recruiter will do a better job than the employer of getting to performance, behavior and management/leadership issues which may be problematic.

14. We know when to walk away. Experienced recruiters know when to walk away from a placement that just isn’t going to work in the long run. Believe it or not, for some headhunters it’s not all about making a placement and getting paid. Sometimes it becomes clear that this is a bad fit for the candidate or the employer or both. And sometimes neither party wants to admit it. The candidate needs the job and/or the employer needs to fill it. If your headhunter says this is not good for you…listen to the headhunter.

15. We know when and how to make it work. Sometimes it’s the right fit for the candidate and the employer, but something knocks it off track. Egos, money, family, relocation…sometimes it’s just the interview process itself or the way an offer is presented. Usually things can be worked out by a third party who understands and is trusted. (If you don’t feel that way about your headhunter, then you’re working with the wrong headhunter.)

We know a lot more stuff, but you’re probably bored with this "we know" stuff by now. And that line: “it’s not all about making a placement and getting paid”…the key words are “a placement”. For headhunters it really IS about making placements and getting paid. But the best headhunters know that real success is measured over time and people have long memories. It never pays to put your reputation at risk with candidates or employers by making a bad placement that could have been averted. Some of those will happen in the normal course of business and the headhunters will get blamed. That’s just the way it is. But we darn sure don’t need to shoot ourselves in the foot. There are plenty of other folks trying to do that to us (or worse).

Next week Part 5 and the final 6 of the 21 Best Reasons….

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