View Full Version : How Do I Get Headhunted?
Yes, job related.
Long story very short:
Management has decided to close my division. I am (if I say so myself) well-respected in the company and other managers would hire me but there is to be no funding for my job--nor me. So I'm not losing the job for cause and will have references. It's just that everyone in the division = gone.
I'm on Linked In. I've told all of the people in my network I'm about to be looking. But iIt's a tight economy and I am in a niche position. A niche position that doesn't have enough public visibility that my name is well-known outside of my own employer.
So, how can I get in touch with a headhunter to present myself in such a way he may say "I'll go looking for something for this guy?" Naturally, the thing I want to avoid are the shops where you pay for...eventually nothing. I'm looking for a real, honest-to-goodness headhunter.
(I'm in a technical, but specialized field, in a low-level management position. This means that I'm above minimum wage without being in the Office With A View group. I don't mind moving up or down a step--out of management or taking more management responsibilities but just don't know where to start finding the people who do know where to look.)
10-06-2011, 01:07 PM
Don't find them. They'll find you.
Sign up with their websites - Monster.com, Dice.com, CareerBuilder.com, or whoever is popular these days. And they'll start calling.
10-06-2011, 01:17 PM
I disagree with Keeve, given the situation described. Find names of headhunters (I'm sure that they'd prefer to be called career placement specialists or somesuch) from colleagues in your field. Someone probably used one getting into your company. It's good to form a relationship with someone like that whom you can trust. Give them a resume and ask them to critique and accept their feedback.
If you can find one, but they don't cover your area (and s/he is not a putz), they should be able to refer you to someone with whom you can work.
10-06-2011, 01:27 PM
So, how can I get in touch with a headhunter to present myself in such a way he may say "I'll go looking for something for this guy?"ShibbOleth makes good points. did you try the want ads in the newspaper? I'm not sure what your problem is.Naturally, the thing I want to avoid are the shops where you pay for...eventually nothing. I'm looking for a real, honest-to-goodness headhunter.I think it has been decades since they charge the employer. Their fee is paid by the employer who hires you. At least, that's how it's been in the NYC area.
10-06-2011, 09:15 PM
... (I'm sure that they'd prefer to be called career placement specialists or somesuch) ...Recruiter is the term I'd look up.
10-06-2011, 10:22 PM
I think it has been decades since they charge the employer. Their fee is paid by the employer who hires you. At least, that's how it's been in the NYC area.
I assume that the first mention of "employer" here is supposed to be "employee". You may find some recruiters who will ask for money from you; if you do, run away. Reputable recruiters are, indeed, compensated by the hiring company.
Agreed with jnglmassiv -- use the term "recruiter" or "executive recruiter". Most recruiters specialize in a particular industry, so you're going to want to search for those who focus on your field. They will, of course, want to see your resume up front.
10-06-2011, 11:32 PM
Just as general advice, I would say that once you find a recruiter, be open to the possibility of transfering into a different type of position. Your experience may not directly translate into something else, but try to spin your experience and history so that you seem very employable in many different settings. I know your heart may be set on keeping the type of position you had at your old place, but if you really value that paycheck I'd say to get creative with your resume and think of ways to explain your niche experience in broader terms.
Also, a recruiter is always going to ask you what your "minimum" amount you will work for. EXPECT that this is what you are going to get paid. Make your minimum desired. The lower you set your own wage, the more money they are going to make off of you.
They are going to phrase it as "we found a job that is offering 20 per hour for you, are you interested?" But what they are really saying is that THEY are going to pay you 20 dollars per hour, and are likely getting paid 30 or 40 dollars per hour from the company that they are contracting you out for.
This is how recruiters in the Houston area work anyway... you are a contract worker for them. Maybe other recruiters really only take a one time fee and such, but just be aware of this particular aspect if your recruiter ends up being more of a temp agency.
In answer to Keeve's question, what my "problem" is is that I wasn't sure how to find these people. Even though I live in a major metropolitan area, our local paper's want ads are woefully inadequate. The entire want ad section--from warehouse workers to brain surgeons is four pages--on Sunday.
I was headhunted many (many) years ago. A professional recruiter approached me because he was familiar with my work and he got me into a professional/technical position. I would like to find someone who does that for a living but, not being in any way in a position where I've hired someone for the better part of a decade, I have no contacts, or ideas where to find them. My goal: Identify someone, introduce myself, and see if there's a fit for my rather-specialized skill set.
ETA after neglecting to preview: And I'm more than willing to broaden my search. Although I'm currently in a particular technical discipline, I believe my technical skills are transferable into other areas. I also expect that I could manage technical people in areas other than that.
10-06-2011, 11:39 PM
I took my resume to a local executive search place (in fact, I think it was called "Executive Search"). They don't charge you; they charge the businesses that use them to find employees. I was hired twice through them, so they were invaluable to me.
10-07-2011, 05:22 AM
Also sign up with and work through a couple temp agencies. There are HR professional groups that get together and do the networking thing [I have a friend who has her masters in HR and works in the field.]
I actually got a couple jobs through temp agencies, and many companies are starting to work solely through temp to hire so they can try on employees for fit without the whole hire/fire thing. Temps are like kleenex, disposable. Sad, but it may be the best way to get a permanent job now.
10-07-2011, 05:37 AM
I was headhunted many (many) years ago. A professional recruiter approached me because he was familiar with my work and he got me into a professional/technical position.
What's stopping you contacting him again?
10-07-2011, 07:07 AM
ShibbOleth makes good points. did you try the want ads in the newspaper?
Most papers don;t have want ads any more.
I think I'd do two things- one, post on Monster, Dice, etc.... and let them find you.
Once you've talked to some number of recruiters, you'll get a feel for the ones that are big-time/serious, and the ones who are just making a paycheck. Cultivate relationships with the real ones, and let the other ones call you on occasion, but don't necessarily keep up with them.
It's kind of a long game; they basically allow their clients to look at a short list of qualified candidates instead of sifting through thousands of resumes, and they provide the job seeker with a somewhat better chance of finding a job than firing out hundreds of resumes to online job postings and newspaper ads.
Newspapers do have employment listings; many are online-only now though.
The primary thing to remember is that when you're looking for a job, it's fundamentally a sales function. You may be the best X in the world, but if your marketing sucks, it's not so important. Another thing to consider is that if you can convince the recruiter that you can do something similar but not quite the same as what you did before, they can often convince the company to take a look at you, when you might not have had the same luck on your own.
Another thing- if you're in management, or at least in a "career" as opposed to a job, don't fool with the temp route unless you absolutely have to. A huge piece of resumes is showing *why* you deserve to work for their company, and how if it's a step up, that you have the experience to do it. Going from lower level management to temping will look like you weren't very good at it and had to temp. Better to take some contract jobs or something than explicitly hire out as a temp doing something non-career related.
What's stopping you contacting him again?
It was over 20 years ago. It's how I got the job I'm in.
10-07-2011, 12:13 PM
It was over 20 years ago.
It's how I got the job I'm in.
All the better!
I tried to imply that I have no contact with them anymore. A Google search on their name comes back without any (pertinent) results. If I recall, it was a one-person office so I can see him going out of, or changing business in the interim. (Searching for his name in that geographical location was also fruitless.)
When I was still working and lost my job as a service tech at BellSouth (due to my injury. I was trying to find work prior to disability approval. I shouldn't have been working due to my injury, but you still have to eat and pay for housing no matter how bad you are hurting) I put my resume up at Monster. Within days I had "Headhunters" emailing and calling.
I will do that, and change Linked In status once I know for certain that I will be "made redundant."
10-07-2011, 03:57 PM
Now-a-days, I find headhunters to be very selective. It's tough to find a good job, especially for mid level employees. Headhunters work on commission so they won't spend more than a week or so looking for you. If they don't get back feelers, they'll drop you quick enough.
You can put resumes on Monster and such, but you will get calls mainly from spammers, schemers and guys trying to build a portfolio, but not helping you.
Remember headhunters are employees too. They sign anyone up just to increase their portfolio. They need to go to their boss and say, "Look I've signed up so many people per week." Of course they have to convert them to jobs as well, but one of their goals is simply a client list.
Unless your high end upper level, I would not count on a headhunter. Use them, by all means, as a source, but only AS PART OF a job plan, because after a week of initial looking, they'll put you at the bottom of their list, if nothing comes up
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