Job-hunting companies where YOU pay?

I’m looking for a better job (who isn’t?) and I’ve been contacted by a company which seems to be a bit… different. On our first meeting, they gave me an in-depth personality profile, which seemed a bit unusual. There was some talk about different “plans” which I could opt for, which made me wonder if I’m going to have to pay. The headhunters I’m used to dealing with operate at no charge to the prospective employee. The employer pays the bills. When I asked the lady about costs, she dodged and said we’d discuss that at our next meeting.

That meeting is this Thursday. Having read the literature she gave me, I’m now convinced that I’m going to incur some kind of fees for their services. The literature talks about how only a small percentage of employers actually use most headhunting services, because they don’t want to pay the fees associated with them. These guys supposedly operate at no cost to the companies. Obviously, somebody pays their bills, so I’m figuring it must be saps like me.

Has anyone had experience with this sort of service? What were your costs, and do you think it was worth it, compared to places like Monster.com?

Run, not walk, away. The only job they’re interested in is the one draining your wallet.

Spoken as a veteran client of many headhunters, and I’ve never failed to find a job yet on my own initiative…

What **VunderBob **said…

That is completely 100% bad under all circumstances for all people at all times. You don’t have to pay real headhunters.

Good companies who need someone may pay for a headhunter, knowing that good people are going to expect the company to pick up the costs. The rinky dink companies that will work with a headhunter YOU pay the costs for aren’t worth working for anyway.

(But most jobs aren’t found through a headhunter - well, unless the headhunter finds you. Plan on working through as many avenues as you can in your job search.)

I honestly believe that you will have more success with either Monster or with a company that does not charge fees.

In all the places where I have been a hiring manager I have never dealt with a company that charged a fee to the employee.

If you still think it is worth it, make sure it is performance based. IOW, you only pay if they get you a job.

I am going to dissent. As long as you only pay them if and when they place you, and the placement lasts a reasonable minimum that you consider acceptable, companies that charge you to place you are oftentimes the ones that will actually place you. I’ve had the experience of registering with a shitload of placement / headhunters and either got nary a call or else got spam emails about employment opportunities that had diddly squat to do with what I’d explained was my skillset, work preference, and experience.

Wouldn’t happen to be Bernard Haldane, would it?

I’ll agree that there are slimy headhunters out there who don’t charge you. I used to get boatloads of resumes from one of these guys that were totally irrelevant to our openings. Headhunters work for the employer, not the employee.

However, I’ve never heard of a legit employee paid headhunter, not counting placement assistance offered during a layoff. What do you think a good headhunter is going to prefer: to get paid by an employer with lots of money and the chance of repeat business, or being paid by the job seeker with little money and little chance of repeat business?

For the OP, the woman might be correct about how few companies use headhunters. This means that the best way of finding a job is by networking and by finding companies you want to work for and contacts within these companies, and calling. Use Monster and resume distribution, sure, but don’t depend on it.

I get calls from headhunters all the time, and I even took a job through one. (He earned his commission.) But if I were going to change jobs, I’d use my network first.

Run like the wind, Bullseye! :smiley:

Seriously - don’t pay them to job-hunt for you. Consider registering with a placement agency where all you do is register and submit a resume, no fees charged. There are some good agencies around you could look to in order to get placed. Although a good bit of them could be the temp-to-hire variety, these kinds of agencies normally do offer direct-hire placements as well. Not knowing what level you’re at in your career, that might not be worthwhile, but if you’re mid-management or entry level, this might be a good option.

Don’t give these people any money for a job-hunting program.

There are placement agencies that are legitimate. You pay them a fee – but only if they get you a job.

I used one many years ago, and they did get me a job. IIRC, they got about half of my first two paychecks. But the downside is that they tried to fit me into the jobs they had instead of finding jobs that fit me. I was pretty much a warm body they sent on interviews for any job openings they came to them and they hoped to scattershot people into positions. At the time, though, I was willing to take anything, so it was OK.

There are also headhunters, who are paid by the employer. Unless you’re in a management or highly technical position, you won’t hear from them.

But anything else is a scam. It’s specifically illegal in New York State for an agency to ask for a fee in advance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were laws against it elsewhere.

I’m done with those guys. Earlier today (Wednesday) I called them back and demanded to know what the fees were going to be.

The answer: $3000

The lady must have heard my jaw hit the floor, because she started to talk about payment plans, but I would have none of it. I told her that I wasn’t going any further. She tried to talk me out of it, but eventually she said she’d delete my file. Hopefully, that’s the end of that. Even if I didn’t pay until they found me a job, that’s a hell of a lot of money!

Agreed with all the warnings. In my naive youth I signed up for such a service (looking for something while I was going to college part time), where they promised that I would only have to pay when I actually got a job. Sounds good, until I got a position at one of those “rent-to-own” places (which should have clued me), where I was hired for exactly one day of doing nothing other than standing in the corner, then peremptorily fired. Of course the “employment agency” then demanded their payment since I did get hired by someone. Do your own homework and you’ll find what you’re looking for.