How to prepare for a meeting with a HeadhunterHead-hunting is a mystery to some people. Most headhunters will be briefed by the client company to search and select the most appropriate candidate for their needs. When a headhunter approaches you, either via telephone, email or otherwise – do some homework before you respond. Make sure that you know something about the person you are about to divulge your entire work and home-life history to. Headhunters, if they are any good, should offer you a convenient out of hours conversation or meeting. Don’t be confused with recuiters v headhunters. There are key differences and this will be covered here. Headhunters are usually always retained to search on behalf of clients. This means that the hiring company are in partnership with the headhunter and between them, search and select the most appropriate candidate. Retained Search is a method where the headhunter will be paid part of their fee in advance to conduct a thorough search of the market. This effectively means that the headhunters time to search is paid for and often results in a qualitative experience for all concerned. When you engage with a headhunter, they should accommodate your requirements by offering to meet you at a convenient time, often out of hours and at a location to suit you. The headhunter should have a full understanding of their client. This will include who works within the team, the reporting chain of command, who knows whom and a detailed understanding of the companies strategy, ethos and company culture. When you meet a headhunter – be yourself. There’s absolutely no point trying to tailor who you think they want to see. Expect to have a full and frank discussion for between 1-3 hours. Tell the headhunter everything you think is important about your background and what you believe you can bring to their client. If the headhunter doesn’t think you’ll fit into the client company, nothing is lost – because they may have something else in mind or another client in the short-term future. Ask the headhunter outright – “Do you think that I’m a good fit for your client?” Get some interview feedback. Ask lots of questions, not only about the job role, but also about the headhunter and their background. Good headhunters can be very useful during your career. Avoid the bad ones. How do you know a good one form a bad one. Experience and gut reaction. Good luck.
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