Recruiter or Headhunter?An inbox full of emails from recruiters, headhunters, executive search, talent acquisition, specialists, most of whom have never worked in your industry or understand the job roles or culture of the company. I’m often asked to explain the difference between a recruiter and a head-hunter. Anyone can be a recruiter these days. All you need is access to Linkedin and a phone/email. It is only when you drill down into the experience of these people that you begin to work out who you’re dealing with. I wrote about the disingenuous people that operate within recruitment some time ago, in a blog called Dirty Rotten Recruiters. https://wilkins.today/dirty-rotten-recruiters/ Without going over the same ground, I wanted to explain my view of the recruitment industry and the differences between headhunter and recruiter. My specialism is Housebuilding. I undertake retained and exclusive search assignments for Housebuilding clients. Retained – I get paid partially in advance. Exclusive – Other recruiters are not instructed on a particular assignment. Contingency recruitment is very different. If you can imagine a number of recruitment companies who have access to a CV of a candidate, the most important thing in their mind is to bombard the inboxes of companies that might consider employing the candidate, hoping for a ‘first past the post’ introduction. Apart from being annoying to the company receiving this garbage, it can also be dangerous as most industries have a well-known network of people who are connected in some form. This leads to confidential matters becoming the opposite. Contingency recruitment is the main cause of fee disputes. Who sent the CV first? Who spoke to the candidate first? Who introduced the candidate? Who should the candidate trust to represent them? Will the candidate be interviewed, ever? A retained solution is less traumatic usually. A partnership, hand in glove with a headhunter, who meets and interviews every candidate for the assignment, asks awkward questions of the candidate to uncover what they know about the job role, a shortlist from a larger long-list is compiled and reasons for presenting the best person to fit the company culture and has the skills to fulfil the job is often how matter proceed. Trusted, lasting relationships are formed, rather than “CV spot-trading”. (a quote from Mitch Sullivan). Changing jobs should be a major consideration and be treated as such by all concerned. When you next receive a call from a recruiter, ask more about who they are and why they have called you. What do they know about you and your industry and are they considerate of your time, offering to call at a suitable convenient time? My approach has worked successfully for 14 years and can be a very satisfying job. Professionalism and ethical, confidential conduct are vital ingredients to maintaining respect. Your career – Your choice.
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