How to Handle a Headhunter: Five Important Tips

By steve gott

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A headhunter is a person who is contracted by a company to find highly-qualified prospective employees. To do this, headhunters search for people who meet the human resource requirements of the company they are working for. In essence, a headhunter is the "middle man" that helps companies find the best employees possible.

What to Do When Contacted by a Headhunter?

Most times, headhunters call prospective employees out of the blue. For this reason, you may be extremely surprised to hear from a headhunter. However, no matter how surprised you are, it is important to remain professional, and use discretion when revealing information about yourself or the company you are currently working for. It is also crucial to remember that an initial phone call from a headhunter is not a job offer. In fact, the headhunter is probably talking to several individuals about the potential job. After consulting with several people about the job, the headhunter will make a short-list of candidates for interviews with the company they are representing.

How to Get Short-Listed by a Headhunter?

In order to get short-listed, you have to present yourself in a professional manner during the initial phone call. During the initial phone call, make sure to keep your options open. If you have questions about relocating or salary don't discuss them in the initial phone call, you will have opportunities to discuss these issues in the future.

How to Handle the Interview?

If you are short-listed by a headhunter, you will be given an opportunity to interview with the hiring firm that the headhunter is working with. Prior to your interview, you should research the company you will be applying to. To show interest in the company at the interview, you should ask questions about the direction of the company, and what your role in that would be. Even if you are not sure whether you are interested in the job, you should go to the interview. It is necessary to keep your options open to ensure that you don't miss out on a great possibility.

When to Negotiate a Job Offer, When Not To

If you receive a job offer from the hiring firm that the headhunter represents, you will have to consider whether or not you want to accept the offer, decline the offer, or negotiate for better terms. In this situation, you will have to consider if the company that made the offer is somewhere you honestly want to go. If it is, you may want to once again work with the headhunter to negotiate.

It is important to remember that headhunters often work with highly sought after individuals, so your current employer may make a counter offer when they learn that you are thinking of leaving. If this happens, you will have to consider what is relevant to you, and which job lends itself better to your desired career path.

Don't Jeopardize Your Current Job

When contacted by a headhunter, you have to remember that it is not a solid job offer. In fact, you may never hear from a headhunter again after the initial contact, so it is important to not jeopardize your current position. To do this, make sure you do not use any of your current employer's equipment to send resumes including fax machines and computers. Instead, all contact with a headhunter should be done on your own time.

Being contacted by a headhunter is an exciting opportunity. In order to increase your chances of being short-listed by a headhunter, you need to maintain your composure, remain professional at all times, and keep your options open, especially for rather exciting jobs like travel jobs.



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