Headhunters and Recruiters

Nancy Anderson
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Headhunters and recruiters can do more than find jobs you are suited for. They can coach you for interviews and make suggestions for your resume. They know employers and can provide important information about them that can help you get hired. But they can’t hire you, only their clients can. Keep this in mind when working with headhunters. They are the go-between for you and your next employer.

There are two types of employment, or recruiting, agencies. One is a contingency agency which is paid only after you accept a job. Retainer agencies are paid whether they have a viable candidate or not. Remember that recruiters and headhunters are paid dependent upon you being offered and accepting a job. They very much want for you to be qualified for the job and a perfect fit for the company.

When working with headhunters, here are a few questions you will want to ask:

1. Do you deal with your client’s human resources department or do you work directly with the hiring manager?
This question will give you an idea of how much influence your recruiter actually has in this hiring decision. If your recruiter does have direct contact with the manager, their recommendation will mean a lot more than if they just talk to human resources.

2. How many candidates have you placed with this client?
If your recruiter has placed several people with the client before, it means that they are familiar enough with the client to know if you are really a good match or not. They most likely have a specific position in mind for you to apply for.

3. When will I find out the name of the client’s company?
Most headhunters will give you the name of the company right after they pass along your resume. If your headhunter is reluctant to do this or flat out refuses to, you need to question their motives for withholding this information. Examine whether or not you really trust this person to represent you.

4. Can I get a written job description?
This will give you great information about the job responsibilities and maybe some clues about company culture, and maybe even compensation. Always ask for it, but don’t be surprised if they don’t have one. Just make sure you at least always know the job title and classification of the job in question.

5. When can I expect to hear about the status of this job after you present them with my resume?
This is important for your own timeline and will help you to know when you should move on to another opportunity. Make sure the recruiter is still presenting you for other jobs opportunities, in the meantime.

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Becky Papp has been a professional writer for 20 years, working for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications. She currently contracts for clients all over the world, writing online and print articles, newsletters, blogs, and e-books. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
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