Why Use a Headhunter?
By Darrell W. Gurney, CPC, JCTC, CMCC, RScP
Principal of A Permanent Success National Career Coaching & Search Partners
My first response is "Why not?"
"I can get a job on my own," you say, "through all the Internet resources available: job-posting sites, various resume "blasting" services, as well as direct company contact through corporate job boards."
"Go for it!" I say. "Yet that still doesn't answer my question: 'Why not?'"
"Because I don't need a recruiter" you reply. "I just told you-I can get a job on my own."
"Right! You might, and with all those resources at your disposal, what does it cost to have yet another avenue working for you? It's a free service."
"Because sometimes they're pushy, only thinking about their fee, and I've heard from people who've had bad experiences with recruiters."
"OK, so don't work with those recruiters. But what about the rest?"
"To heck with the rest. What can a headhunter do for me that I can't do for myself?"
"So glad you asked! Let's talk."
You may or may not relate to this dialogue but, regardless of your personal experience with recruiters (aka headhunters), this article contains some ideas worth pondering. Consider that there are both short- and long-term benefits to managing your career through recruiters. I emphasize the word "managing" because most of us have lived life from job to job with no left-over consciousness at the end of the day to maneuver ourselves into the next step. However, when you look at Hollywood actors (both "stars" and strugglers) and sports figures, what common denominators stand out in their career process? Personal Managers. Agents. Individuals responsible for their "clients" attaining and expressing their highest potential. Yes, more money, but also those "quality of life" intangibles that can't always be monetized: creative fulfillment, personal growth and expansion, enjoyment of what they do, etc.
"So," you say, "that's great for them. It's the way that business works. But I'm just an employee."
"Who's 'employee' are you," I reply, "if not your own?"
Look, recruiters can help you in the short-term, for sure. What you get through them that you don't get through your own e-effort is:
Perhaps just as important as these short-term benefits, however, are the long-term rewards from affiliating with a few recruiters for life! Just as the Hollywood and sports types can focus on what they do best by having someone else manage their movement, a few chosen career partners(tm) can support your long-term goals and desires. This only happens when you stay connected with your recruiters...not by waiting until you need to make an emergency move. So my advice is to always, always, always keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your contact information current and your resume and "wish list" continually updated.
I respect your loyalty to a company that continues to provide the opportunities and compensation you deserve. Respect yourself enough to always have a secret agent informing you of whether they are doing so-or not. It never hurts to hear what's going on out there. When you find those headhunters you can hold as family career doctors, stay tuned in. You may be very surprised at what they might uncover for you over the long run.
"OK," you say, "you win."
"Correction," I reply. "You win!"
Darrell W. Gurney, Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Job & Transition Coach (JCTC), and Licensed Spiritual Counselor (RScP), is Principal of A Permanent Success National Career Coaching & Search Partners and author of Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters ($14.95, Softcover), available online at http://www.HeadhuntersRevealed.com or by calling 1-877-4-HEADHUNT. Headhunters Revealed! received the Clarion Award for Best Book from the Association for Women in Communications, has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist, and has been featured in nationally syndicated career columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy's "Careers Now."
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