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Many CEOs and senior level executives have only been exposed to head-hunters when they themselves have been head-hunted. This interaction is normally positive for both sides; the candidate is flattered that he has been approached - the head-hunter is on best behaviour, after all he is speaking to potentially the successful candidate, or at least someone who can give him industry information.

However, when the tables are turned and the executive is seeking a new position, the relationship is more often than not a lot less cosy. This is often because there is no pre-existing relationship. A head-hunter is a captive of the work he has been retained to carry out for a client. Whilst any decent head-hunter will always do his best to help a candidate, the clear priority remains delivering the best possible fit to his clients requirements.

Even when you are not seeking a new role, the judicious advice of a well informed and trusted head-hunter can bring benefits to important areas of your professional life; market information, networking, and not least advice about one's own career progression are all areas where a head-hunter can be an invaluable aide.

The most obvious solution is to forge relationships with pre-identified and trusted head-hunters, in whom you have confidence. Helping him with networking and market information, engaging in speculative contact before you need his services, awarding assignments to the type of head-hunter who could be useful to your own career needs in the future are all very simple ways of initiating and building that relationship. The relationship between candidate and head-hunter should be just as enduring as that between head-hunter and client.

 


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