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Many senior level executives have only been exposed to headhunters when they themselves have been headhunted. This interaction is normally positive for both sides; the candidate is flattered that they have been approached - the headhunter is on best behaviour, after all they are speaking to potentially the successful candidate, or at least someone who can give them 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 headhunter is a captive of the work they have been retained to carry out for a client. Whilst any decent headhunter will always do their best to help a candidate, the clear precedence must be concentrating on the client requirements.
The priority of catering for our clients precludes our ability to actively promote candidates who are unknown to us, however we firmly believe that the relationship with our clients should extend beyond simply sourcing good candidates for them. Where we have previously conducted assignments for someone we will do our best to look after their own individual needs.
Even when you are not seeking a new role, the judicious advice of a well informed and trusted headhunter 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 headhunter can be an invaluable aide.
The most obvious solution is to forge relationships with pre-identified and trusted headhunters in whom you have confidence. Helping them with networking and market information, engaging in speculative contact before you need their 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 headhunter should be just as enduring as that between headhunter and client.
Some of the ways we can help:
- Active career management, counselling and consultancy
- Corporate introductions
- Psychometric profiling
- Company / market research
- CV and self-marketing techniques