Things Headhunters Do Wrong
I know what you’re thinking—things headhunters do wrong could fill a book—and you’re probably right. But today I’m only going to tackle a couple of the main issues. In fact, let me clarify that even more—these are only main issues as I see them. And I’m looking at it from the wrong side of the tracks.
In case you’re wondering, this was a difficult post to write because:
A. I’m a headhunter.
B. I do these things wrong.
So what are these issues?
Feedback, Salary, and Returning Calls
Number One: Giving Honest Feedback
I know. Believe me, I know. I struggled with this one for a long time, but after years of stumbling and inconsistency, I finally made it to where I do give honest feedback to candidates. This feedback can assume many forms.
- My resume feedback: If a candidate doesn’t fit the job—in my opinion—I tell them. (Actually, I voice my concerns and ask them if they feel differently.)
- Client’s resume feedback: Assuming I pass the resume along to a client, this is when I give the candidates feedback that comes from the client.
- Client’s feedback from interview: This is assuming the candidate progresses to the interview stage. This can be the most difficult feedback, because it often involves a personality fit—or should I say, a personality mismatch.
I think a lot of recruiters struggle with these issues. It’s not easy to provide feedback (sometimes negative) when you know it will not be received well.
Number Two: Salary Discussions
I’ve known more than a few recruiters who dance around this issue. To me, this is a no brainer. Everyone—starting with the client—has to be up front about salary and other forms of compensation. Nothing is worse than going through the entire hiring process only to find you can’t come to terms on compensation.
I don’t think salary is the most important issue—it seldom is—but it’s important enough to be discussed before proceeding beyond initial contact.
Number Three: Returning Calls
This is an area where I think many recruiters fall down on the job—myself included. I am continually working on improving this, but even once is too much. I don’t like it when it happens to me, so I know others don’t like it when it happens to them.
I now make it a goal to get back to everyone, even if it’s with an email. It is my primary resolution for the new year.
Your Pet Peeve
I’m sure most of you have dealt with headhunters. What are your pet peeves? What do headhunters do—or not do—that bothers you the most? I’d love to hear from you.
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He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends”.