How To Respond When Corporate Headhunters Call
Will you be ready when corporate headhunters start to call? Know how to respond when executive headhunters seek you out even if you're not actively looking for a new opportunity.
It's always flattering to hear from someone who is interested in you, but some people aren't sure how to respond when the interested parties are headhunters. If you're currently happy, or at least satisfied, with your current job and your employer, you'll be tempted to tell recruiters you aren't interested, but that may not be the best approach. You never know what will happen six months or a year down the road, when you may discover that the services of corporate recruiters are suddenly just what you need. There are several basic steps you should take if you're approached by recruiters in order to keep your options open:
Listen With An Open Mind
You don't have to give corporate headhunters an hour of your time, but giving them a few minutes is always a good idea. Listen carefully as they explain the position they're trying to fill. If you aren't interested in the current job, they will keep you in mind for future positions if you're open and courteous. Recruiters can be instrumental in helping you advance in your career, saving you from downsizing or even helping you in the midst of an unexpected merger or buy-out that has a negative impact on your career. One caveat - if headhunters call you at work, tell them firmly that you'd like to talk to learn more, but that it will have to be when you aren't at work.
Evaluate What Headhunters Are Offering
Sometimes recruiters contact individuals seeking information rather than actively recruiting. Be sure you are clear on what the phone call is about. Are they asking about an employee who used you as a reference, or do they seem to be cold-calling you, hoping you'll be interested in making a change? If they say that they feel you'd be a good fit for a particular position, ask them why. The real purpose of the call should become apparent within the first five minutes of the call.
Ask Relevant Questions
Now is the time to clearly explain your position. If you aren't interested at all in moving to another company or relocating to a different city, tell them. You don't want to waste their time and yours; both are valuable. If you are interested, make it clear to any headhunters what your current salary is and what you would expect to make if you accepted a new position. You can also ask about perks such as pensions, 401Ks, relocation assistance and benefits. These can be just as important as salary, so be sure you understand what they are offering. Above all, don't mislead them about your current salary and benefits. They will likely have a good idea of your salary range already, and being caught fudging the numbers could be disastrous.
Be Helpful Without Divulging Too Much
If you decide that you truly aren't interested in the position they're recruiting for but you'd like to keep your options open, you can certainly offer to help them in some way. Perhaps you could suggest the name of a colleague who is actively seeking a new position or give them a helpful lead. The key is to be helpful but judicious - you don't want to jeopardize your current status by giving away too much information. You can, however, give them a bit of helpful information in order to keep the lines of communication open so that you'll be remembered in a positive light for the time when you're ready to talk to corporate headhunters about your next career move.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Lawler Group works closely with individuals looking for executive level and upper management positions in a variety of industries. Talk to one of their corporate headhunters in Milwaukee today to learn about current offers. For helpful resume tips, visit their website.