What About Headhunters? Pt. 4  


Active Colleague Registered
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 6
February 16, 2021 5:11 pm  

Hello everyone!

This month we are continuing the discussion about headhunters, and what they mean to you as a job seeker.

In previous blogs, I made the following points about headhunters:

1) Headhunters really aren't the best place to focus most of your efforts as a job seeker
2) The best strategy is to manage your online presence so they can find you.
3) If you manage your expectations of them and cooperate, they can be of value.

To wrap up the series, this month we will discuss how and why recruiters will blackball, reject, and ignore you and your resume. 

Here are the behaviors that will get you on the naughty list, and preclude you from consideration, no matter how talented or experienced you are:


If the recruiter tells you they don't know anything about your status yet, don't harass them. If they don't have an answer for you at 9AM, they probably won't have one for you at 1PM, or 5PM that same day.. these things can move at a glaciers pace, following up once a week is fine. If you are under serious consideration, I promise they will call you. And you did your job right on the interview, you'll know what the next step is anyway. If you constantly harass the recruiter and / or question their effectiveness and professionalism, you'll get bounced from this and future searches for being a troublemaker.


If the recruiter asks you if you are aware of a position in XYZ company, and you are already a submitted candidate or otherwise talking to them, say so. If you took another position midway through the interview process,  say so. Don't string anyone along, and don't just disappear.. you will develop a reputation as a shady person.


Sad I have to tell adults this, but when you miss appointments without calling, you'll get a bad reputation.. I have had people contact me for help after doing this to my hiring authority, and to me, and get indignant when I won't help them.


Another way to get blackballed.. being wishy washy at the time of being offered a position you said you wanted.. all those times the recruiter ( if they are good) asked you if you were committed to making a move, and you said yes, only to put the brakes on at the last minute.. if you do that more than once, word will get around.


Don't fail the attitude test. Be nice. Acting like you are the savior of the position is not attractive, even if you are the best at what you do.
Being known as the “talented yet nasty” candidate is not something you want.

The bottom line is, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.. think about what you are doing, preferably before you do it.. You are asking someone for help, and should be grateful that someone introduced you and is representing you to an opportunity you didn't create.

Until next time, I wish you all the best

Coach Tom

Active Colleague Registered
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
February 16, 2021 6:36 pm  

Thanks for this series.  It has been timely for me as I've been casually job searching, and headhunter enabled interviews have been part of that.

I'm in the middle of interviewing for an interesting position that was brought to me by a headhunter.  Assuming that everything goes great and an offer letter materializes, what is your opinion on the role of the headhunter in helping negotiate that offer?  I ask because, frankly, I hate that part of the whole thing and would just as soon outsource much of it to the headhunter.   I also had a second headhunter approach me about a position that I wasn't interested in, but she further let me know that if I did get an offer from someone on my own, I should contact her and she could help negotiate that for me (which I thought was rather odd and wasn't sure what the upside of that was for her).

So, generally speaking, how much faith should I put in them for that part?


Honorable Maven Registered
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 641
February 18, 2021 9:42 am  

In most of my cases the recruiter has been an intermidiary to negotiate my salary/total compensation package.  They know full well my current status, expectations and needs and go back and forth with HR - they have keep me updated and on this point on the upside I don't need to talk to HR.  They have the best interest of getting you the best conditions once an offer is extended.   So all good. 

As for the case where someone is offering to negotiate for you AFTER you have obtained an offer is fishy and strange - at that point you would be jeopardizing your offer to bring a 3rd party in.   In that case the hiring process was a direct one between you and the employer (the legal entity so to speak).   You run into issues to include legal ones where a company can decide in that case they are not going to talk to a party (of another legal entity) that was not commissioned/contracted and procured to do such work.  So in that case as you describe..big time NO NO.    

So summary, recruiters who have helped you get an offer and worked you with you in the process..all good.   

some weirdo offering to negotiate AFTER you on your own get an offer..aye aye aye..NO GOOD.