If you have been job searching long enough, chances are you have come into contact with a headhunter (otherwise known as a recruiter) at some point. They may have e-mailed you or sent you a LinkedIn message about a job opening they think you would be a good fit for, or maybe you applied to a position online that was posted by a headhunter. And you may have wondered how much headhunters are really looking out for your best interest.
Using a headhunter to find a job is a great option for many people in their job search. Headhunters often work for employment agencies who take on different companies as clients to help find candidates to fill their job openings. In some cases, headhunters are direct employees at the company they are recruiting for. As a job seeker, you should never have to pay for a headhunter, since they are getting paid by the companies that hire them to fill job openings. Their main focus is finding the right candidate to fill the job opening so they can make more money.
Benefits of Using a Headhunter to Find a Job
But that doesn’t mean job seekers can’t receive major benefits from a headhunter at an employment agency. Particularly if your job search has hit a plateau and you aren’t getting interviews, you’ve got nothing to lose working with a headhunter. Here are some ways using a headhunter to find a job can benefit you:
1) Headhunters have lots of inside information
Since finding people jobs is their job, headhunters have a lot of knowledge about the labor market that most people aren’t aware of. They can clue you in to the best industries to work in right now, and they may even be aware of job openings that aren’t posted anywhere yet. They know what skills are the most marketable. Also, headhunters become very familiar over time with the companies they have as clients. So they can give you a better idea of what it’s like working there, and helpful information for the interview such as dress code and aspects of the company culture.
2) Headhunters can save you a lot of time
A headhunter will be able to find you more job opportunities than you could on your own in the same amount of time. By using a headhunter to find a job, you will also be presented with more opportunities that are a match for your skillset. That means less time filling out applications and going on interviews for jobs that aren’t a good fit.
3) Headhunters are highly trusted by their clients
Companies that pay headhunters to find them candidates trust their judgement and expertise. So if a headhunter sends you on an interview, you are likely to have higher credibility to the potential employer than if you applied on your own.
4) Headhunters can give you great advice
Even if you don’t end up with a job offer through a headhunter, they are likely to give you some resume pointers and interview tips along the way. Many of them benefit financially from filling a position, so they want to present you to the potential employer in the best light.
5) Headhunters can help negotiate job offers
Once you land a job, the negotiation process is another headache you will have to deal with. Then starts the paperwork, gathering of references, background checks, etc. By using a headhunter to help you find a job, they can help you sort through all this. And they may also help you negotiate a better salary than you would be able to on your own.
How to Find a Headhunter
There are many employment agencies out there, but finding the right fit will give you better results. First, you want to work with a headhunter that finds job openings in the location you want to work in. Second, if you are looking for work in a particular industry, see if you can find a headhunter that specializes in that industry. Third, ask around in your professional network for recommendations. Finally, when you find a headhunter that interests you, talk to them, find out their level of experience, and make sure you feel comfortable with the individual and the agency.
In the end, using a headhunter to find a job can give your search a huge boost. And while many headhunters are willing to help you improve in some areas, it’s still very important to make a good impression with them just like you would with a potential employer. If the headhunter doesn’t feel you are worth the effort, they won’t bother wasting their time.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.