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Hiring a personal headhunter.
April 27, 2007 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Some seem to be scams, but are there any reputable employee-hired headhunters out there?

Headhunters are typically hired by companies to fill their open spots. Jobseekers are encouraged to submit resumes to these people but the companies are their clients, not the Joe Blow Jobseeker. Ultimately, one has to realize that the headhunters answer to the companies they contract with and are under no obligation or interest to find placements for the jobseekers who come their way.

Are there any headhunters that will take fees for guaranteed placement for the jobhunter, rather than for the companies?
posted by dr_dank to Work & Money (5 answers total)
 
My friend had great luck with a headhunter he hired to get his first job out of grad school. I seem to remember him having dozens of interviews. However, he definitely felt like the headhunter was trying to push him into jobs that he didn't think were a good fit for him, which I guess makes sense from the headhunter's POV but definitely pissed off my friend.

A caveat, though: the headhunter was a family friend. So, although he was making money off my friend, he also probably felt a bit more responsible for my friend than he would feel for you as someone who knew his relatives. I can't say anything about the process of finding and hiring a good headhunter either, for that reason.
posted by crinklebat at 11:18 AM on April 27, 2007


Be aware that headhunters can often make 25% (or more) of the first year salary per placement. Can you afford to pay them 25% of what you would make?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:44 AM on April 27, 2007


it depends on your industry. as an advertising creative, I tend to work with headhunters I approach. coworkers and friends recommend the ones they like among each other. there are a lot of them out there who approach us but most of them are like realtors, they promise a lot more than they can deliver.

I have never had to pay a headhunter (or recruiter or agent, all the same). look into what is customary for your industry and proceed in a similar way. in the end, you're looking for a contact, for an introduction. you should not pay for that.
posted by krautland at 12:23 PM on April 27, 2007


There absolutely can be. My mother works as such a third party agent for lawyers. If they're legit, you won't pay them directly--the finder's fee will come from the firm/company.
posted by crayolarabbit at 3:18 PM on April 27, 2007


My experience is with the company-paid type of recruiters, but I've found that if you don't jump at the first thing they dangle in front of you but you still are interested in having them help you find a job, they try a lot harder to learn what you're looking for and to help find a good match for you. Even though they are being paid by the hiring company, they only get paid if they make you happy enough to accept a job they identify to you, so in a sense they are working for you.

(A similar thing can be said of real estate agents. A good one will help the buyer find the house the buyer wants instead of just trying to push their existing listings on that person.)
posted by Doohickie at 9:14 PM on April 27, 2007


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