Head Hunters in NYC?
September 17, 2014 6:05 AM   Subscribe

I need a new Job. Seriously. I haven't had much luck with craigslist. I'm still working full time plus a lot of overtime (i need a new job)- so I don't have unlimited time to throw at the hunt. My therapist suggested contacting a headhunter, but I don't know how to go about finding one, or if there are ones that would be appropriate for me. I feel like i am a little under-experienced.

Ideally I would like some kind of Administrative work.

My skills-
The last two years I've been focused Event Planning. I also keep track of social media, write copy and press releases, built some procedure manuals and compiled some talent contracts and managed vendor relationships. I assisted with some recruiting for interns and some sales jobs. I know the basics of Microsoft Office, and am pretty handy on Photoshop. I was a freelance illustrator for around five years, and a junior designer for a big design firm for a couple years before that, but I don’t have a current portfolio and can’t see myself having time (terrible job that I have right now) to put one together.

So, great hive mind- what would you recommend? I do not want to be freelance again, and my current place of employment seriously might implode before the end of the year. I'd like to be out before that happens.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd actually approach the bigger temp agencies, because a lot of them also have permanent-placement divisions. They also get temp-to-perm assignments. Plus, if you work with a temp agency, then you can also use them for temp work WHILE you search, so you can hit the ground running when your workplace goes belly-up.

Or, you could post your resume on Monster.com and headhunters and temp agencies will all start calling YOU.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:21 AM on September 17, 2014

Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you should be. If you are, make sure your profile reflects all your experience.
posted by mogget at 6:57 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I *think* that "headhunters" are only for C-level types. You could definitely work with a recruiting firm - some are great, some are not.
posted by radioamy at 7:00 AM on September 17, 2014

If you have a smartphone, download the Indeed app. You can set up email alerts for certain jobs and also cruise the postings they have (it's an aggregate site that avoids some of the scammy job postings that Monster.com can accrue). You can post a resume there and use it to quickly apply to jobs when you spot them. LinkedIn is also a good way to find recruiters (or recruiters will find you!) when you see who you're connected with through other people. That's always surprising.

It sounds like you could do some work in Community or Social Media management, if you're looking for some keywords.
posted by thefang at 7:02 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also social media marketing. It can't hurt to talk with someone at a firm that specializes in placing social media and marketing people, if only to get pointed in the right direction, but it's true they are typically focused on senior or specialized positions. I've heard that the temp-to-hire route is more common now.

Sounds like you might be able to put together a great collection of work you've done, with writing samples, documents you've created, events you've managed, and the graphics work. This can help you pitch yourself using examples tailored to the job prospect.
posted by lathrop at 8:03 AM on September 17, 2014

"Headhunters" are for executives or professionals (lawyers, architects, that sort of thing). They hunt "heads" - top-level. They're looking at getting a commission on a minimum $200K salary.

For the rest of us, there are agencies or recruiters. Go ahead and brace yourself for recruiters as soon as you put a resume up on Monster or Careerbuilder or whatever: they are pretty much the car salespersons of employment, there is no loyalty to you, generally no actual expertise besides a lot of free time that you don't have, and about 70% of them are just reading the want ads to you and piggybacking on you for a commission, which is incredibly exasperating to the hiring employer. When they approach you with a job, always search on whatever description they give you and see if you can find the listing yourself. You owe them nothing.

But about 30% of them are either temporary/placement agencies (and you may find one or more that are specific to executive assistant placement) or are in-house recruiters actually paid by a company to find and hire employees. Those are better, though a temp agency does not actually give a crap about you beyond having a pulse and a skill they can sell someone. But they are engaged by employers, so it's still better than unsolicited outside recruiters.

It sounds like you have the general skills for marketing or advertising work. You may find some agencies that specialize in that sort of thing; definitely do some googling.

Generally all you need to do for temporary/placement agencies is go to their website, fill out their application, and then eventually they'll probably speak to you on the phone and ask you to come by in person so they can confirm you exist and at least have the social skills to dress appropriately and not be obviously drunk.

Tip: make a new email address for this process. You're going to get a lot of crap email. But you will in all likelihood get a new job out of it as well, so it will be worth it eventually.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:09 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

What does your personal network look like? Are there people you've worked with in the past who like your work? Networking can be super daunting, but it's easier if you pose it as "Hey, I'm starting to look for something new, maybe doing X/Y/Z. Do you know if anyone's hiring?"

I keep saying this: People want to work with people they know. Lots of companies offer bonuses to current employees if the company makes a hire based on the employee's recommendation. The whole devil-you-know sort of thing.

Don't underestimate yourself. If you can illustrate and write and connect the dots, you have a surprising advantage over a lot of other people.
posted by mochapickle at 8:10 AM on September 17, 2014

Hmm, I am not a c-suite exec/lawyer/architect and I've used headhunters for every job I've ever had in New York (aside from the first one that got me here when I was too stupid to try to use one.) There are most likely professionals who specialize in your field. A little networking should get you their names or point you in their direction. I've joined local professional associations to help find out who these people are and to meet and greet with them. I agree that LinkedIn can be a useful tool - I was headhunted from there for my current position and it is a perfect fit for everyone.

I think you should start to network as much as possible, don't forget professional associations if you can nail down which ones might benefit you the best, and ask your peers. The right headhunter can really make a difference and you should absolutely contact as many as possible.
posted by rdnnyc at 8:33 AM on September 17, 2014

I know you were a Junior Designer for a while. Why did you quit? You sound like you could be a great junior-to-mid level Creative! And in NYC? Pffft. Recruiters abound.

In my industry, we love the types who can art direct, illustrate, passably write copy, and manage social.

Again, is there a reason you're not looking in that direction again? Did you not like it?

However, there's this:

I don’t have a current portfolio and can’t see myself having time (terrible job that I have right now) to put one together.

You must, must, must get over this. I, and most all of my colleagues, would come off of 12 - 15 hour days only to come home and start working on a portfolio. You can't see having time, but you do. It'll suck, but you'll do it.

And honestly? You don't have to design/code from scratch. Get yourself a Cargo Collective or Squarespace and just fill it in with work.

If you'd like to head down this path (again?), Memail me. I can help with portfolio feedback and connecting you with recruiters. But that's ONLY if you have a portfolio to even show.

Good luck!
posted by functionequalsform at 8:34 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Call your friends in the Biz and ask them for references. Recruiters, once they've placed you, want to know all of your friends.

I have skillz, so I made my resume available on Monster and LinkedIn and I must get 2 or 3 calls a week for new gigs, even though my profile reflects my current job. (reminder, get resume off of Monster.)

Make a LinkedIn profile, it should look a LOT like your resume. Wait for emails to hit your in-box.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2014

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