4 tips for assessing a serious approach from a headhunter

4 min read

It can be worth it having a professional headhunter or two in your network. But how do you spot if the approach is serious? And how do you filter out the noise?

We have put together 4 tips to help you, the candidate, pick out the serious leads.

The market is full of noise and frivolous inquiries. But it can be to your advantage to keep in touch with the right headhunters.

How to tell a rogue headhunter from a serious one

 

1. Is the message obviously generic?

Is the request generic and without very specific details – other than that they have used the correct name at the top of the request? Or does it contain direct references to you, your experience or LinkedIn profile?

If it’s clear that the headhunter has looked into you, your profile and your relevance to the position they are trying to fill, you probably have a serious headhunter on your hands.

 

2. Do they hear a no?

A professional headhunter respects your time and understands a “No, thank you”.

She’s interested in dialogue and wants to learn more about you – even if you’re not interested right now. The headhunter may have another job opportunity in hand that’s a better match for your experience and the career path you’re on.

 

3. Quit pro quo?

A serious headhunter values the relationship and ensures that both you and he can benefit from building a relationship.

With a good headhunter in your network, you can get sparring and advice on what options you have. And maybe you can send someone from your network in the headhunter’s direction? It’s a two-way street that benefits you both.

 

4. More than just a candidate for the pile

A qualified headhunter is looking for more than just a candidate. She’s also looking for qualified insight into your industry and the environment you’re in. Is the headhunter interested in more than just your background, but also your industry? Then you have a strong indicator that she’s interested in learning more and prioritises seeing the bigger picture, rather than just solving a task here and now.

A headhunter who respects your professionalism and special insights is a strong card to have in your network, which can later benefit both you and your network.

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