Photo: Martin Yate
It definitely ups your ante as a potential job candidate to be represented by a headhunter, and if you know you have a good job and are good at it, you might already be on their radar. But how do you end up in a top headhunter’s database when recruiters are typically only interested in representing people who are currently employed?
Martin Yate, former director in Training & Development at Dunhill Systems, career management coach for the past 35 years and author of “Knock ’em Dead 2012: The Ultimate Job Search Guide,” tells us there’s a “huge misconception” when it comes on the correct way of reaching out to a recruiter.
Yate tells us headhunters get paid 10 to 30 per cent of a job candidate’s salary, on average, by the employer, so the higher profile the person is, the more the headhunter will get paid. And very rarely are high-profile people unemployed.
If this all sounds despairing for those of you who are currently unemployed, don’t lose hope yet. Here are some ways to effectively reach out:
1. Focus your résumé. This means that if you’ve had two or three jobs with different specialisations, you should create two or three different résumés before trying to get it in a headhunter’s property.
Yate says that your résumé is going to “disappear in the database until a position opens up,” then the recruiter will start typing keywords into their files to find the right person. So if your résumé has skillsets that are too different, you might not be discovered.
2. Research the headhunter. This one is obvious, but Yate says you need to do a deep search into Google by plugging in different keywords, such as “accounting headhunter,” “accounting consultant,” etc. Find out which headhunter works in your desired field before sending out your résumé. If you need a job, Yate says you need to invest two-to-four hours per day, twice a week researching your headhunter before you use other online job resources.
3. Be active in LinkedIn groups. This means you need to join groups and post “intelligent” things. Ideally, Yate recommends joining groups with professionals 1, 2 and 3 levels above you because these individuals are the ones who will be able to hire you.
“Take the time to agree, or disagree, with a comment, start a discussion on your own, post an article or blog that would be of interest to the people in your group or even post a question, asking for advice,” Yate tells us. “Headhunters will visit these groups, and you’ll become visible to them.“
As for the recruiting business, Yate says they’re not going anywhere.
“[Headhunters] are the most sophisticated sales people in the world. It is really hard to survive as a headhunter … you have to make both parties happy, not just one.”
“In an economy like the one we live in today, [the business has] shrunk a lot because of the recession, but we’re not going anywhere. Business is going to change, shrink, grow, but it’s a very effective way for people to find jobs.”
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