Photo: The Howard-Sloan-Koller Group
It’s difficult to understand how the headhunting business works, and one of the reasons why is because you’re never quite sure why you’re meeting with a recruiter. Sometimes it’s because they’re trying to recruit you, or trying to get to know you better, or merely trying to get information from you whether that information be on someone else or on a market they’re not familiar with.
“Interviewing is like dating,” Randy Duax, managing director at The Howard-Sloan-Koller Group—a recruiting firm specializing in media, advertising and entertainment—tells us. “You have to network and get out there, and at the end of the day, you’re only going to need one date, just like you only need one job.”
But your efforts to get on a headhunter’s radar by waiting around might not be successful. Instead, Duax says that there are a couple of things you can do if you want to be recruited:
1. Have a high LinkedIn visibility. “I wouldn’t have said this 10 years ago, but it’s really crucial now,” Duax says.
2. Decide what you want to do. You have to know exactly what you want to do and where you want to go when you’re talking to a recruiter.
3. Attend networking events and various conferences. “I know so many people who just fall into this trap of sitting at home, sending out hundreds of resumes and never getting a call back. For a stunningly human business, the human side of it is left out a lot of times.”
4. Research the firms you’re interested in. And understand that there are two different kinds of recruiting firms:
- Contingency firms usually have no exclusivity with the candidate, five or six firms are typically hired at one time and the company will pay whoever successfully places the appropriate candidate.
- Retaining firms usually provides a guarantee for clients and if the candidates recommended don’t end up working out, they have to be replaced.
Pick five or six firms and find a couple of high executives at each of those firms that you can contact.
5. Then call the executives on your list. Duax says to do this either at 8:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m.—right before or after their day gets really busy. This way, you’ll actually have a chance of speaking to them directly.
“The best thing to do is just call. Ask them if they have time to grab a cup of coffee. This is how you’ll get information out of them.”
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