“I’ve been headhunted!”
It’s a great feeling to be ‘headhunted’ but no doubt you are wondering how they got your name?
Has the client chosen to contact you because of your reputation in their sector? Has someone recommended you? Or does it mean that since you work for a competitor you have been approached? Yes to all three.
A search firm will use many routes to find out about you and contact you about a specific vacancy. Many clients tend to want candidates who know their sector, routes to market and customers and will often prefer those that are working, or have worked, for a competitor that they know and respect.
Whatever you decide to do following the approach it is always a good idea to at least speak with your competitor and hear what they have to say. Why? For several reasons that could all be good for your career:
• it may well increase your profile in the sector
• it will give you an insight into the competitor
• further down the line they may acquire your company (or vice versa)
• the manager concerned may join your company
• you may want to move on in the future
Our role as a headhunter is to find out if you are open to opportunities, what would tempt you to move and whether the role and client is right for you at this stage in your career. We may well speak with many candidates before we find the few that will get to meet the client. This is because some are happy where they are, some are outside the geographical area, some are too expensive, some can’t move due to contract restrictions and some aren’t right for the client.
Most of the individuals that we approach are not actively looking to move on but if it is the right opportunity it could turn out to be a great move for them. Even if you are approached you still need a legitimate reason to move on – ‘I was headhunted’ is not one of them!