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Working with Search Firms

If you decide to work with a Search Firm/Headhunter/Third Person Recruiter, there are some basis questions you need to ask prior to giving them your business. Here are some of those Key Questions:

  • Where did you get my name?
  • Do you operate on a contingency or retainer basis?
  • What is the name of the employer?
  • Do you have a firm agreement to represent the employer if one of your candidates is hired for this specific position?
  • Are you working on this exclusively or are other firms working on it as well?
  • Are you working with HR or directly with the hiring manager?
  • How are you involved in the hiring process?
  • What will be the interview process?
  • Why is this job open?
  • Is this job opening due to growth or replacement?
  • If this is a replacement, what happened to the previous person in this position?
  • How much does the job pay?
  • Are there any additional pay components beyond salary?
  • Have you ever placed candidates with this client before?
  • Where is the job located?
  • Is this at the company headquarters / corporate office?
  • Is the company profitable?
  • Have they laid off any employees in the last year?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • What is the background of the person I will be interviewing with?
  • What is the interviewing style of the person I will be interviewing with?
  • Who has final hiring decision authority?
  • What will you do with my resume?
  • Will my resume be given out to any other client without my permission?

After you have met with the person at the Search Firm, ask yourself:

  • What does your gut tell you about working with this recruiter?
  • Do they really listen to your needs and long-term career plans?

Additional Resources:

  • Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters
    by Darrell Gurney
  • Kennedy's Pocket Guide to Working with Executive Recruiters
    by Kennedy Publications
  • Wall Street Journal's Career Journal at www.careerjournal.com
  • Directory of Personnel Consultants by Specialization by National Association of Personnel Consultants.