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Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

OK, so I've opened my mind to moving on.  Are headhunters best suited to find certain types of jobs?  Anybody ever pay a headhunter?  Any hard won experience to share?

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

My experience.

I had a headhunter find me a job. It worked out well. I paid the headhunter nothing, the fee was paid by the hiring company. I have had five real jobs since school. I got them as follows:

Job 1 - Friend referred me
Job 2 - Friend referred me
Job 3 - Headhunter
Job 4 - Monster.com
Job 5 - Friend referred me

good luck

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Headhunter's get paid by the companies.  The companies with jobs most likely will be using one or posting on Monster themselves.  A headhunter won't get a company to hire you if they are not looking to hire someone anyway.  Best bet is to find one or two headhunters and work with them.  If they don't have anything other than one job you were interested in move on to next one.  When you look at postings on Monster look for key words.  Only apply to jobs that look like they may be the same once.  You don't want multiple headhunters submitting you for same job.   

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

I'd be very reticent to pay a head hunter up front, doesn't their cut come when they actually find you a job?

My current job I was sort of head hunted for, or at least a recruitment/engineering temp agency found my resume online (ironically [I think I got the use correct and am not doing an Alanis], although I had submitted it to their own online site they actually found it on Monster/career builder or one of those) and got me placed.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

I would suggest only using a recruiter that specializes in engineering as well.  When I first got out of school I was trying any recruiting company and they had no clue what they were doing for the engineering field jobs.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil and Structural Engineering

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

linkedin seems pretty good if you're wanting a new job.

- Steve

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Headhunters will find you, not vice versa, in my admittedly lackadaisical experience.

To date my successful job applcations have been

1) writing to every single relevant company in the country
2) Personal contact
3) Job ad
4) Job ad
5) Headhunter rung me up
6) Personal contact

In the last 15 years I've also got to the nitty gritty negotiation stage with two more headhunted jobs, but they didn't reach my pay target so I declined. Que sera sera.


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Depends on the headhunter.  Screen carefully like you are interviewing them.  Look for ones that work with specific industries or skill sets.

One advantage is in negotiation.  Many headhunters are paid a commission that is a percentage of your new salary.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

"hard won experience" with all the love/hate, pro/con, ecstacy/agony, bliss/fury has been discussed in extreme detail on this forum.  Search for it.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

they are paid a commission by the hiring company, you should not be paying to get a job

a) they don't particularly care about the exact amount you make, just that you accept the job, they get paid and they move on

b) they don't care if the job is right for you, just that you accept the job, they get paid and they move on

c) they tend to be very annoying once you show any interest, find one that doesn't drive you up a wall because you know they are driving your potential employer up the same wall

d) do not allow them to call while you are at work, this gets embarassing especially if you work in a cube farm and can't shut the door when the phone rings.


RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

It's not as bad as some here would make it out to be.  The reality is that some head hunters are better than others, and the only way to figure it out is through experience. These folks are not your buddies, they are in the business of getting paid by filling job openings.  With that said, I have worked with one recruiting firm that I feel has done an outstanding job for me.  They have even gone so far as to provide free coaching for things like interviewing skills and cover letter writing.  They negotiated a very fair compensation package, and they even followed up after I started the job.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some slimeballs out there.  I had one idiot pester me about a sales engineering job even though my resume clearly indicated I was looking for an R&D job.  I had another recruiter who tried to get me to look at a help desk job.  I have had some that I just got a feeling were slimeballs.  

I worked with one recruiter who seemed like a very nice guy. He got me an interview and I really like the job.  I didn't end up getting the job and the end of our last conversation was along the lines of "Hey, I got this Electrical Engineering job that I need to fill, do you know anybody who might be interested?"  My reply was no, and he was like well maybe your company phone directory could accidently end up in my hands.  Never heard from him again after that.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

If the headhunter is asking for some money up front run away!  

I think some can really help you and they see you as a way to generate income for you.  Saying that, some ask that you not register with other head hunter agencies, on the premise that you might get submitted by another agency.  To me this is limiting your chances of finding a job, I usually disregarded this advise.

Also, if one headhunter asks you about your other head hunter contacts, I would keep them to yourself.  Reason is that you want the head hunter to disclose the company reasons for hiring and any other advise that would get you hired.  If you went and told about the other opportunities from other head hunters, it usually get around that you cant be trusted as a client.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

I've gotten jobs in the following ways:
1) Family connection (father got me a job)
2) Personal connection (knew a guy that knew a guy)
3) Sent out totally blind resumes and got lucky with a company that wasn't even publically hiring
4) Applied to an open position and was hired

The fourth time I had headhunters hassling me. The first got me an interview at a place that looked like it was about to be torn down for scrap. The second kept trying to get me an interview but the company seemed to be unsure if they even had a position open at all - this one probably wasn't the headhunter's fault. The third got me an interview 300 miles away from my hometown the next day - after driving there starting at like 2 AM in order to meet the interview time, I got a bit lost in the foothills of Penn and ended up at the place five minutes late. The entire interview consisted of them complaining about me being late, reading my resume to me and having me say "yeah, that's right" a few times and them being totally uninterested in any elaborating I tried to do, and then showing me the door - all this took about ten minutes! I should have been wary when they weren't willing to fly me in for the interview. I don't think I've ever been as angry during a job hunt as I was just then. There were a couple others that eventually gave up even trying.

The annoying part was that the headhunter interviews I DID get took months to materialize. The first week or two of the conversations with these jokers were the headhunters telling me about their amazing placement records and personal experiences, as well as repeatedly assuring me that I was on their side and giving me weak sauce interview coaching tips that I really didn't want. One of these characters called me every morning at 7 AM to talk his company and ask me questions about myself – by about Thursday I asked him to not call me any more until he HAD a phone interview. Not call me trying to set one up – I assured him I could be free whenever – but actually had the time and day. He accused me of not putting as much effort into this as I should be but agreed – and then promptly broke his word by calling me early Monday morning to inform me that he had the vague possibility of an interview in the works. I should have cut him off then and there, but I was young and stupid - this was, after all, a whole year ago ;) and so I persisted. Of course it didn't lead to me ever talking to anyone at the company – in fact, I'm not sure I ever found out what company it was or what they even made!

On the other hand, the third and fourth job I *did* get involved setting up a phone call the next day, flying me down to the plant within a week or so, showing me around for a few hours, some good face-to-face talks with management and the technical people, an in-depth technical tour of the facilities, and ended by offering me the position. So the time from first contact to sealing the deal was a matter of two or three weeks for both those jobs.

Worst part about it is, even almost a year after ceasing my job hunt, I still get calls from headhunters – only headhunters, no real companies. It would be nice to know I'm wanted if it was real companies, but I'm not convinced that these headhunters even have jobs in mind – a few seem to have been only after my personal information. And some of them have been very aggressive. The worst of them called me four times in a row during work hours. I reject all unknown calls on my personal cell at work on principle – if it's a family or friend at an odd number and it's important, they know to leave a quickie voice mail and I will check that. But this guy called four times in a row. At the fourth call back-to-back, I got concerned that it was a real emergency and picked up only to be greeted by one of these jokers. Aaagh.

Headhunters exist to be a barrier between you and the company. That is their only purpose – to obstruct information flow between the two in order to justify their existence. If, God forbid, I ever have to do a job hunt again, I'm going to find out what company they are representing and call them directly and attempt to establish real communications without the headhunter involved. If they refuse, then it's probably not a place I want to end up at anyway.

Yeah. Clearly, I don't like them.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

If you go through a headhunter, it is clear that you were just having someone job shopping for you and have no particular interest in company X. Maybe you aren't even serious about changing jobs.

A headhunter is about the 3rd lowest form of life after car salesmen, pimps and realtors. If you want to be valued, go direct.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

I agree with cvg up above. You should never, ever, pay a headhunter. They get paid by the hiring company, sometimes as much as 35% of your starting annual salary.

Companies usually contract with a headhunter because they do not want to have to deal with a flood of resumes, 90% of which are for people who do not have the qualifications or experience required. For a large manufacturer, there may not be a way to bypass the headhunter. An engineering consulting firm is a different animal.


RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

many large companies have their own recruiters on staff, usually headhunters that got tired of free-lancing or working on commission. So it doesn't hurt to be nice to them, they might actually find you a job...

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

In my experience, Headhunters are a sometimes necessary evil but are best avoided if possible.

It is easier to negotiate a good salary if they dont also have to pay the 10 or 20% on top that goes to a headhunter.

Who do you want to work for? Try contacting them directly and sending a CV. Most companies are on the lookout for the right people and if you fit the bill then they will make a position for you.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Standard rate is about 30%, last I checked.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Headhunters, to me, get the same consideration as all the other commission based parasites, including used car salespeople.

However, in terms of success for getting a job, the best guide on how to go about it is from the author of this website, http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/ and the author of the book 'What Color is your Parachute'.

The biggest issue that I've found for people is that they don't follow through on the guidelines in the book (myself included). When the methods outlined are applied, they're generally quite successful.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

I've had some success with headhunters.  However, they will not divulge any problems with prospective employers even when they continually place bodies in the same position.  For bad politics in the prospective workplace, you have to be very pointed with questions and listen very, very carefully.  I've had headhunters place me in positions that were losers all the way.  Initially I didn't anticipate that kind of stuff.  I am naive in many respects.  I now expect losers.

Fortunately, I avoided one company because they began talking about one guy they wanted to "change," which was the red flag.  By mid-morning, I thought I had met him.  By lunch, I was pretty sure I was right as his boss was giving it away, too.  He didn't know what to do with him because he was so difficult to work with and resisted all change.  By afternoon, I knew he was the mid-morning appointment.  They had a very negative engineer who spilled the beans on everything.  I did not even submit an expense report.  Managers who won't do their job are not worth working for.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

Many HR departments are too lazy to look through resumes submitted directly and use their tried and true headhunters, so they shouldn't be completely discounted.  I've had good and bad experiences with headhunters although none have actually gotten me a job (one got paid for it though).  My successful applications were...

1. Alumnus contacted school for resumes and found me.
2. Brother in law of former co-worker/ friend at job 1.
3. Direct application to company in response add.
4. Referrals from two former co-workers/ friends from job 1.

With my current job I had a headhunter put me up f/ a job interview in a different department, which turned out exactly what I told him I wasn't interested in.  When I told the headhunter I wasn't interested in that job he seemed pissed and never called me back.  That is until I did get a job in another department based on recommendations from friends and my own networking.  He didn't help with negotiating or anything, but when my future boss found I had interviewed before through a headhunter he had to notify HR.  They paid him a commission to maintain their relationship.  I understand that, but I was pissed at the recruiter because the way he treated me and the fact that he got paid in the end for virtually no work.

RE: Headhunter vs Sending Resumes, Pros/Cons, Recomendations

lacajun: You make a good point.  The first time I used a headhunter for a job, I saw all of the people placed into that kind of a position.  Easily I saw 40 people get canned or just leave because they knew they weren't up to snuff.  The entire time I was there I was worried about my job and ended up leaving after 2.5 years even though I think I would still have a job there now.

Make sure to get a good understanding of what you are walking into.  I got my next job through Monster at a very small company and lost that job 6 months later because of the super depression and not enough work.

Good thing on my part is I am now starting my 2nd Civil Engineering company and it's only all positive at this point.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil and Structural Engineering

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