5 Reasons Why Headhunters Are Career Mentors

It’s tempting to throw around the trendiest buzzwords: The “war for talent” is being waged everywhere, and the “skills shortage” sends a cold shiver down the spine of every company looking to fill an open position. But what does this all mean? Simple. The birthrate in Germany has been decreasing for years. Specifically in STEM sector companies, the lack of talented candidates is becoming increasingly evident. For this reason, it’s becoming more and more necessary to enlist the help of a headhunter, who can function as an intermediary between qualified candidates and companies.


For job seekers, this development is extremely beneficial. Those who have landed on a headhunter’s radar have the best chance to change careers – and those who have not yet caught the attention of a recruiter still have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands. But what exactly does a headhunter do – and how can you benefit from this kind of cooperation? We spoke with Petra Zorgati, a recruiter with Kienbaum. She’ll help to explain how a headhunter can help you find your next senior position – and why headhunters are career mentors.

1. Headhunters prepare their candidates.

A good headhunter won’t just contact you regarding interesting positions, then leave you to handle the rest – a good headhunter will prepare you for the next step in your career. “A recruiter acts as an intermediary between you and the desired company,” explains Petra Zorgati of Kienbaum. “Therefore, they should discuss all important information with you in advance, like the market positioning of a company, or what kind of position they may have for you.”

It’s also in the best interest of the headhunter to partner you with a company. There’s no harm in asking for advice – after all, a good headhunter should know their clients well and can assess their expectations and preferences. What kind of skills are required for this position?

What kind of expectations does the company have for their future employees? How can you best prepare yourself for the interview? What kind of interview questions will you be asked? Let your headhunter coach you – you can only benefit from their experience and knowledge of a client.

2. Headhunters serve as mentors.

Maybe there are one or two questions regarding the position that really interest you, but you’re too shy to ask. “Headhunters are like mentors,” says Zorgati, “they answer the questions that candidates might not want to ask the HR manager in an interview, and they also offer valuable background information on the company, and the open position.” Another plus: candidates who talk to a headhunter before an interview already have an overview of the company and their expectations for the candidate.

Perhaps you’ll already be aware of the organization of the company, and you can ask specific questions about your future responsibilities. “Candidates who prepare for an interview beforehand are noticeably more relaxed – they react with more security, and self confidence,” notes Zorgati. For candidates who are already familiar with the company, the position and the potential interview questions before the interview, they’re extremely well prepared – a calm and poised demeanor can be the deciding factor between success and failure.

3. Headhunters offer access to exclusive job opportunities.

“On job boards, only a small part of the labor market is usually shown,” explains Zorgati. (Editors note: Experteer offers thousands of new job postings every day, with access to a full network of headhunters and recruiters, offering jobs all over the world.) “Many positions aren’t publicly posted, and they’re only filled by headhunters.”

Why is that? “Some companies simply don’t want their competitors to know of a new staffing,” says Zorgati. “These positions only exist as search mandates.” The advantage of being contacted by a headhunter is obvious: headhunters are heavily invested in helping their clients, they’re working hard to fill this position, and they take pains to search for the best and most relevant candidates. They will only approach job seekers if the candidates are truly qualified for the job.

4. Headhunters work discreetly.

If you’re contacted by a headhunter, but still employed, there’s no need to panic. Recruiters are accustomed to working with discretion. “When you work with a recruiter, nobody will know. Search mandates are handled confidentially by most headhunters,” says Zorgati.

5. Headhunter have a large network.

Most headhunters are very well connected in their industry – this can be a huge advantage for you, the candidate, if one position doesn’t work out for you. “When a candidate is very well qualified, and has made a great impression, I’ll call some of my corporate clients to ask them to meet with that candidate,” says Gregor Lenkitsch of Lenkitsch Consulting.

Celine Choisel, a headhunter for Biermann Neffe, also calls upon candidates she’s met in the past. “Normally we hold on to the resumes of outstanding candidates, so that we can come back to it when the time is right,” she explains. Above all else, headhunters like to stay in contact with interesting candidates for future opportunities. So you see, if you can impress a headhunter with your qualifications and personality, you will benefit in many ways.

Now you know how headhunters can help you in taking the next step toward your career as a senior manager. Demonstrate your commitment, and prove why you’re the ideal candidate for the available position. When you can show a headhunter how talented and experienced you are, they’ll work hard to find the right position for you. We wish you success in the next step of your career!

About Petra Zorgati:

Petra Zorgati KienbaumPetra Zorgati studied business and has years of management experience in an international group. She has worked as a recruiter with Kienbaum Executive Consultants International for nine years.

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