What Questions Should a Candidate Ask a Headhunter?

In our regular interviews with headhunters and executive recruiters, we have already answered a variety of questions: How do headhunters define a top manager?

What questions should a candidate ask a headhunter

How can you be present on a headhunter’s radar? What are they looking for in candidate CVs?

Today we’d like to present exclusive insights from Roland Netter, CEO and Managing Partner of GKM-recruitment AG. We’ve asked him some candidate-centric questions for you, including how what questions should a candidate ask a headhunter. Read further to get these exclusive insights…

What questions should a candidate ask a headhunter?

Roland Netter: The main questions are always content based and adding to the understanding of the tasks at the new desired position. To determine whether the candidate is a fit is dependent on not just the technical skills but also his/ her commitment and fit to the position.

Only if these points are well covered- the job description and the candidate represent a 1:1 fit, then the next steps, conditions and other processes are discussed further.

What’s the worst way to behave on a phone call during the first headhunter contact?

Roland Netter: There are two main base issues that bother me personally: arrogance towards the counterpart and also disinterest in the dialogue. That’s a strict no-go.

How can candidates remain in touch with headhunters?

Roland Netter: Basically today’s media offers opportunities to easily keep in touch and also be able to follow news and information from the candidates and headhunters alike. Regardless, the candidate should also actively share information be it a desire to change or a change in his/her career goals or circumstances. This helps the image of the candidate when headhunters are up to date because then they naturally react better.

What sort of candidates do headhunters maintain long term relationships with?

Roland Netter: From the candidates perspective, those that maintain clear communication, clarifying which way they would like to move forward and also the core themes that the headhunter is interested in. Thus both can establish contact immediately and match suitable projects at the right time. It is also naturally important to take into consideration the headhunter’s personal judgement in ensure that there is a good match.

What is an accepted way to proactively approach a headhunter by a candidate?

Roland Netter: Candidates will not find it difficult to identify headhunters as they are usually quite active in today’s media environment. A candidate must ideally approach with a sound, short piece of information.

Details of the candidates’ current job standing, professional situation and the CV must be sent in to get the first impressions and contact from the headhunter underway.

How can a candidate identify the best headhunters- should they go by industry expertise or the size of the headhunting business?

Roland Netter: It is surely dependent on the desired position of the candidates. Generally, it is important to be able to match the content with a headhunter’s focus areas. You should you want say a career in specific branches or functional areas, it is important that the headhunter or the recruiter has presence in those markets.

This is easily reflected in their statements, claims, as well as their past projects and experiences. Parallel to this of course, there are other issues one may consider, for instance, national / international presence, or the theme of senior level specialist only positions.

A candidate must check these parameters and identify the strengths of the headhunters in their desired domains and using the metrics important for their career. Per se, there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ headhunter, it depends fully on what your priorities are.

We would like to thank Roland Netter for sharing these insights with us. Through our discussions with headhunters, we have obtained several interesting ideas and we hope that you can benefit as a reader and a especially as a candidate for management jobs.

About Roland Netter und GKM Recruitment:

Roland NetterRoland Netter is a board member and managing director of GKM-Recruitment AG, with a strong focus on topics in business sectors of IT, Communications and Technology. He has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years placing senior candidates in positions nationally (Germany) and internationally and has built a deep expertise in the sector.

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