Why You Should Always Take Calls from Headhunters

Being in management jobs and senior positions may leave you drained with responsibilities, work hassles and leading your teams. At this point getting calls from headhunters is perhaps the last thing on your mind.

Especially if the job is something you’ve worked hard towards getting into and a role you may have even dreamed of a few years back.

“It’s always a good idea to take calls from headhunters—even if the job they’re currently hiring for isn’t the one you want”
– Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Yet, we began this post with a quote saying, irrespective of your current job situation or what is being offered- take calls from headhunters. It will help. Reasons why you should always take calls from headhunters or executive recruiters?

1. Be longsighted, be found, it’s your career

We have shared before that headhunter relationships are long term oriented. This means, you may not “require” their services or current job offerings now, but perhaps the future can hold something for you.

There are times where you may not even consider a position because you’ve not been thinking about it. But how do you know if this turns out to be an opportunity of a lifetime! Spending five minutes on a call that may change your life is not asking for too much.

Allow the headhunter to share and listen. Do not come across as someone rude, impolite and do not treat them in a non-human way. You may claim that you already have a job and are not currently in a job-seeking mode. So, well, many headhunters are pro people in jobs. Many unemployed are ignored.

So, while you can afford to be flattered, it is important to know that the headhunter does know that you’re employed and perhaps that’s why you got the call in the first place. Years later if you need a job, they will recall your behavior.

2. Excuse yourself if you’re busy

Many people like to give time as an excuse for poor behavior on the phone.

It may well be true that you are in a client meeting when you got calls from headhunters. Or you are solving some big work issue. There is no shame in just being polite and stating that to the headhunter, Schedule another more suitable time. Perhaps on your way back to home, or the lunch hour. Excuse yourself if you’re busy and set a good appointment.

3. Remember this could be a start of a relationship

Management candidates are sometimes found saying that networking doesn’t work for them. Of course it doesn’t when you ignore opportunities like these.

Headhunter contacts are not easy to come by. You would like to be positioned for the job of the COO for Facebook or Google next, even if you are on the top of your game now. Not because those are just big companies but also because they represent bigger challenges that you may feel interested in. However, not knowing where and how these jobs are listed can be a problem that is solved by having a headhunter network.

How nice would it be ‘to be found’ and considered by a headhunter every time there is a relevant opportunity? This requires long term thinking and usually starts with a phone call, like relationships and networks of all kinds.

4. Ask the headhunter – it’s your imperative

Earlier in our post about turning passive candidates into curious candidates, we talked about the no to yes imperative. It means what converts a no to a yes for a headhunter.

The answer is hard facts, data and information. What do you know about this position that the headhunter is talking about, how could this be of use to your career plans, is it the same as your current job or does this stretch your boundary to new challenges?

Ask the headhunter and clarify! There are no rewards for ignorance. In addition perhaps you are not the right person but an acquaintance is, connect the dots, help someone in your network. Help ten times before you can ask. Invest in your networking and relationship building skills!

5. Ask yourself- it’s your life

After 15 years in a certain job, many management professionals tend to make their work life their whole life.

They put on the lenses of their employer and evaluate all new opportunities with skepticism. Maybe calls with headhunters can help you rework your own challenges and opportunities in a new light. Who knows, perhaps you have some latent need that you had been putting on the back burner all this while. This may be the right time to open up to it!

Next time we hope you view calls from headhunters as door openers to something you had not yet imagined! We wish you all the best!

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