Spooky! 4 Headhunters Who Should Scare You

Posted by Adam Hoffarber on 10/31/17 5:00 PM
Adam Hoffarber
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Halloween signs

If you encounter one of these frightful executive recruiters, don’t be tricked

It’s that time of the year again, when little costumed creatures roam the sidewalks, ring our doorbells and shout “Happy Halloween!” No matter which side of the door you’re on – asking for candy or doling it out – Halloween is sweet fun for everyone who participates. It’s also time for a little Fall-inspired game I like to call Bobbing for Bad Apples, my Annual Roundup of Scary Characters in the employment industry. This year, I thought I’d give you a peek at some of the most horrifying characters in my own profession, executive recruiting.

The Zombie recruiter
He walks. He talks. He never stops coming after you (and that fee). But after a while, you realize: he doesn’t seem to be hearing or thinking or caring about what you really need. You should expect your recruiter to ask great questions, be a great listener and demonstrate total enthusiasm for understanding your company, your industry and the role you need to fill. Anything less is unacceptable. If you’re getting multiple resumes but none of them even come close, give detailed feedback. If it never gets better, flee the zombie.

The Kardashian recruiter
We’re on a budget here, people. Your recruiter needs to understand that. If she repeatedly brings you candidates who want, need – or have been led to believe they will receive – a higher salary than you can pay, you’ve got a problem. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. Maybe the recruiter just isn’t good at gathering and sharing the right salary information when vetting candidates. Whatever the reason, this recruiter wastes everyone’s time, leaving a trail of confused and frustrated candidates in their wake.

The Dinosaur recruiter
Even the most gifted recruiter of yesteryear will be unable to find you the best candidates if they’re unable or unwilling to use today’s technology. I don’t just mean emailing instead of snail mail. I mean you need a recruiter who uses current recruiting technology like LinkedIn Recruiter or similar systems. More importantly, you deserve to work with a recruiter who can adapt to new technology as it emerges, without getting consumed by it.

The Ghost recruiter
Where’d she go?! Wasn’t she just here, with all that big talk and bigger promises about her process, her abilities and the candidates she’d recruit for you? Recruiters who waft in and out of communication during a critical search are trouble. But consider this: recruiters who ghost their candidates are just as bad. True, it’s not our job to be of the job search coach or career counselor. We represent you, our client. But think about that for a minute. We represent you. And a headhunter who fails to keep active candidates updated on the process or informed when someone else gets the job is harming your reputation.

These spooky characters don’t just waste your time. They give the rest of us a bad name. So if you encounter one, slam the door, run away and don’t work with these characters, ever.

And Happy Halloween.

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Topics: For Employers