Three Ways Headhunters Can Help

SAN MATEO (06/05/2000) - Why should you consider working with a professional headhunter when the tight labor market is already on your side? Craig Olson, director of communications at WishClick Inc., an online gift registry based in Foster City, California, shares three ways a professional recruiter helped him find his job.

1. Doing the grunt work

Finding a new job -- the right new job -- can be a job in itself. Who has time to pound the pavement while working a 60-hour week? Working with a recruiting firm means you get to skip a good deal of diligently researching companies and finding suitable positions. A recruiter can match your skills and criteria to what's available in the job market, and they can make inquiries without mentioning any names. Olson says, "Recruiters seem to be able to work in the stealth mode that is required for the Internet age." A recruiter with some experience placing job candidates at a certain company will have insight into the company, its business, and the people with whom you would be working.

Having an intermediary as an added channel of communication can help. Start-ups often do not have enough time or adequate personnel to sort through hundreds of resumes, so they rely on recruiters to bring them qualified candidates.

2. Speeding up the process

Recruiters have their fingers on the pulse of the job market and can often set up candidates with opportunities quickly. "From the time my recruiter found me, an interview was arranged in a matter of a day," Olson says. And job seekers can work with more than one recruiter at a time. After posting his resume online, Olson received many calls from recruiters, but quickly narrowed the number down to those who left a detailed message about the opportunity they were representing. Olson sought a recruiter based in the San Francisco Bay area because he believes a local agent is most tapped in to the local market and is more likely to have direct experiences with area businesses.

3. Meeting you halfway

Before you can articulate to a headhunter what sort of job you want, you need to decide for yourself. The more specific you can be about your job criteria -- work environment, position, compensation, location, and industry -- the better a recruiter can help you meet your goals. "I would really recommend knowing what you want in both the organization and the opportunity," Olson says. You can expect a recruiter working on your behalf to put some effort into defining what you want, too. "Look for a recruiter who ... asks you what kind of opportunity you are looking for," Olson says.

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