Friday, October 24, 2008

HeadHunters - The good, the bad and the ugly

Headhunting (in recruitment sense!) seem to be a very lucrative business nowadays. Many people are jumping into the bandwagon either as freelancers or agency bound headhunters. I have encountered many of them, both the freelancers type as well as agency bound type. Some of these encounters were very pleasant, some really drove me up the wall... and I am not even talking about whether they have any good job recommendations for me or not.

I think with any jobs, there should be a sense of professionalism. As there are basically any Tom, Dick and Harry becoming headhunters now, there are bound to be the good, the bad and the ugly. The following are ONLY based on my opinion as a candidate's point of view.

So what are "the good"? To me, I think a good headhunter should spend time to know more about you. They should meet you up in person or at least call you on the phone and have a formal interview to understand your personality, skill set, experience, attitude and what you are seeking for. They should use this info to match you with their clients... and keep it somewhere for future reference. They should inform you all they know about suitable job prospects and get your approval before doing anything.

They should also hold strictly to the confidentiality policy. Imagine having some pat kong or pat poh as a headhunter who spreads information about your salary or job application to everyone!! Unfortunately some headhunters do do so... thus "the bad" and "the ugly".

A good headhunter should also keep good rapport with you. I do understand and accept that they probably have a whole database of candidates and it's difficult for them to remember everyone; but like any other jobs, it's always good to do a bit of homework before you start contacting your candidates. I am happy to say that I am fortunate enough to know some of these good headhunters. Some of them are actually my friends before they embarked into this career. The unfortunate part is that so far, I never got any jobs through them.. and that could be my own problem, not theirs, hehe.

So what about "the bad" ones? Wow...there are so many of them. They basically call you out of the blue and tell you that they got your contact from some online recruitment sites that you signed up for. They don't tell you much about the job but will straight away ask you questions (usually not more than 5 questions):

"How long have you worked? You know this tool or that tool? How much are you earning now? What's your expected salary? What's your notice period?"

They didn't even bother to learn more about you... it felt like you are going through a mediocre factory inspection. When you ask them more about the job, they were so secretive... so scared that you will run away with the secret and apply the job independently. Some would say that they will send you an e-mail on the details of the job, most of the time you won't get anything.

What irritates me more is when the same headhunter contact you again and again for the same job; and asking you the same old questions... as if they had a memory loss that they have spoken to you before!

As for "the ugly", I have just experience one recently. This person suddenly sent me a message via Yahoo Messenger (YM) and told me he's a headhunter and had some good jobs for me. Well, I thought no harm finding out what were out there and so I played along.

He kept referring me as "Buddy" and I was rather irritated by that. He even asked me to call him for more details!! Cheapo headhunter or what?? Anyway I asked him to send me the details about the job via e-mail but he seemed to prefer talking about it on YM. I had to remind him a few times before I finally got the e-mail. The reason why I insisted on an e-mail was also to make sure that the e-mail address and company were authentic.

Anyway as he struck me as a very unprofessional person, I told him that I was not keen and would not proceed. You know what he told me? He said that he already submitted my info to the client. I was like "What?!! I haven't told you that I am interested!!". He then implied that if I put my CV up on those online recruitment sites, I shouldn't be worried about him sending my info to the client. That was so beside the point!!! I was very angry and told him (via YM) that I was no longer interested to deal with him and bye bye.

I couldn't believe the level of his unprofessionalism. I used to group headhunters into "the good" and "the bad" previously. This guy really opened my eyes to "the ugly" as well.

Recent Related Posts

Widget by Hoctro | Jack Book