Don’t Blow Your First Chance with a Headhunter |

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EP 259 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains the mistake many people at a manager level and above make when working with recruiters and suggests how to correct it. It isn’t what you think.

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I want to talk to the people who are at a manager level and above about how you work with recruiters and how you evaluate them as part of the job search. Many times, what happens is your first opportunity to get connected with a recruiter occurs while you're trying to hire and how do you treat most of the people who reach you? Less than like athlete's foot. You treat them badly. You're abrupt. You toss them aside-- you know what I'm talking about. You don't take the call. You send them to HR. You have no conversation. You allow yourself to be buffered from relationship with them because you're too busy.
Now, the problem with that is, comes the time you're looking for a job, you don't really have a relationship with them or, if you've been abrupt rude or dismissive to them, suddenly, you're trying to contact them and go, "Hi! Hey, remember me? I'm looking for a job now. And I know I treated you like athlete's foot when I was trying to hire, but hey, you could make money off of me now." At the end of the day, you've missed an opportunity.
You missed an opportunity to learn about them and what their capabilities are from the process of hiring in order to determine whether they're worth working with during the process of a job search.
So, I want to remind you of this, even though you may be looking for work now, you're gonna land and, when you land, you need to develop those relationships with third party recruiters, whether they're contingency or executive search, it doesn't really matter. You need to develop those relationships with recruiters in order to ensure that the next time you need them as part of your job search, you understand what they're capable of. You understand their abilities and they'll be effective for you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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