How to Work with Recruiters, Headhunters and Placement Agencies

Executive Recruiters, headhunters and placement agencies work on the other side of the fence from career management specialists – like The Barrett Group. When on a job search, embarking on a career change, or launching a new venture, it is essential to understand the differences and how to best employ each service to be successful.

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The most significant difference lies in how they are each paid for their services, which dictates where their loyalty and effort lie in the servicing of their respective clients’ needs.

Recruiters, etc. are paid by their corporate client companies, either by retainer, contingency – or salary, in case of internal recruiters. In all cases, the service they provide is filling open job orders. Accordingly, a great deal of their effort is expended on obtaining these job orders and winning favor with the HR department and hiring executives so the stream of job orders continues. They do not get paid to get people jobs; indeed, a private individual can’t “hire” a recruiter, as they only work for companies, not job seekers.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”

– Chris Grosser, Owner Advisor at Tesla

Executive recruiting is a highly sophisticated profession populated typically by professionals with a depth of experience in a certain industry or discipline, usually based in a given local geography. They know very specifically what and who their client company is looking for and how to find them. They maintain ongoing relationships with executives they have placed so they can place them again and again throughout their career. They rarely have to look outside their circle for a candidate to present. In this context it is relevant to note that someone else, often a committee in very large organizations or the hiring manager, makes the hiring decision.

Career management is also a highly sophisticated profession, but requiring a completely different set of skills. Here at The Barrett Group, our clients are the individuals focused on bettering their career situation over a period of time, and we accept private retainers to help them accomplish their goals. We live in the job search process and work personally and closely, utilizing the wisdom and techniques amassed from the experiences of our consultants with many types of searches and employment/career challenges. Because we are only beholden to our individual private clients, we are not limited by sector, profession or geography. The combined skills of the consulting team adapt our techniques for each individual clients’ unique needs.

Some of our clients enjoy a great flurry of activity from the recruiting community because they are seen as highly placeable within that industry sector, so our job becomes one of brinksmanship, helping our client to interpret and steer the recruiters’ actions to be advantageous for our client.

We help position our clients within the recruiting community to help them understand where our clients would fit into an organization, which jobs they want, and which part of the organization. This direct assistance often makes a huge difference in our clients’ final offers of employment.

If you aren’t receiving regular calls and emails from the recruiting community yet, there can only be two reasons why: (1) they aren’t aware of you, which signals a basic failure in your professional networking, reputation building and strategic participation in social networking, or (2) they don’t see you as someone they can place with their client companies.

In either case, hiring a professional career management team, like those available at The Barrett Group, is your best bet to effectively begin working with the recruiting community and advancing your career. Submit your resume today!

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