Posts Tagged: I hate headhunters


Why the World Loves and Hates Executive Search Solutions

August 24th, 2016

The world loves Executive Search because it is easy, with either no or low commitment. In the world of contingency, you may not know my name or company logo but if I have the rare talent you need — you don’t seem to really care who I am all of that much.

Hiring managers (aka an expert in something other than hiring),  are happy to offload and delegate what they don’t like or know enough about — and that includes finding talent. This is strategic right? Outsource non-core tasks. Or is it lazy?

Executive Search Solutions

When people and culture are important to a company, leaders better be up to snuff in best in class hiring techniques. This is the quandary. Leaders and hiring managers know what’s expected of them, but can’t be good at everything. They understand that they are supposed to make talent important, but often don’t have the hiring infrastructure and support in place to be good at it. So, what do they do?

They excitedly or begrudgingly work with Search Firms.

We are your worst nightmare. The world hates Search Firms like mine because the service offers an expensive cost per hire. We are your last resort. Everyone in the business wants to avoid working with the dreaded executive search industry. You brag when you cut our costs. Sometimes it is the goal, lower hiring costs. But at what true expense and impact if you can’t find the talent you need to execute your business?

Nonetheless, you choose this, because you frankly have no other choice. Build expensive, scaled hiring infrastructure or pay someone for one hire who has that hiring process down pat and in place.

Don’t hate me for the honesty. Search firms exist on the fringes of your strategy at best. And I  know some great search firms, including my own. But we know our place. When we win, Human Resources sometimes feels like they lose, that we did their job or something. That should not be the case — the Search process works best when the firm partners with Human Resources and the Hiring Managers. When we are a part of the overall solution-building process. When we are a part of the organizational chart and strategy.

3 Things a Headhunter Won’t Do For You

May 18th, 2016

headhunters-jobThere are many misconceptions about headhunters. As a job seeker, it can be frustrating if you expect a headhunter to do certain things and then they don’t. To help clear the air a little, here are 3 things that a headhunter won’t do for you.

Headhunters won’t:

  1. Read between the lines. If you’re not clear about your must haves or absolutely nots, headhunters won’t consider the things that are important to you in their communications with the employer. Don’t make assumptions that either the headhunter simply understands where you’re coming from or that they can decode your round-about way of communicating your priorities. Be clear with salary expectations, benefits, things you will do and aren’t interested in doing in a job, where you will travel and won’t, etc. That way the headhunter can find a good fit or negotiate terms. Oh, and if things change — make sure you let the headhunter know— I’ll reiterate that headhunters are not mind readers.
  2. Do all the work for you. Job seekers often assume that because a headhunter agrees to meet them, that they will find them a job. This is not the case. A headhunter’s job is to find the right candidate for their client, an employer who is paying for their recruitment services. In some cases, they may present you to other companies as well, but most often that is because they have other clients with similar needs. No headhunter will be able to find a job for every single person who contacts their recruiting firm. If a headhunter is presenting you to an employer for a job (that’s great!), make sure you’re tracking down other job leads as well.
  3. Tell you what you like to do or what you’re good at. It’s not a headhunter’s responsibility to tell you what career path to pursue, what types of things you like to do, or what you excel at doing. It may be tough, but if you’re struggling with what to do with your life — that’s up to you and only you to figure out. You can talk to friends and family to sort through pros and cons and receive guidance, our you can hire a career coach, but don’t lean on a headhunter. But when you do figure it all out, by all means, give a headhunter a call!

Top Executive Recruiters Contingency Search Firms

May 10th, 2016

2016_Top_Executive_Recruiters-Contingency_Search_Firms_List-Logo-smCBI Group made the Philadelphia Business Journal‘s 2016 list of the top 21 Executive Recruiters: Contingency Search Firms. We launched our search practice in August 2008, almost eight years ago, and Strategic Search continues to be a valuable recruitment solution for our clients.

Our Search practice was built because of customer feedback about their talent acquisition needs as the market evolved. Today, customers are still asking for search services and we continue to work with them to build solutions that meet their goals. CBI Group President, Chris Burkhard explains, “When your firm provides broad talent solutions, it is important to listen and understand your customers need and want from the services you provide. Making this list certainly demonstrates that our customers want need a strong search partner.”

When asked about our recruitment capabilities, one of our Executive Recruiters, Adrienne shared, “We have a breadth of experience and are positioned to serve a variety of hiring needs.”

Learn more about how CBI Group’s Strategic Search is different from the industry perception of headhunters by reading Chris Burkhard’s article entitled “Why I Hate Headhunters.

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When to Use an Executive Search Firm

March 1st, 2016

When to use an executive search firmWith every hire, companies have the choice to “stay in house” or outsource to a recruiting company. But how do you know where to draw that line? When should you call on a recruiting agency? This article explores seven scenarios when investing in a search firm is a good idea. And while our companies offer many outsourced recruitment models, this blog examines traditional executive search, also commonly referred to as headhunting.

  1. The Most Obvious. Most often, employers call on an executive search firm for really important roles, especially c-suite or executive leadership roles like CEO, CFO, CTO, CHRO, etc. Not only are leadership positions crucial to the success of the business, but it’s helpful to have a 3rd party perspective to avoid blind hiring (sometimes internal team members see only what they want to see).
  2. Underwater Basket Weavers. In addition to executive-level positions, some companies offer such a unique product or service that they require rare skill sets that are essential for driving core, strategic areas of the business. Pop culture may refer to these candidates as unicorns, we call them Underwater Basket Weavers because, well, how many of those are there out there?! Executive recruiters are used to developing a strategy for finding these ‘needle in a haystack’ candidates.
  3. The Search for the Best. Recruiting is one of those things that anybody can do. Just about anyone can find a person to do a job. But if you’re looking for the ideal candidate who will check all the boxes, you need to work with someone who really knows what they are doing. And executive recruiters generally are the best of the best at what they do and will help you find the best candidate, instead of just any candidate.
  4. You’ve tried, but have not had success. Either you have an active search that has been open too long or you’ve used up your knowledge and recruiting tricks and aren’t sure what to do next. Working with a recruiter opens up your pool of candidates beyond your network.
  5. Brand new roles. Generally, companies are used to filling their core positions — why go to an outside firm when you are in a rhythm? But then they create a brand new position in the company and they don’t know where to begin. This is a good time to ask for help from an expert.
  6. Confidential Search. If you have an employee that is under-performing, you may want to start recruiting before you let them go. Or you may need to recruit talent from organizations that your company does business with. In these cases, a search firm can provide the secrecy you need.
  7. Time & Resources. If your ‘day job’ is not recruiting, you may not have the time or focus to dedicate to an important search. Or your day job may be recruiting but you have too many open and not enough time. When you lack the time and resources, search firms are a great resource for giving an executive search the time and resources necessary.

Working with a search firm is not always a necessity. These seven scenarios are common cases for when it makes sense to hire help. After all, recruiting A players can be complex and requires strategy and a lot of hard work.

Need help with a search?

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Why I Hate Headhunters

January 29th, 2016

Let me start with the ironic truth: I am a headhunter. My family has been in the recruitment business since 1971. We are a family of headhunters. And we have helped more than 50,000 people (our customers) with their career and search. Yes, we have helped them find their next role. So I think I have an earned perspective on what I hate about the very field I live and breathe in each day.

I Hate Head HuntersHeadhunters are selfish.
They tell you about how they make money. Or how much they make. Or worse yet, they perpetuate the notion that they are in the headhunting business just to make money. We all want to work with the pompous ass who brags about paying for his cigarette boat with his commision check, right? Headhunters see value in dollar signs, not human success stories – and that makes their actions and goals selfish.

Headhunters sling resumes.
We have all heard the demand from headhunters: Give me your job opening. Pretty please, hand over your hardest job to fill, the one that has been open forever and you have met with 50+ candidates that don’t fit the bill. Yes, that one. Once a headhunter takes the order, they will sling 10 resumes at you that aren’t even in the right job class. All they are doing is clogging up their “client’s” inbox.

Headhunters’ “clients” often don’t know they are clients.
Please just say yes – that you are open to seeing talent. Then, I will call you my client and push talent and resumes your way. There is no partnership here. And, you certainly don’t feel like a client.

Headhunters disappear when you need them most.
Wow, what’s really aggravating? When a hire blows up at the end of your headhunter’s guarantee period. It’s common for a headhunter to guarantee their placement for 60, 90 or some number of days. Headhunters call their customers all of the time. But then they disappear when there is a problem to avoid replacement hires or giving money back.

Headhunters make placements.
They don’t build recruitment solutions. Each placement is a transaction to a headhunter that means a payout. So headhunters build their goals around how much money they want to make, instead of solving their customers problems. Why do you need your next hire? What are your challenges in finding the right person? Headhunters don’t really care so long as they put a butt in a seat.

So yes, I hate headhunters.
The term headhunter is derogatory. But only because people live up to these stereotypes. And people that don’t live in the industry are left to believe that this is what all recruiters are like.

This is not how my company recruits. Quite frankly many good competitors do OK too. But many headhunters, well, they make it a little easier for the Outside-In Companies to make placements. Because we headhunt talent, but we don’t perpetuate the headhunter myth!

Consider scheduling an info session with our Senior Recruitment Consultant and see for yourself how we’re different.

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