8 reasons why you should hang-up when a headhunter calls

If you think that recruiters help you a find a job, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you: Executive search firms and recruitment companies find candidates for jobs – they do not find jobs for candidates. May I say, don’t shoot the messenger please (read: me).

When you call or email a recruiter, and ask if we can help you find a job, we can only do so if one of our clients has a job opening that matches your experience and skill set. Recruiters have to be focused on their clients’ needs. That is how the business works.

I  do  apologise  if  I  am  just  stating  the obvious, but  trust  me,  most  people  have no clue about how executive search firms work.  And why should they.  Once upon a time, I was an ordinary candidate who experienced almost every job search faux pas in the book.

You can imagine the surprise and increased frustration that  grew  inside  me,  when  I was on the other side of the table (some 15-20 years ago before joining the world of executive search). No headhunter wanted to talk  to  me  when  I  called,  they  didn’t return calls when I left messages with an assistant or on voice mail, nobody bothered  to answer emails either. Aaarrrgghhh.

Nowadays, anyone can get into the Thai recruitment business. Every Tom, Dick and Harry call themselves a headhunter nowadays, even all they do is shopping on the internet and in their database. It’s the kind of small agencies who invite you to a hotel lobby or Starbucks because they operate from home or a small office space. Oh well.

It’s annoying to say, but professional and experienced recruiters are competing with recruiters who should not even be in the business.

Hang-up reason 1: Professional recruiters say their name

If all the person, who calls you, is saying: “I’m calling from Blue Sky Recruitment Company; are you looking for a job”. Hang-up because real recruiters are not afraid of immediately introducing themselves by name and company. Even with mobile, web site and email.

Hang-up reason 2: Rude and aggressive recruiter

You may be spammed or you may be just a number that some lazy junior recruiter found on LinkedIn. Perhaps someone who has to get your resume to make the KPI for registered resumes in their database. Hang-up, don’t choose someone who is rude and aggressive. You have to vet the recruiters who call you.

Hang-up reason 3: Perhaps there is a job – perhaps not!

If the recruiter is not able to present the details of a real job opening, department size, reporting structure, or not able to talk about their client’s industry, the client’s nationality, staff size, location etc. Hang-up because a professional recruiter will have no problem providing you with this information. If no detailed information can be shared on the spot, it’s a bogus call and you should end the call.

Hang-up reason 4: Protect your resume as it was your ID card

If the recruiter is asking for your resume or CV before you are sure who is calling, and I mean the caller’s name and company, their web site and email. If the caller asks for your resume before presenting details of a job opportunity, and by the way a job that appears attractive to your future career.

Trust me; many recruiters calling you may not even have a real job or client on hand. The call is merely to pretend, so they can get your resume and perhaps names of your friends and colleagues.

Hang-up because the recruiter may not have anything but is simply trying to reach the daily target for new resumes. There is and has never been a job opportunity for you. You are just a part of a number’s game.

Hang-up reason 5: Why should I consider your client’s job?

If the recruiter calling you cannot answer that question, why you should consider their client’s job opportunity, don’t waste your time on an amateur. If you are in the mood, tell them to prepare better and call you back again.

Or just hang-up because real professionals can define and present their client’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with the snap of a finger. They can tell you about the real needs and clarify job expectations. They can answer questions like why someone would come and work for their client, why people come to work at the client’s company and why they stay.

Hang-up reason 6: What about your LinkedIn profile?

If the recruiter is asking if you have a LinkedIn profile (and assuming you have one). Hang-up because it’s part of the recruiter’s background check to see if you are on LinkedIn, Facebook or the internet in some form.

Hang-up reason 7: Meeting at Starbucks for the interview

If the recruiter suggests meeting you at the coffee shop or in the hotel lobby, that should start alarm bells ringing in your head. Hang-up because the person may operate a shoe-string recruitment business from their own bedroom or from an office far away from the central business district.

Believe me, you don’t want to sit in a public space and share your career and personal details. Ask for more details about the caller, the company, web site and address.

Hang-up reason 8: What is your salary?

Junior recruiters are often the first people to get in touch with you. They have a form from their manager to fill in for further vetting. One of these boxes would be to get your compensation details to check if you are too cheap or too expensive for whatever job they have on hand.

Hang-up because a professional headhunter will never start a conversation about your career in that manner. And you are welcome to ask what kind of budget their client gave them. Yes, clients do.

Lack of feedback to candidates by today’s HR and recruitment professionals is quite appalling

If you want to know why recruiters in corporate Talent Acquisition departments and recruitment firms are considered in the same undesirable league as unscrupulous real estate agents and sleazy second-hand car salespeople, be ready for a blunt wake-up call.

Candidates complain to me that way too many HR people, Talent Acquisition departments, and Recruitment firms do not keep them updated on the hiring process. I just came out of an interview with a senior manager who took a day off to meet the multi-national industry leader about a big job; this meeting took place two months ago. Since then, no email nor phone call, no feedback or update what so ever.

Sorry to be blunt about this, but such negligence of professional behaviour is totally inappropriate and should be reasons for dismissal of who ever that corporate or third-party recruiter is. Continue reading “Lack of feedback to candidates by today’s HR and recruitment professionals is quite appalling”

Perfect Hires Don’t Exist

My old boss told me: “If you hang around the night club until past midnight, waiting and waiting for that spectacular love-at-first-sight individual who would sweep you off your feet, you would most likely end up going home alone “.

In any hire, you must find a good balance, and make a trade-off if necessary, between three things; they are:

  • The time you have before someone must be in the job.
  • The quality of the candidate and to which extent it’s good enough.
  • The cost of compensation demanded by the candidate vs. how much you can afford to pay.

Continue reading “Perfect Hires Don’t Exist”

How you can compete with robots in the future job market

Any chance you have been to New York the last 12 months? Perhaps visiting McDonald on the corner of Third Avenue and 58th Street to get yourself a cheese burger?

So this is how it works at that particular McDonald restaurant; you go to a touch screen kiosk, click the food and beverage you want. You use your mobile phone to pay… then pick up your hamburger that has been grilled to perfection by a McRobot.

I was recently the key-note speaker at an event for the Young Professionals of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce. I was talking about how the YP’s could possibly compete with the robots in the future job market.

What does McKinsey and World Economic Forum say Continue reading “How you can compete with robots in the future job market”

How a wrong handshake will eliminate you as a candidate

Perhaps the most important thing you must get right, to leave a good first impression, is to get your greetings right. Whether you are a candidate coming for an interview or a sales manager trying to impress a prospect customer.

But which one I may ask? It could be a wai if you are Thai, a bow if you are Japanese, la bise (cheek kiss) to good friends if you are French, or a firm handshake if you are American.

Screw it up and not getting your handshake, wai or bow correct, spells trouble ahead.

Handshake, wai or both? Continue reading “How a wrong handshake will eliminate you as a candidate”

Once upon a time, Tom was an ordinary candidate

Once upon a time, Tom Sorensen, was an ordinary candidate who experienced almost every job search faux pas in the book. Today, he’s an accomplished search consultant with over 35 years’ experience and recognized as one of Thailand’s top recruiters.

If you’re looking for real advice from someone who’s been on both sides of the table, then look no further and visit the links below! Continue reading “Once upon a time, Tom was an ordinary candidate”

How Valentine would select his HR Director

Last night over a nice Valentine’s Day dinner, I asked myself if he had an HR Director? I mean he as in Saint Valentine.

Well, I don’t think so. But since we were celebrating Valentine’s Day, what an opportune time to wonder what if? Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love and has evolved into a time where lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, greeting cards and confectionery. Continue reading “How Valentine would select his HR Director”

The obvious reality is that HR has never been your friend

Can you remember when HR was called the Personnel Department and typically reported to the Head of Accounting? Back then, people were seen as a number or a cost in the company’s income statement.

It’s probably only 10 to 15 years ago that we in Thailand became familiar with the words HRD and OD. And it was also about that time where universities in Thailand started to offer HR and organizational development in their HR curriculum. Since then we have seen HR Business Partner being introduced in bigger organizations or more recent HR Analyst. What’s next? Continue reading “The obvious reality is that HR has never been your friend”

85% find their next job through their network; not from recruiters!

That’s exactly my point, and Anne is spot on in her article. It’s all good that you want to speak to the headhunter, but honestly your odds are better if you take the phone and call the people you know.

Take your box of business cards, then pick up one by one and call. Tell the person that you will soon be available and if he/she knows anyone who could use a talent like yourself. Continue reading “85% find their next job through their network; not from recruiters!”

Artificial Intelligence no match for headhunters

No match as in AI not being as good, strong, or clever as human recruiters who can actually SELL a job.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics once reported that 83% of a labor market is passive, meaning people are not actively looking for a new job. And consider that only about 20% of the six to seven million higher educated Thais are registered LinkedIn user (and a lot less are regular users that is). So what does that tell you? Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence no match for headhunters”

What’s your New Year career resolution?

Being in Asia, there is little in the weather which tells you that we are once again in the month of January. The festive holiday season is now just behind us and you may have thought of your own personal New Year’s resolutions. It’s the time for reflecting on the changes we all want in the coming year.

Have you made yours yet? What about one of these resolutions: Continue reading “What’s your New Year career resolution?”

Headhunter Horror Stories

Seeming disinterested, arrogantly smiling and over- or under dressing for an interview – these mistakes can happen to anyone. But the almost unbelievable behavior of some candidates can leave a deep impression on the psyche of any  hiring manager. Continue reading “Headhunter Horror Stories”

European economies best at recruiting and retaining top talent; what about Thailand?

Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium top the World Talent Ranking in IMD’s prestigious annual report that assesses the methods countries are using to attract and keep the talent that their businesses need to succeed. 11 out of the top 15 economies are European countries.

The ranking of 63 countries, including Thailand, is based on how countries perform in areas of education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates. Continue reading “European economies best at recruiting and retaining top talent; what about Thailand?”

8 ways to evaluate a headhunter in 30 seconds

You know the feeling when a headhunter calls you. If you ever got the call that is? You feel a sense of pride and excitement. You think to yourself: Finally, someone found me, someone discovered my talent, the big salary and company car coming my way, the neighbours will surely notice my new status, my spouse and children will acknowledge how smart I am. I should go buy a lottery ticket today. Continue reading “8 ways to evaluate a headhunter in 30 seconds”

Candidates on blind dates

Blind dates are sometimes good, usually bad, and always weird at the beginning. So are many interviews between a candidate and a hiring company. If you have never been on one yourself, a blind date is when a friend sets you up to meet a mystery person that you don’t know.

It beats me how hiring companies still treat applicants and candidates as though these people desperately need a job and subject them to abuse and arrogance by misinformed hiring managers. Candidates still tell me how hiring managers and companies seem unprepared when they turn up for an interview. Continue reading “Candidates on blind dates”