No more head-hunters please.

Usually when I’m talking about head-hunters I’m either ranting or making fun of them… or in some cases both.

But this post isn’t about that. This post is about something simple. If your company is interested in me, then contact me yourself. Do not under any circumstances use a head-hunter. I won’t talk to them.

You’d be surprised how many head-hunters call me with statements like, “My client has specifically asked me to contact you about an opportunity with them. I can’t tell you who they are, but trust me they’re great. Please send me your resume so I can give it to them to start the process.”

Now occasionally (once) they’re being honest. But most of the time, they’re full of shit since this is one of the oldest ploys in the book to get your resume in their system so they can call you every 6 months about “great opportunites” which suck.

So instead of paying a head-hunter 30% to call me and setup an interview… just contact me yourself.

3 thoughts on “No more head-hunters please.

  1. Aaron:
    80% of EVERYTHING is crap! Headhunters AND their potential candidates. That said, your message above to companies is like telling them to stand on their doorstep and yell “Bring me food!” with the expectation they’ll get what they want.

    Obviously, a company investing money in a service won’t get YOU. At least until you get far enough in your career to see the other side. Maybe you won’t. Until then, you are merely turning off a potential avenue to a career move.

    Absolutely your choice. While I’m here (TOTALLY by accident) I’ll apologize for those who created your angst.
    Best Wishes! Dave.

  2. Hi Dave,

    I can’t argue about the 80% is crap on both sides. Ask my co-workers what happens in interviews when people write “expert in TCP/IP” on their resume and can’t even tell me the 6 flags of TCP- it’s not pretty.

    I just refuse to play that game of lies and deceit. Perhaps I can get away with it since I have over 15 years of professional experience and my last job was landed through my personal network- something I expect to continue for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, a large number of head hunters have given this role in the industry a bad name. And with the advent of social networks like LinkedIn, the need is reduced as well.

    A good example: Many years ago one head hunter who had found me a job called me up about a great opportunity and wanted me to come in to his office to talk about it more in person. So I swing by the next morning and he doesn’t actually have anything, but instead tries to pump me for information on co-workers who might unhappy that he can call on. Asshole.

    As for contacting me directly if your company is interested in me, why not? If you’ve already identified me as someone you’d like to bring in for an interview, why would you pay a head hunter to set it up? There’s only one good reason I can think of- you’re a competitor and you don’t want to let it be known you’re poaching their employees. If that’s the case then don’t bother- I’m not willing to move to any Mu’s competitors anyways.

    If that means I miss out on a potential career move so be it. I can afford to be picky.

    That said, when I’m hiring I sometimes use head hunters. Some are actually quite good and provide real value (like Mike Sienkowski). They tend to be pretty specialized though. Unfortunately, most head head hunters seem to have no technical background and rather then providing real value by being a first pass filter, they see their job as finding as many resumes to flood my email inbox as possible. Generally speaking though I tend to get much higher quality candidates by asking my friends in the industry- and then I just owe them dinner or maybe tickets to a game.


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