5 Reasons Recent Grads Should Consider Using a Headhunter

Image by thetaxhaven, Flickr

Image by thetaxhaven, Flickr

After graduating university I struggled for several months to find gainful employment. Unfortunately this is a sad reality for many recent graduates in Canada. However, through hard work and dedication it is possible to discover jobs and opportunities. This can be daunting for some recent graduates, who may not be used to networking and connecting with your peers and prospective employees.

Now, as an executive recruiter, it is my responsibility to pair business professionals with new opportunities that they may not be aware of. There are recruiters in Canada that specialize in recent grads, and using a recruiter has boundless advantages. Below are five reasons why I think you should consider using a headhunter.

1) They don’t cost you anything
Job agencies take a percentage of your wage to reimburse their expenses. Recruitment firms, however, are paid by the client (your potential employer). The candidate (you) is not required to pay any costs at all. If a head hunter approaches you and asks for money upfront you should not employ their services. In theory, headhunters are motivated to find you employment because that is how they are paid. They are also an important ally in negotiating compensation because their commission is based on your salary.

2) Your application goes to the top of the pile
Your resume bypasses other external candidates and goes straight to human resources and the hiring manager. If you are working with a reputable recruitment firm then chances are the client trusts that the presented candidates are top quality, and are therefore more likely to be reviewed. Furthermore, many job opportunities are not even advertised externally and often headhunters and recruiters are working exclusively for the client. Recruitment firms open the door to possibilities and opportunities that you may not have ever considered or heard of.

3) Insider knowledge about the job market and your field
As a headhunter I talk to a lot of people currently in the field. I ask questions that would normally be off limits – what their current salary is, for example – and I have a solid understanding of the industries that I work in. Headhunters are an important tool in job searching in order to understand the market, discuss what the job market is like in a certain field, and discuss what your value is in the job market.

4) They do all the leg work
Headhunters are most effective when they work with motivated and determined candidates. When you’re searching for employment, a phone call is worth a thousand emails. Candidates seldom choose a phone call over an email, but I always remember those who call because they are so few. This being said, headhunters help to relieve the pressure of job searching. They are rewarded when you find employment, so they want to present you in the best possible light. They will tweak and edit your resume and they will help promote your candidacy and resume. Headhunters liaise with clients and will sell you to their client to the best of their ability.

5) Networking
Effective job searching is about networking. Recruiters and headhunters rely on networking and their ability to form relationships with decision makers. Connecting with recruiters will help gain you access into their inner circle. Their ability to network and use existing contacts will prove invaluable in your job search or opportunity for promotion.

It’s important to remember that headhunters do not work for you – they work for their client. Though a headhunter has an investment in seeing you succeed, it is unlikely you are the only person they are talking to and submitting for an opportunity. Headhunters want to fill a job order for a client: they are not necessarily invested in making sure you get placed, but rather that the order is filled. Do not put all your eggs in one basket and rely on headhunters completely in your job search. Headhunters should be used as one of several tools when searching for employment.

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