Executive Career Advice

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5 great reasons you should take a call from a recruiter or headhunter – even if you’re not seeking a new role

When you get the call from an executive recruiter or a headhunter, don’t hang up!

I am constantly surprised when senior executives tell me they never speak to recruitment professionals. Take a few minutes to hear what they have to say – you may be glad you did!

5 benefits of developing a relationship with an executive headhunter or senior level recruiter:

1. You will be informed of the best job opportunities

Recruiters and headhunters are an invaluable connection to employers. They know what’s happening in an industry before most and they can tell you where the next vacancy will be. By connecting with a recruiter and developing a relationship, you will be well-informed about the current openings they are working on that are relevant to you and in a better position to navigate the hidden jobs market.

2. You will gain valuable market awareness

Recruitment professionals are having conversations all day long with industry professionals. They pick up a great deal of information regarding activity in your industry (and not just on recruiting). They can tell you what the level of hiring activity is in your industry; what your competitors are doing; what your worth is in the marketplace and how you compare to others with similar skills and experience.

3. You will gain direct (and confidential) access to hiring managers

Headhunters and recruiters have established relationships with a great number of hiring managers; they are seen as trusted advisors. Would you rather submit your CV to HR like everyone else or have a respected recruitment professional highlight all the reasons you’re a perfect fit for the role?

4. You will have access to an extensive network of industry contacts

Recruitment professionals have vast networks of connections. You could be introduced to many other people in the industry through them. One way to start doing this is to connect with them on LinkedIn. Also, ask them the question “who do you know that…?”

5. Your new contact could change your life

You might feel settled in the job you’re in, but you never know what a recruiter or headhunter might have to offer you. Even if you don’t feel like the opportunity they are contacting you about is quite right for you now, have a chat about it; you could be pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what executive headhunter James Boyer had to say on the subject:

“I appreciate that it isn’t always a good time to take a call from a headhunter and I always use the utmost discretion when contacting candidates. Even if you aren’t currently looking for a new role (over 90% of candidates I place weren’t looking for a new role at the time), talk to me. I may come back to you with something you can’t refuse and don’t forget I’m contacting you about a role because I think you would want to hear about it.”

James Boyer – Director, Gaming Headhunters


As the case often is, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’. You must be ready to talk with a recruiter and develop that relationship for the benefit of your future job satisfaction – you never know when your employment situation or your own wants and needs might change, and when it does, you will benefit from the contacts you have made in recruitment.

By establishing relationships with a few experienced and respected recruiters in your field, you will gain a source of industry insights; introductions to the right people; and become aware of excellent job opportunities. So always welcome opportunities to speak with recruiters and headhunters; keep an open mind and listen to what people have to say – you never know what could happen!

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