When the phone rings and a headhunter is on the other end of the line, it's usually too late for a well thought-out battle plan. At the first contact with a few questions and tricks you can quickly find out whether the recruiter is serious and competent, or rather ranks among the black sheep in the industry.
1. Does the headhunter call in the workplace?
Headhunter Gail of Fischer & Partners in Jakarta has worked in recruitment in England and Indonesia. On the Thames, it is customary to call financial professionals without warning. This is facilitated by the fact that the professional telephone numbers of investment bankers are easily accessible via Bloomberg.
In Indonesia, however, such as "cold calls" would be reluctant. "It's rare for us to call someone directly. It's difficult to contact people in the office, "says Gail. Rather, the initial contact would often come about professional networks, the private contact data in the own database or referrals. The email would include a brief description of the jobs in question, with the request to contact if interested. "We prefer a soft approach," says Gail.
Some headhunters pretend to be employees of some company in order to be put through to the head of the relevant management team. So some new customer contact turns out to be a headhunter. So always be on guard.
2. Look for private e-mail addresses and phone numbers
In general, financial professionals should be cautious when communicating with headhunters. In the age of rampant compliance and threatened banking secrecy, many banks monitor their employees' emails and phone calls. That's why Headhunter Nantida of Fischer & Partners in Bangkok advises "to always make contact via private mail or telephone."
3. Look at the website
Headhunter Phanuphan from Technical Recruitment Team in Bangkok advises as to the first step towards an internet search. "I would first visit the website and look: Is the caller in the area in which I move, and how long has he been on the market," says Phanuphan. Also, candidates should pay attention to whether the caller has advertised on his own site or online job sites that fit into the career of the candidate. This proves at least the expertise of the headhunter. In addition, you could ask around the circle of colleagues and acquaintances whether the name of the Recruitment Company | Executive Search was known in the relevant field. Bangkok is quite manageable, commented Phanuphan.
4. Beware of sharing the CV
Nedchanok urges caution when passing on the CV. Sometimes recruiters do not have an exclusive mandate. It can happen that a candidate is contacted by different headhunters for the same job.
"You have to make sure that the CV is forwarded only if you give it OK," emphasizes another Bangkok headhunter.
Nedchanok recommends reviewing the reputation of the headhunter in the market before submitting the CV. The main question is how reputable is the headhunter's CV.
5. What does the headhunter know about you?
According to another headhunter from Bangkok, there are many recruiters who simply call as many candidates as possible to eventually hire someone and collect the recruitment fee. "A serious recruitment consultant did his homework," he asserts. Before the first contact, he should have informed himself on the profile of the candidate and have thought about whether the candidate fits the job in question.
6. What does the headhunter know about the job?
Furthermore, the headhunter reports that some less reputable recruiter who might have no job order and there is no specific position. Rather, these people just wanted to pick up the CV of the candidate to then send it to various addresses and land a lucky hit. "If a recruiter stays vague at the job, that's a bad sign," he warns. "With a respectable headhunter, there is clarity about the position and he is also able to give details." Therefore, the black sheep could be quickly identified".
7. What does the headhunter know about his client?
Many employers run a "Preferred supplier list". Once it puts a recruitment company on this list, it is preferred in the procurement process. The anonymous headhunter confirms that many HR consultants maintain long-term cooperation with their customers and know a lot about their clients. Again, this can be determined quickly with a few specific questions.
8. The salary question
Salary issues are always a sensitive issue - that is also in Thailand & Indonesia. Nevertheless, each candidate must count on the question of his current or desired wages. Nid defends this practice: If an employer offers a salary of e.g. 120,000 to 140,000 Baht for a position, it makes little sense to place someone who demands 180,000 Baht.
9. The headhunter should be open for discussion
"A good headhunter is open for discussions," says Phanuphan. He is not only placing this single job but to lay the groundwork for fruitful cooperation in the future at first contact. For the headhunter, it is very helpful to understand the career ambitions and the situation of a candidate. In addition, recommendations for headhunters played an important role. In general, a headhunter should not appear too intrusive.
10. Is the headhunter willing to invest time?
After initial contact via e-mail or telephone, a highly regarded headhunter attaches great importance to a longer personal conversation, explains Nantida. Depending on the specific situation, it could be a meeting or at least a detailed telephone conversation. The willingness to speak will show the seriousness of the caller. "Anyone who only sends resumes around is unwilling to invest time in a candidate," warns Nantida.