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Headhunter Question


Lying Dog-faced Pony Soldier
Mar 10, 2006
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The distinction between retained search and contingency is a meaningful one, Stockwell. I'm glad you laid it out -- I was aware of that distinction but did not have it in mind when I posted.
I hope my earlier post was sufficiently clear that the bad practices I referred to are not employed by all in your profession. I do think they are, unfortunately, fairly prevalent among those who work on commission. But it's also true that because one's negative experiences tend to be memorable, a few bad apples can spoil it for a lot of ethical, professional people.
Anyway, if you feel that I in any way painted with too broad a brush, my apologies.

Bic Pentameter

Senior Member
May 1, 2002
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Thanks for your followup, Stockwell. It is clear that you are a credit to your profession.



Senior Member
Apr 24, 2006
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Thanks everyone for the very interesting discussion.

I'll keep you updated about my experiences, like I said, in general they have been very positive.
"As to the OP's original question... The recruiters manner of communication with you does sound odd. I suspect it is just a recruiter that is just not very good at her job, since your typical experience has been positive."
I do think so, her communication skills are not very good, on the phone she appears nervous und uptight.

"Who knows when that person might be the right fit for a position down the road, may be able to help you on another search, or may even be a client one day."
That's what I expect her to do.

Finally, in response to rhold about gaining access to the "decision makers," typically if you are straight forward in your request they will get back to you. No respectable retained search firm will use lies or deceit in the process
She did lie to our secretary to gain acces to me, however that gives me a chance to take her call without admitting, at least to our secretary, that I do want to talk to headhunters.

There are two different types of executive search. Retained executive search and contingency.
Thanks for making that clear.
One of the things I want to find out from the lady who called me ist with what firms they have retained search agreements.

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