Just know who’s cutting the check. Follow the money, as investigators like to say.
Swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck- then it’s probably a…you know how this one ends. Too often, what’s obvious to one person is a mystery to another.
Here we’ll talk about you getting a call from a third-party recruiter. I call them headhunters because that’s what they are- that’s what I am and I have ZERO problem with that word.
A headhunter gets paid- AND ONLY GETS PAID- when a placement occurs. And they get paid by the company doing the hiring. Seems simple enough.
Any reputable headhunter who contacts you is an agent working on the behalf of one or more employers in your industry. Again, seems simple and obvious but it’s neither if you’re new to how this works.
Even the most honest and credible headhunter (oxymoron?) will not tell you this and not because they’re hiding information. This presumption is made for three reasons: 1.) The professional being contacted by the headhunter has almost always changed jobs before and they’ve talked to a recruiter before 2.) The professional being contacted by the recruiter is not being asked to pay for anything 3.) A good headhunter who contacts you knows they only have seconds of your time. Unless you request it, an education on the process will not be part of the dialog.
If a headhunter tells a candidate that they are unequivocally working on the candidates behalf- that's horseshit. Though the recruiter is financially incentivized to get the candidate all that they want in changing jobs, it’s the hiring employer that cuts the check.
What’s the takeaway here? Not entirely sure because of my penchant for drifting off into tangents- but I'll give it a whirl.
Just know that changing jobs will involve- directly or indirectly- the discussion of money. If you’re considering leaving your current job and money has NOTHING to do with it, just know that the subject is going to come up come up anyway.
Similar to water finding its own level, money ALWAYS finds its own level and drives virtually everything in any for-profit enterprise.
Idealism often dislikes that- and that’s fine. But it’s delusional to ignore it.
Just know that business is business and you don’t need to compromise anything- including your ideals. If your ideals come into direct conflict with something that’s driven by money or fiscal policy, you have a tough decision to make. Refuse to talk about it, refuse to reveal anything about your requirements or history- or just acquiesce to the reality of the subject matter.