Question: What should I do when the Headhunter calls?
Answer: Close the door and be quiet.
There you are, hard at work, and life is just fine. The call comes out of the blue and here is the opening conversation. “Hello, my name is Howard Adamsky and I am calling from an executive search and consulting company just west of Boston. I have a client who is looking to fill what I see as a very interesting opportunity for a Director of Regulatory Affairs. Can you talk for a moment?” (This is, word for word, exactly what I would say to you.) I get all types of reactions. Fear, happiness, shock, laughter and at times, absolute silence.
This approach by phone really should not be all that hard to respond to in terms of an intelligent and proficient reaction. If you are a professional, dealing with headhunters is a part of your working life and you need to take a few moments to manage that process.
If the headhunter calls, the best thing to do is to be friendly, close your door and chat about the opportunity for a few moments. No one is asking you to take the job because no one has even offered it to you. All we look for is a bit of simple conversation as to your availability and interest. If you are not available, a referral to an individual who might be qualified to do that job is welcome. If you are absolutely unable to talk at that moment, I suggest that you give that person a time when they might be able to reach you.
A special word for those who become angry if the headhunter calls. Don’t do that. Really now, the time to smarten up is now. If you are called, it means that you are respected and perhaps even in demand.
Your concern as it relates to calls from headhunters should never come when you receive calls of interest. Your concern should come when the calls stop coming as this is not a sign of good tidings.