In January 2000, I bought a recruiting franchise and attended a three week intensive training program at the corporate headquarters in Cleveland. While I sat in the classroom for 12 hours per day, I was indoctrinated by the best of them. They retrained me from my prior form as a consultive sales person into a “Headhunter.” Needless to say, I was drowning in a sea of new information and was disoriented by a completely different approach to business than I was previously exposed to. At first it was refreshing to have a new beginning in a new industry. By week three, Doug, the expert trainer, used this phrase to summarize the “Marketing” call content. “I’ve got what you need, what do you need? 30%.”. This was the fundamental purpose of the call we were to make to Hiring Authorities in order to convince them to work with us. I’m not sure how many of my classmates felt as I did, but it just didn’t feel right to me. To say I have what they need, before knowing what they need, was a stretch to say the least, but it was only the tip of the iceberg.
The whole approach of the marketing call made it feel like I was a disingenuous boiler room- telemarketer who placed dozens of cold calls to key decision makers to convince them to agree to the terms of my agreement.
I would know nothing about my potential client and yet pretend to know exactly why they needed. This was a normal part of the business of Contingency Search. It became clear to me that this technique was not for me. I went on to learn many other nuances to the business of contingency search that made it ultimately impossible for me to continue in it. This little thing is the tip of the iceberg of the dishonest “tricks of the trade.”. Many Headhunters don’t understand why they have such a poor reputation. Perhaps it is because they have no issues misrepresenting facts.
What do you think?