Betty Buyside: The persistence of headhunters

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The third approach from a headhunter in as many months. I keep promising myself I am going to ignore them, but somehow there's always a good reason to return the call.

Apart from anything else, it would be a shame not to reward them for their enterprise in getting through to me.

When you get as many voicemails and emails as I do, many fall by the wayside. Every salesman covering our account and every analyst looking at the sectors I cover (plus a few that think I cover totally different sectors) try and get in touch daily.

Which is why these chaps (headhunters in the City are rarely female) have to try so hard to be heard above the din.

Messages like &quotBettina, it's Justin. Sorry I missed you, please could you call back on.....&quot just get zapped by my delete key, as I presume he is yet another aspirant specialist salesman on a mission to provide me with a service.

No, headhunters wanting to elicit a response must resort to greater subterfuge. My favourite recently went like this. &quotBettina, it's Justin Bloggs from XYZ headhunters. We've put a candidate forward for a job and they have given you as a reference. Please could you give me a ring on......&quot

Of course I called back at once, assuming that some chum or other was on the verge of a nice new job and it only needed my endorsement to secure it for them. Needless to say, no such chum existed and Justin had really wanted the chance to pitch me a job.

Though I have been in my current job for less than two years, I recently allowed myself to be sucked into the interview tunnel by two other headhunters. Neither of these ended in me moving job, even though I was interviewed three times for each.

Both required presentations by me on how I would value cyclical stocks, or some such theme. One job went to someone else who, it was felt, had 'more relevant experience' (huh!) and the other I withdrew from after it emerged that I would be spending more than half my time in the United States.

Working overseas for long periods was not on my agenda as I am working hard on my serious long-term relationship with Anthony Academic. Intellectually gifted by not massively solvent, I feel that he may be on the verge of a proposal and so I can't possibly go away until he's made up his mind.

Actually, I suspect that he may be waiting until he has saved up enough to purchase me a diamond engagement ring equivalent to one month of my salary, as opposed to one month's of his, which wouldn't even run to M&S costume jewelry.

If I move job for the 60% pay rise that either of these jobs (and the one from Justin) would entail it would take him even longer.

Despite this deterrent, I have agreed to see Justin's client, a US investment house which, like many others, has just discovered that 'global' includes Europe.

Quite why I am getting so many calls at a time when the industry is consolidating fast is a mystery. Isn't there anyone at Equitable that Justin could ring?

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