Have you ever thought of buying the services of a headhunter to work on your behalf?
As my job search has become increasingly laborious, I've been thinking a lot about the virtues of engaging my own personal headhunter. If a company can mandate a search firm to find the right candidate, why can't a candidate mandate a search firm?
Don't get me wrong - I'm not too lazy to look for a job myself. I've been throwing myself bodily into looking for a new role on a daily basis. My CV and my application letter have both been constructed with the assistance of recruitment professionals. I've done the interview skills workshops with recruitment firms and the outplacement providers and I've always had positive feedback.
However, I've got nowhere. At this stage, I'd prefer to sacrifice 25% of my first year's compensation and pay a headhunter to use his or her network, than continue looking for a job alone.
I've made some enquiries, expecting my idea to be warmly received. Instead, I've had two main responses: from headhunters have told me it wouldn't be ethical for me to pay them to find me a job; from others, who've said finding a job is an interior journey and pseudo-religious quest that shouldn't be paid for.
The latter is plainly ridiculous, but in what way is paying a headhunter morally condemnatory? The benefits of paying someone to act on your behalf are clear. You'll be first to hear about appropriate jobs. People without the time to commit to a job search will also be more inclined to move, and therefore less likely to become de-motivated in jobs they're too fearful to leave.
Everyone wins: the headhunter and the candidate. I find it hard to believe that this doesn't happen all the time.
A version of this article first appeared on our