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Just The Job: Getting ahead of the hunting game.

'Don't call us, we'll call you' was always a favourite refrain amongst the headhunting fraternity.

It was the 'old school' greeting for all those who dared to initiate contact with the people holding the key to the dream job.

Over the last few years, however, things have changed. A new breed of headhunter has arrived on the scene, and it is one which is keen to develop relationships with people and work with them throughout their career.

Out has gone the arrogance and 'I don't care' attitude and in has come a proactive, well-informed professional who cares more about the employer and client than the placement fee.

As a result, this particular type of headhunter is certainly proving its worth and efficiency.

Over the last twelve months, senior professional sector salaries across the Midlands have risen dramatically, with many receiving an unprecedented hike in remuneration of up to 20 per cent.

This is not just an effect of the current skills shortage, it is the result of firms like Charles Fellowes Resourcing being able to source and attract new talent for top level vacancies.

At Charles Fellowes we welcome ambitious and capable people contacting us.

We understand that sitting tight and waiting for the headhunter to call can be a rather frustrating process.

So, if you want to prompt our attention, be blatant about it.

Pick up the telephone and speak to us or look at our website on and sign up for Watching Brief.

When we meet you, make sure you know exactly what you want your next career move to be and that you understand what your key selling points are. It is highly likely that, as experienced headhunters, we know about you already and are waiting to approach you with the right position when it becomes available.

In the background, build up and maintain your profile. We are constantly watching the professional market for interesting names. This means that if you want to facilitate a career move your approach should resemble a personal sales campaign.

Attending breakfast meetings, forums or conferences can help. However, more important is to have your name as the point of contact in a high profile awareness campaign for your employer.

Try to strike a balance between publicising yourself as a team player and as an individual asset.

Encourage this perception amongst prospective employers, as well as rival companies or firms. A good candidate is always rated by his or her peers and a good headhunter will always be able to contact the latter for their opinion on a particular person.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you are headhunted, take the call. If the position put to you does not interest you tell the consultant that on this occasion you do not feel the role is right.

It certainly pays to have the right headhunter on side. And as the relationship begins to develop, the career benefits should be considerable.

Anthony Tomkins is Chief Executive of Birmingham-based national headhunters Charles Fellowes Resourcing.

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Author:Tomkins, Antony
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 21, 2000
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