Personal Finance

Pink Slip Survival Guide: How to Find a Headhunter

There’s no getting around it: this job market is downright awful. If you’re unemployed or just desperately seeking a new gig, you need all the help you can get. To this end, more people than ever are turning to recruiters or headhunters to help.

Lisa Cullen, our resident jobs expert, explains that there are two types of recruiters. The first, known as contingency recruiters, are essentially freelancers who get paid only when a candidate is hired (they typically get a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary from the hiring company). The second are contracted or corporate recruiters. As the name suggests, these recruiters are hired by companies to fill specific positions. But neither contingency or contracted recruiters are as easy to find as you might think. They tend to not take cold calls and instead only work from referrals. So if you’re in the market for a headhunter to help you land your next job, start putting out the feelers, Cullen says. Ask around to see if any colleagues or friends have used a good recruiter in the past and go from there.

And don’t be afraid to use multiple recruiters in your job-hunting process. Getting a job is all about networking anyway, so play every hand you’re dealt. It’s not cheating to use more than one.