Confessions of a Charlotte headhunter

Confessions of a Charlotte headhunter
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Note: Love confessions? Here’s the entire confessions series collection. If you’d like to participate, please email [email protected] We promise to keep you anonymous.

Looking for a job sucks. Using a headhunter can make it suck a little less. (That is, if they’re any good.) Here’s one Charlotte headhunter’s confessions about drunken emails, failed drug tests and the guy who thought it was a good idea to talk about his sex addiction during a job interview.

Have you ever paired a candidate with a company even though you didn’t think he/she was a good match?

No, never. First of all, it’s not the right thing to do and second, it would hurt both the client and the candidate by not being happy in the company. Happy clients and candidates result in referrals and repeat business!

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

I called a client and their voicemail was full. I then called their administrator who told me that the person had just died… quite awkward.

Tell me about the worst job candidate you’ve ever worked with.

Wow, that’s a tricky question as there have been quite a few. In one situation, I received an offer (that was a 35% raise for a candidate) from a large unnamed bank and the candidate did not pass the pre-employment drug test (when the banks used to do them).

Since I had told the candidate at the beginning of the hiring process (2 to 3 months long) that a drug test was required, I was surprised that they were upset when they did not get the role and huge raise.

What part of “stop taking drugs for a few months” did they not understand?

Do you ever match someone with a company that you know is going out of business?

Never for a full-time role. Sometimes companies going out of business will use temporary help but then you have to ensure that you will get paid!

What’s the average time it takes for you to get someone a job?

An old rule used to be a month for every $10,000 of salary (6 months = $60,000 salary) but there truly is no accurate timeframe to quote. I have found a candidate a role in a record four days from the time I met them and there are people that I have never placed.

Matching the candidate’s skills, experience, goals, location, salary and culture fit with a client who is using a lot of the same criteria can sometimes take quite a while.

What’s the worst thing a job candidate can do in an interview?

Multiple things: not show up, leave their phone on and it rings during the interview, not researching the company, dressing inappropriately, talking too much and not answering the interviewer’s questions.

There are too many terrible interview stories to list… but one person told me during an interview that the gap in their resume was due to in-patient treatment for addiction. (They hinted it was sex addiction.) TMI.

What’s the best part about your job? The worst?

The best part is working with people (candidates and clients) and helping them “find each other” resulting in a happy and long-term employment/career situation.

The worst part is not being able to match someone who is truly a good person with the right role.

What’s the highest paying industry in Charlotte? What industries are really lacking talent?

The financial services and related industries (banking, investment, etc.) seem to be the highest paying industries but may not have the best culture, work/life balance or stability.

I think most industries in Charlotte are having a tough time finding people for jobs at all levels.

Across the board, companies are constantly implementing cost efficiencies and cutting headcount all in an effort to drive profitability. But they don’t understand “you get what you pay for” with noncompetitive wages, longer work hours and sometimes a not so great culture.

Any advice for Charlotteans looking for a job?

Yes, please don’t send drunken emails to your recruiter at 3 a.m. telling them your personal problems and why you need a job.

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