Recruitment is headhunting is … what?

I’ve been debating with myself whether to blog about this or not, but I find the situation so strange I hope to hear your points of this.

Some time ago I had an exchange with a company which I can only describe as a kind of outsourcing service. Only they don’t describe themselves like that. According to them their services is in the cross-roads of head-hunting and recruitment. On their website they say the place C-level executives and senior professionals and that you as subscriber get access to a vast network across different industries. Fair enough.

As I believe I have a CV that might be of interest for a future employee I sent them a mail saying I was interested in learning more. In return I got an e-mail saying that they hadn’t found me qualified so  Thanks but No thanks. I queried why I wasn’t considered a worthy candidate. On their website they listed my as competencies currently sought after by their customers. The company came back saying my salary level was too low. No problem there, I’m fine with the idea of earning more. So, I resubmitted my CV, this time with a higher salary level. In the CV itself I hadn’t as much as changed a comma. This time around my CV was considered as interesting.

In fact they came back with returning e-mail and they couldn’t express exactly how valuable my background was for them. Odd, isn’t it? The same CV, the same person. Just added a “1” before my salary and suddenly I was the best candidate possible.

And they charge a steep fee for their services as well. Only I don’t really know what I would pay for. There isn’t really anyone that can “get” you a job is there? Admittedly it is simpler if you are well-connected. And to pay for services doesn’t bother me either, although in my mind services like these are paid for by the companies not the candidates. However, nothing of this is really the reason for why I feel uncomfortable, it is the fact that the same CV that was considered as unsuitable suddenly became suitable just after reviewing the salary.

If a recruiter could help me out – is this normal practise or don’t I understand the service offer?

4 responses to “Recruitment is headhunting is … what?

  1. Hi Sara,
    As you (should) know, it’s always the employer who pays the hiring fee to the recruiter/headhunter. So there is a distinct chance you were in contact with an ‘advance cash scam’. If your salary is not high enough, you’re probably not a worthy prey. so putting a ”1” in front changed that.


  2. One word: scam. Another word: sucker.


  3. Often when a recruiter/headhunter is looking for a candidate to fill an opportunity they look at compensation. If your salary is too low, it may mean you are not senior enough for the role. If we are looking for a senior executive to fill a role and the compensation is $250K and your salary is $125k quite likely you are much too light for role. If nothing more, you would have to let us know why you are getting paid so much lower than the going rate for the role.


    • I get that and it’s not a problem. It isn’t what my reaction was to. But as said.

      I sent in my CV, got a no, asked why, corrected it and sent in the same CV not a comma had changed now I was interesting. I find that recruitment behaviour unprofessional and if I was a recruiter I’d name and shame those people as they give your inudstry a bad name.



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