I don’t normally post the weekly Ask The Headhunter newsletter online, but I got so many requests for this week’s edition that I’ve put it up:

How long does the headhunter control me?

An excerpt:

To understand how to work effectively with headhunters, it’s important to know the differences between retained and contingency headhunters, employment agencies, job shops and career management firms. Also relevant are the kinds of contracts employers and headhunters use. Perhaps most important in this case is knowing how employers routinely deal with headhunters. It’s not complicated, but if you don’t know how employers manage headhunters you’ll never be able to manage them yourself… (click for more)

(The newsletter is free — you’ll find a subscription link when you open this sample edition.)


  1. Nine years ago, a Agency X placed me at a company Y. Five years late, I approached the Agency X to investigate other possible openings in the area. I was told they would not represent me as long as I was still employed at company Y – claimed it would be a conflict of interest on their part to do so. Company Y is changing their IT systems to the point where my job will be terminated sometime in 2010. I’d rather not wait until I’m unemployed before I find a new postition.
    BTW: Agency X is pretty much the only game in town.

  2. @Ray: Fine thing – you found an agency with integrity. When an agency has a contract with an employer, it almost always includes a no-recruit clause. An honest agency will not poach from a client.

    The only way this agency will touch you is if you leave company Y first.

    I’d contact the HR office at a handful of the best companies in your town – no matter what industry they are in. Doesn’t matter whether you want to work at these companies. Ask HR what agency they respect and work with. My guess is there are agencies you don’t know about. Try it.

  3. Thanks Nick – will give that a try.
    It’s really a toss-up whether or not I will be able to retire (voluntarily) before the job ends, and I just want to be prepared.

    Kinda like the question of whether my hair will turn gray or fall out firs :-)

    Have a great Christmas and New Year