You are excellent at your job, and maybe you are noticing that a recruiter or staff at competitor companies have started connecting with you on LinkedIn?

Here at Verus we are often tasked with finding brilliant candidates for our clients’ up and coming new roles, and so we spend a lot of time researching companies and people via LinkedIn, and it’s up to us to try and understand your skillset as best we can before we make you that all-important offer. So if we send you a connection request or a message, it means we think you are particularly talented and want to know more about you! 

Yes, you are being headhunted, but once you have received the initial contact where do you go from there?

  • Check credentials of the headhunters and the firm

First things first, double check the details with who you are talking to. Check out the recruitment firm’s website – are their roles advertised in your desired industry or location? If the headhunter is coming directly from a company, take a look at their position and the company they are representing. Do they look reputable and match your values? 

  • Keep it quiet

It’s clear that being headhunted is quite the compliment, but don’t be tempted to boast about it, or shout about it too loudly. A simple conversation on LinkedIn does not necessarily mean that you are about to be offered a new high-flying position, and if your current employer hears that you are looking to leave, this could jeopardise any counter-offer options you have, or future promotion opportunities. Also, if you have been headhunted there is a good chance that the recruiter or hiring firm is trying to keep the hiring process low-key, and are not advertising the role publicly on major platforms. 

  • Set up an informal interview

If the information so far has piqued your interest, it’s best to set up a conversation so that you can find out more about the role and company in more detail. Sure, the recruiter will be looking to find out more about you, but remember that they came to YOU and so this is their chance to sell themselves and the role to you. Sit back and let them reveal what they want to you, asking questions only when given the opportunity. 

  • Book a formal interview

If you decide that the opportunity is something that you are interested in, then it’s time to progress things to a formal interview. You can do this by letting the head-hunter know that you are interested and they will take things from there. For roles that require head-hunting, you can expect this to not be a straightforward process, and there may be multi-stage interviews, presentations and practical demonstrations.

  • Negotiations Phase

If you’ve impressed them (and they’ve impressed you!) at the interview stage the company may then make you an offer. However, remember they have gone through a lot of hassle to find and test you, so they are pretty invested by now which gives you a very strong negotiating position for wages and benefits. Do your due diligence and work out what you can expect as a salary, what the team is like and how the company looks after its staff with benefits such as medical insurance, health care, company cars, and discount schemes.

  • Break the news to your current employer

This is where you let your employer know that you’ve been headhunted. Be honest that the recruiter came to you, and therefore you weren’t searching for a new job. Explain why the new position is of interest to you – maybe the responsibility or salary increase is much more than your current position. If your current employer is in a position to match their offer by way of a promotion, this is their opportunity to. If not, they will understand your ambition and hopefully give you their blessing and a brilliant reference to move on with. 


The best thing about a recruiter head hunting you? They will do all the work and negotiations for you, and if this one particular role isn’t a good fit, they will have got to know you for future opportunities. 

So the next time a recruiter connects on LinkedIn – have a chat. You never know what might happen! 


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