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When Do You Fire a Headhunter?

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the truth-will-set-you-unemployed dept.

Businesses 344

Captain Sarcastic writes "I have been a contract programmer for a few years (with some time off when a contract-for-hire paid off and made me a full-time employee). Currently, I'm between projects, but I'm a little worried about one of the contracting companies who's helping me. First off, a little history. "Zeke" (not his real name) was with ABC Contractors (not their real name) when I first met him, and he took my resume and started processing me through the jobs that ABC had available. A bit later, Zeke left, and his replacement Yvonne (standard disclaimer) submitted me to a company (call them "Acme") for a contract-for-hire. Everything looked like a good fit, and she E-mailed me a copy of the resume they submitted to Acme. Came the interview, I realized that Zeke had left out part of my history and had mis-dated other aspects, to keep me from appearing unemployed. Like an idiot, I tried to correct this at the interview, to find out that Acme had decided that I had fabricated all of my experience, and chewed out the rep for ABC for sending an unqualified applicant. Fine, learning experience for me — double-check what the contracting company says about you, and don't try to correct things in the middle of the interview." Read below for the rest of the story. What other difficulties have others gone through with headhunters and when is it time to leave one behind?A couple months later, Zeke contacted me from his new position with Blue-Sky Consultants (standard disclaimer), and sent me on a couple of interviews. Once again, I found out he'd "corrected" my resume — the same way he did with ABC. I raised the issue with him, and he apologized and said he'd correct the resume, and he's submitted me for other positions, but none seem to have gotten to the interview stage. I suspect that he's not trying very hard, and I wonder if he's soft-pedaling submissions for me to keep his own bosses from recognizing he'd altered my resume. So, I have the following questions:

  1. Am I suspecting malice and/or clumsiness where a competitive market is the true suspect? (An answer of yes would be harder on my ego, but a relief.)
  2. Do headhunters modify resumes, and if so, should I just shut up and go with what the headhunter says? (I was always told that eventually, the truth comes out, so I'd be uncomfortable doing that, but life isn't always comfortable.)
  3. Should I tell Zeke to get lost and stay that way? (I was always told that making enemies unnecessarily was "considered harmful", but I get the impression that Zeke isn't a friend).
  4. Have fellow Slashdotters dealt with similar situations?

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Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (5, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | about 5 years ago | (#29698427)

We see dishonesty from head hunters all the time. Personally I'd much rather if there was a mistake on your resume as we have it in front of us, that you point it out. For this reason, it's always good to go to an interview with 5 or so copies of your resume. If you try to cover for the contracting company's rep, now you're starting your relationship with me out by lying and covering something up. Unless you really are trying to cover something up, I guess =).

Especially if you bring correct copies with you, I would easily believe the contracting company misrepresented you. If you're still a fit for the job, I'll be happy to talk to you.

Also, as soon as a contracting company knowingly falsifies data about you or otherwise misrepresents you, make it clear to them that the first time was the last time. If they keep it up, drop them. Unless you're willing to move around the country a lot, there are only so many companies in a given area which are likely to have skill sets that line up with yours. You don't want your contracting company closing doors on you.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698481)

God hates fags so much, he gave them AIDS.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#29698603)

In my experience, headhunters are very forthright about their desire to kill people, eat them, and hang their shrunken, stuffed heads from strings around their neck. Obviously, you should fire them if they look overly hungry and there is no one else for them to eat. Or if they catch and eat people other than those you hired them to catch and eat. Employed with care and attention, though, headhunters can bring something to your business that no other employee can: abject terror in those that oppose you.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (4, Funny)

bjackson1 (953136) | about 5 years ago | (#29698811)

Is that you Dwight?

Jim Halpert: Have you called any headhunters?
Michael Scott: Any good headhunter knows that I am available.
Dwight Schrute: Any really good headhunter will storm your village at sunset with overwhelming force and cut off your head with a ceremonial knife.
Jim Halpert: Right, because that's what we're talking about.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698985)

Scary thing is that I read it almost to the end before realizing that you are not in fact talking about recruiters...

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29699071)

Obviously, you should fire them if they look overly hungry and there is no one else for them to eat.

Unfortunately, I am cursed with a very large head. I would need to fire them if they looked hungry at all, no matter who else was in the room.

I'd post a link to the obligatory Far Side cartoon where a man with a ginormous head approaches a headhunter village (thus stepping into headhunter lore forever), thereby telling all you "obligatory xkcd" kids to get off my damn lawn, but I can't find a damn link to it. Maybe it's here under the onion on my belt...

Unfortunately, a lot of people want to be lied to (1)

Rix (54095) | about 5 years ago | (#29698703)

Even a cursory reading through a job board will tell you that many people want and expect to be lied to. Now, if someone lies to you, they only lose out if you catch them. If someone tells the truth to someone who wants to be lied to, they're guaranteed to lose out. Companies that use headhunters will disproportionately, if not always be the latter.

Re:Unfortunately, a lot of people want to be lied (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698781)

You don't have to lie to meet the job qualifications. Say they want 10+ years experience with .net. Just get the job on the condition of telecommuting and outsource the job to China. You can get 10 Chinese with 1 year experience each to do your job and meet the qualifications.

Re:Unfortunately, a lot of people want to be lied (1, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#29699087)

Exactly. Juggling jobs is like juggling cops - Nobody bothers to dig deeper as long as the stories are consistent.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (4, Interesting)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 5 years ago | (#29698799)

This. I'm not the HR of my company, but my job includes reviewing all resumes submitted for the people who will be working under me. If I asked you in for an interview because your resume showed me that you might not be a complete knucklehead, and you tell me that the agency who sent in your resume completely fabbed it up, you still have 2 minutes to explain to me why you're not a complete knucklehead.

Basically, you've substituted the list of skills on your resume with a single relevant skill: Honesty.

It's up to you, in the interview, to very quickly tell me what relevant skills you DO have and why I shouldn't waste my time listening to you any further. If you can do that, your false resume doesn't preclude you from the job. I'd rather have an honest person with a remotely relevant skillset and a bad resume than an idiot with an impressive resume. That's why most businesses won't even look past the coverletters anymore, because resumes are typically crap.

Also, as a personal note: Lighten up. Have fun with your resume and don't follow the exact rules and formats of everyone else. Keep it concise and to the point (I don't want to be bored while reading it), but also include something that will make it stand out and be memorable -- like printing it on the blank back of a page from a dinosaur coloring book. People think that HR's are robots who want to trash anything that looks individual or informal. They're humans with senses of humor, and something that will brighten their day will tend to come back and brighten yours. After I helped my wife with her resume, the next job she applied for (a bank, of all places) not only hired her, but asked if they could frame the resume on the wall.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (5, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | about 5 years ago | (#29698865)

I agree with the parent. It's unfortunate, but sometimes headhunters mess about with the resume before sending it on. You can reduce the odds of this happening (somewhat) by only giving the headhunter a PDF copy of your resume. They'd have to re-type the resume to edit it, and many may be unwilling to go through the effort.

Definitely do bring copies of your resume with you to any interview, and if you find the resume they have in front of them is wrong correct it right away. Don't try to cover for the headhunter. In the original question, the submitter said he was an idiot to correct the resume during the interview - no, you weren't. As a hiring manager, I'd rather hear that the headhunter falsified your resume, than discover that you did.

If you find a headhunter has faked your resume, I'd drop him/her right away, and insist they no longer share your info with anyone. Limit the exposure. If it happens once, it will happen again.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (3, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 5 years ago | (#29698921)

i would prefer to notify them that the first time was the last time and they are to destroy or return to me any copies of resumes or other records pertaining to me, along with a signed certification that it has been done. any further deflection or waffling and they will get to talk to my lawyer instead of me.

if you are lying on my behalf your behavior reflects on me and i do not tolerate that kind of horseshit.

Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (3, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29698953)

Also, as soon as a contracting company knowingly falsifies data about you or otherwise misrepresents you, make it clear to them that the first time was the last time. If they keep it up, drop them.

Too soft. For them to lie about your information to potential employers is a big no-no. I suggest dropping them immediately and going to another recruiter (it's not like there are a shortage of them out there). Only problem is that if they've made efforts on your behalf, there may be some obligation if you get hired for a position where they sent your resume (whether or not their actions resulted in your hiring).

When you deal with a respectable recruiter, they get your approval on any changes before sending it out. Any deviation from this is a sign you need to run. Keep in mind it's YOUR reputation as well as theirs that can be affected.

I've blacklisted recruiters because they've sent me resumes that were substantially different (as in your case) from the resume the employee handed me at the interview. Unfortunately, that means the applicant has been rejected as well -- but the only way the recruiters get it is if it hurts them in the wallet. If I hired one of those applicants, the recruiter would be *rewarded* for lying... not a good thing.

making enemies unnecessarily (5, Insightful)

More_Cowbell (957742) | about 5 years ago | (#29698431)

Should I tell Zeke to get lost and stay that way? (I was always told that making enemies unnecessarily was "considered harmful", but I get the impression that Zeke isn't a friend).

That's not 'unnecessary'... the guy screwed you. Never work with him again, and advise any friends to do the same.

Re:making enemies unnecessarily (4, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | about 5 years ago | (#29698595)

I would have to concur.

A reputable headhunter will typically ask you questions to ascertain if they need you to update your resume and have you do it. If there's an issue with formatting, but not content, the headhunter will show you what they've done.

This guy is a slimeball and I've met a few like him...drop him like a hot potato and make sure your colleagues know about him as well.

Re:making enemies unnecessarily (5, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | about 5 years ago | (#29698989)

This guy is a slimeball

"Zeke fucked with my resume and I suspect he's not trying too hard.. should I go back to him??"

^-- this is like asking a room full of women if you should go back to your abusive husband. the answer is glaringly obvious but the real question is if you will listen?

Re:making enemies unnecessarily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698807)

I'll tell you the same thing that I tell my friends:

Having someone find employment for you is like letting your friend set you up on a blind date: 90% of the time you'll end up unsatisfied and the third party probably told lies to both you and your blind date.

Dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698441)

honesty wont get you anywhere. why the fuck did you try correct it? it wouldn't bite you in the ass if you played your cards right and worked hard. they'd just overlook it if they ever found out the truth

Re:Dumbass (5, Informative)

BabaChazz (917957) | about 5 years ago | (#29698675)

Courts have said that they can fire you without recourse and rescind any bonuses if they hired you based on a bogus resume. And that has happened repeatedly. If they find out, you may never work again; at least not in that field. Not worth the risk.

Re:Dumbass (5, Informative)

shogarth (668598) | about 5 years ago | (#29698861)

Not only have courts said it, it happens all the time. My wife (a human incarnation of Catbert) has fired maybe 20 people over the last decade because they lied on their application paperwork.

Normally it plays out that something questionable happens and the employee starts to get scrutinized. Then looky, looky, they lied on their application and are a problem. Time for security to walk them out of the building...

Re:Dumbass (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 5 years ago | (#29698679)

The risk is that if you don't try to correct stuff - particularly if it falsely made you look like a better candidate - and they do realise, you'll look like somebody who considers ethics to be optional. Especially if they go look up references from "employers" during periods you were actually job seeking. Personally I would hope a responsible manager would avoid employees who are so willing to compromise their integrity. Aside from that, some folks have a moral objection to lying, particularly for personal gain. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Were I in a position to interview staff I would certainly be inclined not to offer you a place, regardless of your technical skills, since you don't sound like you could be counted on to act in good faith. I'm even starting to doubt that your name is really "Anonymous Coward".

Re:Dumbass (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | about 5 years ago | (#29698819)

I'd post as AC too if I had that kinda dishonest work ethic. Of course if its Wendy's and you were a good fry cook, they might overlook your lies on your resume, but they would probably never offer you the management position should it come available. In all seriousness, they might not fire him, but if it was a company that depended on trusting their employees, you'd probably be tossed out by security on your ear, or at least never be offered the good positions where trust was paramount.

You correct it. (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 5 years ago | (#29698913)

You correct it. You take your lumps with this employer. And you drop the guy who hacked your resume.

It's OK so shorten your resume. It's not OK to falsify anything on it.

You should have dropped 'em the first time. Now that you know this guy fakes resumes you should never touch him again.

You may be having trouble now because there's two versions of your resume getting to some HR departments and you're flagged as a fake. If you keep getting no-replies you may need to include a cover letter explaining that a(n unnamed) headhunter had previously "enhanced" your resume and circulated this false version, that this one is true and correct, and you no longer do business with him.

Fool me once... (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 5 years ago | (#29698459)

Look, this guy has already proved that he isn't very good. So lose him.

run away (4, Informative)

prgrmr (568806) | about 5 years ago | (#29698465)

Find a new agency and go talk to a lawyer. Depending upon the law in your state, you may have grounds to sue the headhunting firm--and not just for money, but for a written apology and retraction to the company that you interviewed with. Your reputation in the market is crucial, and they just screwed yours.

Re:run away (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 5 years ago | (#29698891)

I don't see damages, which is required to have a legitimate cause of action. While saying someone is "worse at their job than they really" are qualifies as defamation per se in some jurisdictions, I don't think any recognize saying someone is better at their job than they really are" as defamation...

Re:run away (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29698949)

Making a statement on someone's behalf that shows that the person is a liar seems to be pretty clearly defamation to me.

Re:run away (2, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29699117)

Remeber, it's impossible to solve any problem you have without the law! Hire a lawyer! Did you find that spelling error annoying? Hire a lawyer! Legal action is the only way to solve problems! Actually hashing out issues with other human beings is for chumps!

Fire the headhunter (1)

gregopad39 (472365) | about 5 years ago | (#29698471)

Fire them immediately upon the first misrepresentation.

Sadly - the economy is driving some to engage in some unethical behavior.

Just last month - i was shown a job posting derived from Dice - and the agency quoted me a rate which was acceptable.
I go for the interview ( driving 480 miles ) and they call me to say there has been a restatement ( BDO ? )
The rate is now $15 less per hour.

I objected and decided to sell the job. At no time did I accept their posting.

The customer called and wanted my services - but the agency felt they could have a larger margin since the economy was bad.

They suck and I'm working - though not at the preferred assignment.

get another but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698477)

Why work with just one? Get another. Keep Zeke around in case he does something useful.

Re:get another but... (1)

Dodder (1410959) | about 5 years ago | (#29698657)

Seriously. Are you sure you're a contractor? You sound more like a full-time employee of a contracting company.

I don't think I've ever worked with the same head-hunter twice. There's been good and bad.

The ones I refuse to work with any longer are the ones who weren't paying me on time.

The ones who assist me with landing a contract for the rate I require are the ones I continue to keep in touch with.

The one who gets me my next contract at the rate I require is the next one I will be working with. I probably haven't met that person yet. Maybe I have. It's not much of a concern to me who the middle-man to my paycheck is as long as I get my rate and paid as agreed.

Re:get another but... (1)

Dodder (1410959) | about 5 years ago | (#29698735)

How ironic. I just now received an email from a group I've done work with in the past about providing some web services. Guess it's good to have well over a dozen recruiting firms in your pocket.

Why is this even a question? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698479)

He fabricated information. That reflected badly on you.

This is beyond unprofessional, this is beyond unethical, you should not have dealt with this guy after the first incident.

More harm than good (1)

clong83 (1468431) | about 5 years ago | (#29698493)

If the guy you hired to represent you did so falsely and possibly did more harm to your reputation in your local market than good, you need to let them know and dump them. I think you did the right thing by correcting the resume in the interview. Anything else would have been your lie, not "Zeke's."

Now. (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 5 years ago | (#29698509)

When do you fire a headhunter?

When you no longer trust them to represent you.

Look, this isn't a marriage - you didn't promise "...til death do you part." There are no therapists specializing in helping estranged contractors/headhunters work out their problems. It's a business relationship; if they aren't producing, find someone who will. /frank

Headhunters just do this! Bring your own resume. (1)

b1tw1ze0perat0r (960434) | about 5 years ago | (#29698537)

Headhunters will change and brand your resume! It's happened to me many times. The also will demand a Word formatted resume -- which is ironic for a web developer position!

Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29698541)

All the agents[1] do here is take a list of bullet points from a company, then slavishly match them against the keywords they extract from your CV (translation: resume). Not a 100% match? Easy solution: no interview. Outlandish or impossible requirements? Simple: no match - no interview. Your CV can contain the requirements the client wants, but if the keywords don't match: e.g. you say C++, they ask for "C", again: no interview.
And they wonder why everybody, on both sides of the contract, hates them.

[1] they're paid on commission from the employers - so that's who they "work" for.

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (1)

jonnat (1168035) | about 5 years ago | (#29698757)

...if the keywords don't match: e.g. you say C++, they ask for "C", again: no interview.

I'm pretty sure your resume will match for "C" somewhere...

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#29698869)

No, GP is right. The great majority of recruitment agents in the UK are a particularly braindead human implementation of grep.

Though IME completely rewriting the CV is unusual. Reformatting is, however, the norm and they won't accept a CV in anything other than Word format.

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | about 5 years ago | (#29698971)

I would hope they would not match a C++ programmer to a requirement for a C programmer. Often programmers learn C++ and think, well I don't need to learn C as C++ is just C with OOP...which was kinda true since C is C++ predecessor but in practice its not that simple. You can take a C++ programmer, and give him a C only project, and he would be at a loss as to where to start, he would have no classes, no oop to work with, none of his methods would apply in C. Also, Normally when they want a C programmer, they are looking for small tight code, for things such as device drivers and the like, which is something that would be out of the C++ only programmers comfort zone.

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29699017)

That explains why headhunters are incapable of comprehending the difference between Java and JavaScript.

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 5 years ago | (#29699025)

It's better to list C and C++ seperately, if you're proficient in both. I've met several people who are proficient in one but not the other. People tend to think they're equivelent, but they're not.

Re:Lucky you're not contracting in Britain (2, Interesting)

Carbaholic (1327737) | about 5 years ago | (#29699035)

that's easy to solve, you just add an apparently blank page that says "Intentionally left blank" on the top. Then, in very very small white font, you write: "Key words that may or may not be related to my actual skills: " and then you fill the whole rest of the page with every key word imaginable.

Headhunters (5, Insightful)

Jetrel (514839) | about 5 years ago | (#29698579)

I have owned a recruiting firm (sold it because I miss working in technology) and can tell you that most headhunters do not ever have your interest in mind. They are trying to fill a slot and make a commission from the company, no more. With the current economy you as a job seeker / contractor is a commodity that is fairly easy to find right now and will pass you over pretty quickly with little resistance unless you mean $$ to them.

There are all types of recruiting firms and you have to remember that they are trying to sell the contracting position twice.

1) You to the company
2) The company to you

The best advice I can give you is no matter what they tell you they are a sales people and to be cordial but always realize that they are there for one reason to place a body in position and reap the rewards. Also never put your eggs in one basket. Make contacts with many firms and find how/what fits for you.

I hope this helps!

Re:Headhunters (1)

henrywasserman (608441) | about 5 years ago | (#29698731)

good advice.

Re:Headhunters (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#29698747)

In addition, don't be afraid to make contacts with potential employers directly. The best jobs I had I got by talking directly to the employer, not by going through a headhunter.

That said, a good headhunter will have a lot of contacts you won't have.

"When do you Fire a HeadHunter?" (5, Funny)

Xeleema (453073) | about 5 years ago | (#29698583)

I follow the three-head rule; if you can't give me three heads shrunken down and stitched up to my QA-Approved Design Specifications, then pack up your grass skirt and nose-bone buddy!

Always take a copy of your CV (3, Informative)

beebware (149208) | about 5 years ago | (#29698585)

Always take a copy of your CV or resume to an interview: I've yet to be interviewed somewhere where the agency hasn't "tweaked" my CV in some way or another (and I've been on the receiving end as well - we were looking for a PHP programmer and the agency sent someone with a good looking CV - apart from the fact they had changed all mentions of Java to PHP: totally misrepresenting the candidate). Plus it's useful to have your own CV to refer to "just in case".
Alternatively, don't forget to promote yourself on sites such as [] and [] - build up your own client base and get to keep the 10-25% the agency "skims" for just download bunches of CVs from job sites, adding their logo and sending them on.

Your integrity is your own (5, Insightful)

guanxi (216397) | about 5 years ago | (#29698597)

No matter what the headhunter or someone else does, your integrity is attached to you as an individual. If you are dishonest, nobody thinks 'ABC contractor is dishonest', they think 'Captain Sarcastic is dishonest', and that follows you when you leave ABC. In fact, if they are being dishonest or even just reckless with the truth, I would avoid association with ABC; that also might follow you wherever you go.

You also should demonstrate good judgment by avoiding embarrassing ABC, but if pressed, just say 'I'm sorry, there must have been some miscommunication, my real experience is ...' or 'there must be some mistake, let me get you a corrected resume'. Don't speculate on ABC's motives, which you probably don't know anyway. (and don't need to know; intentionally or not, ABC is unreliable). Even silently allowing important mistatements to pass is deceitful.

Integrity is a necessary trait for anyone I work with. Others certainly don't mind or even admire someone who can deceive effectively; if someone like that hires you, you know what to expect from them.

I never fire a headhunter (1)

mrsam (12205) | about 5 years ago | (#29698599)

When I'm actively looking for a new gig (I'm a contract programmer too), I do not sit and wait for some headhunter I already talked to, to call me again. I continue aggressively pursuing all leads that open up to me.

So, if a headhunter screws something up for me, I just make a mental note, and continue looking. The next time he calls me, I just explain why what he did was counterproductive, and didn't accomplish anything for him, or for me. No need to get emotional about it. It's business. Because X happened, next time, I'm going to do Y, and you'll need to do Z.

Thanks for calling. Bye.

As soon as they ask you for money (1)

Titanarm (1640169) | about 5 years ago | (#29698601)

I've never had a bad experience with a headhunter, and I've never paid one a dime. The only ones I've even talked with are working on behalf of the company that is trying to hire someone. Sooooo, I would say that the moment they ask you for money you should drop them.

Re:As soon as they ask you for money (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698783)

You're an idiot. He's talking about contract position's here.

The only problem I have had lately (1)

codepunk (167897) | about 5 years ago | (#29698611)

The only real problem I have had lately is with low ball offers trying to get
a bigger margin. You know darn well none of them are charging any less but
using the market conditions to low ball contractors. In fact I had one
today try to drop 5 bucks off a already agreed upon rate just to see
if I would take the bait to increase his margin. That is about the quickest
way to get on my ignore list.

Re:The only problem I have had lately (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 5 years ago | (#29698825)

We are guilty of making some low-ball offers lately. In our case (which will vary between companies of course), it is about managing risk. We are happy to take on someone at 20% discount to what they should be getting (in terms of what people started at 3 years ago), because it gives us a chance to build our team faster. In six months, we are able to hire 9 people instead of 4 if we can get a 20% discount. In a year, we can bring their salaries up and give great bonuses as well. We are able to grow, hire more people, and manage cash flow all at the same time.

Most people seem to think it is better than waiting two months for a position to open up. For some people, they can do better in the short-term, but long-term we think our approach makes everybody a winner.

Its true everywhere (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 5 years ago | (#29698613)

Believe it or not, headhunters do this all the time. There are also these so called "consultants" that make you take an online certification exam and provide you with answers and then claim you as an expert in that area. This is disgusting, but true. Coming back to your case, in my opinion, you should 1) Get away from this guy, he is dishonest. When you go to another place, make sure you tell them that you would not like your resume altered to the point that it is incorrect/dishonest. 2) There are professional resume makers out there. Some of them are very expensive, some are reasonable. Maybe you could use their services to improve your resume and try to look for jobs yourself. There are a number of websites out there that collate job openings from other websites , this way you can see a lot of openings on one site. Job searching is pretty advanced now and its not too hard to look for positions , even contract positions by yourself.

Re:Its true everywhere (1)

Tomji (142759) | about 5 years ago | (#29698719)

Be aware that a lot of Headhunters ask candidates on the phone/in person tests you were doing, if any at all and start preparing/feeding their future candidate the answers.
I find it best to mix questions up or just discuss the tech items broadly, and trip "brain dump" people up.

Anonymous Coward (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698621)

Specialized headhunters sometimes do the job properly. At least here they have the decency to ask for a pdf-based CV and copy it by hand into their database. They also usually don't have any concrete numbers for a salary, they just send you to the company and they get paid by the companies for this.

Verbally abuse him, then see how he takes it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698623)

I have built my reputation on my brutal honesty. I've been overlooked and even fired for it. I'm fine with that. Zeke would hear my wrath if I found out that he lied on my behalf. There would be no point in discussing Zeke's mistake with him if I didn't hope for an opportunity to turn the episode into an understanding. How Zeke dealt with my angry tirade will define if I use his services again.

As they say: Now. (1)

BabaChazz (917957) | about 5 years ago | (#29698627)

Look at it this way: If you lie on your resume, the company is within its rights to fire you as soon as they find out, without notice and without recourse on your side, even if you are doing an excellent job, and the courts have said that the company can retract any bonus paid to you while you work for them. Altering your resume in factual areas is basically jeopardizing your employment for the entire time you work with the company that he finds for you, and potentially your entire future career. Elsewhere here there is advice to bring copies of your correct resume with you and hand them out if it turns out you are being interviewed on the basis of a fabricated one; that's a good start, as it covers your butt and warns that company against that headhunter.

You've already been "fired" (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 years ago | (#29698635)

Sorry to break it to you, but you're already been fired from Company ABC. Or at the very least you're now on the C squad, the guy they send in at the last resort.

Also, I would not just use one company. If I'm hunting for a job I usually go for two companies. Make sure they understand that in this market you're not just sitting home twiddling your thumbs and that they better call you before submitting a resume. Outside that, move on. If company "ABC" always calls you before a submission I wouldn't even tell them you've "Fired" them.

Dispose of him as you would any vampire or leech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698639)

Headhunters provide a matching service for which you and your client (the company) will pay -dearly-. On a $45/hr bid, they'll charge $20/hr for the -life of the contract!- Pretty rich for people who scan job postings, run word matches and typically don't even read your resume before submitting it.

Indeed, that's an interesting twist. At least this guy DID read the resume. That's uncommon. Granted he lies about it, but it's still more than many do.

Re:Dispose of him as you would any vampire or leec (1)

durdur (252098) | about 5 years ago | (#29698867)

Yeah, it's not a good deal for employee or employer. Plus, there are a lot of recruiters who don't add any value in terms of finding you a position. They pretend to, but don't, have a better "in" with employers than you have. They troll job boards, company sites, LinkedIn and the like - which you could do just as well, and cut out the middleman. Even better, use your own network - people who know you and your skills. Personally I've never been hired through a headhunter, as employee or contractor. I have worked with them occasionally when I've been on the hiring side - sometimes they do dig up good candidates but usually not.

Watch out (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 5 years ago | (#29698647)

A lot of companies won't even take calls from headhunters. You may be shooting yourself in the foot by hiring one in the first place.

When not to fire a headhunter (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 5 years ago | (#29698651)

When one of the headhunters finds what you're looking for but doesn't tell you, and then hides in your garbage, it might be tempting to fire them - but it's important to remember that headhunters are very clever - by following the target discreetly in this fashion it is more probable that the target will grow complacent, and thus vulnerable to a trap.

the minute you caught the guy in a lie, fire him (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 5 years ago | (#29698655)

Seriously, most people don't change so the first time I caught this guy outright lying I would have dumped him (and changing your resume is not a mistake or an oops). Who knows what other lies he is telling to other people, I would steer clear.

A bad headhunter gets your resume tossed (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | about 5 years ago | (#29698663)

If a company has previously decided that a headhunter refers unqualified clients, or edits resumes, or whatever else they find distasteful, they will be less likely to consider any resume that s/he sends. Best bet is to fire Zeke and find a headhunter with a good reputation.

I have seen placement firms help with resumes... (1)

rdunnell (313839) | about 5 years ago | (#29698695)

...but I personally would not think it was acceptable for them to edit a resume without collaborating with the candidate. If they want to suggest changes and work with them, that's one thing, but changes without the candidate's knowledge are a totally different matter.

Also, from the interviewer's point, they probably don't have the time or interest to weed through "why" it's wrong. And yeah, they may check in the future, and if stuff does not line up you might be held accountable for it. So even from an interviewer's point of view, it creates a potential problem. I would find another recruiting firm if you think it is beneficial to use one (I don't, necessarily, but it depends on your career and the types of companies you are looking for).

P.S. To question 3 - the recruiter is not your friend.

Headhunter? WTF for? (2, Informative)

tacokill (531275) | about 5 years ago | (#29698699)

Let me get this right, for almost 39 weeks now, we've been seeing an additional 500,000 people unemployed every two weeks. I can't pick up a paper without reading about more layoffs...

Rather than answer the question, I'd like to pose another one: Why are headhunters even needed?

I am an employer. I can't imagine using a headhunter right now. Why? Because there are millions of people to choose from. I don't need help finding people at all. There are more jobs than people. Call me when there are more people than jobs. That's when I need (and will pay for) a headhunter. I am 100% certain I am not alone.

Methinks the headhunters are duping people into thinking there are more opportunities than there really are. I mean just stop for a second and think about the entire headhunting business: the employer pays a recruiter to go find him qualified candidates. Note, the employer pays for this service (usually 1 months salary, ymmv)
Who the hell is doing that right now? Answer: nobody.

It just an industry that is currently unnecessary. Surely, it will be needed again. But not for a while. Anyone using one to currently find a job is probably doing worse than they could do on their own. So the answer to TFA is: fire them now.

Re:Headhunter? WTF for? (2, Funny)

Anders (395) | about 5 years ago | (#29698995)

There are more jobs than people. Call me when there are more people than jobs. That's when I need (and will pay for) a headhunter.


Re:Headhunter? WTF for? (2, Informative)

tacokill (531275) | about 5 years ago | (#29699097)

d' it backwards. That's what I get for posting late on Fridays

Re:Headhunter? WTF for? (2, Informative)

dvorakkeyboardrules (1652653) | about 5 years ago | (#29699105)

Let me get this right, for almost 39 weeks now, we've been seeing an additional 500,000 people unemployed every two weeks. I can't pick up a paper without reading about more layoffs...

Rather than answer the question, I'd like to pose another one: Why are headhunters even needed?

I am an employer. I can't imagine using a headhunter right now. Why? Because there are millions of people to choose from. I don't need help finding people at all. There are more jobs than people. Call me when there are more people than jobs. That's when I need (and will pay for) a headhunter. I am 100% certain I am not alone.

I am a manager at a large Fortune 500 company, and I have hired a fair number of people for accounting positions in the company. I certainly won't rule out a person who is out of work, but I certainly have a bias towards people still in their job. Here is what goes through my head when I see a person applying for my position who is unemployed:

a) Where they fired for cause?
b) Were they laid off, and thus at the bottom of the performance rankings at their previous company?
c) If they quit (to find another job), isn't their judgement sound enough to stay with their current job until they find another?

If your spouse has taken a job in another city, and you are the "trailing spouse", the question of unemployment (in the new city) is easy to answer....and I don't mind hiring such an individual.

If your previous company has outsourced the entire department to another country or location, that is also a very easy answer.

But your answer needs to address the three questions I posed. If you cannot satisfactorily answer them, I will probably lean towards hiring the guy who currently has a job (assuming you have similar qualifications). That is because you pose a risk to me (I am afraid you might be a problem employee), while I can be more confident that the guy who is currently employed can keep a job and perform.

Best wishes.

I've worked in the industry, and... (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | about 5 years ago | (#29698717)

In almost every situation, a Recruiter is not working for you. The employer is the customer, and you are the commodity. So you can't really "fire" a headhunter. You can stop working with him, though. In this case, you absolutely should-- in fact, you should have after the first time his unethical behavior cost you a job.

It's your reputation.... (1)

ewenix (702589) | about 5 years ago | (#29698729)

Employers will quickly catch on to this type of dishonesty.
IMHO it makes you look bad to be presented to an employer by a recruiter who is doing this.
I would just find another (and more reputable) agency/recruiter.

Employer's Perspective (2, Informative)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 5 years ago | (#29698737)

We have a few recruiters sending us resumes. The only time we ever get good people from them are when there are lots of people sending us resumes directly. This puts us in the situation where we have to decide between someone with an artificially inflated salary and significantly higher risk profile if they quit in that first year.

We also have the very real risk that the recruiter starts playing both sides of the game and going after our employees. Far too many of them are really unethical.

We now just try and spam-block them on email and phone systems it has gotten so bad.

Always do leg work yourself and never rely on just a recruiter. More leg work gives you much better exposure than a recruiter ever will. But I am in a different industry (consulting engineering), so YMMV.

Headhunters are clueless (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 years ago | (#29698777)

I once was working with a headhunter (after being laid off). When I sat down with them and went over what I was looking for, I flat out told them NO DATABASE -- I didn't know any DB at the time.

So they send me out on this interview. And I get to the place and guess what? When they explain what the position is for, it's a DB position. So the very first thing I do is thank them, and tell them that I'm a bad fit, and apologize for wasting their time.

The very next thing I did (after I got home -- pre Cell phone) was to call the headhunter agency, and tell them they were fired.

Be honest! (2, Insightful)

edelbrp (62429) | about 5 years ago | (#29698801)

If you are lying to a company in order to satisfy some requirement of theirs you think might be silly, then they probably aren't a good fit for you anyway.

Overselling yourself is just going to make life hard for yourself. We've hired a number of people who have oversold themselves and I think some do so because they are cocky (blah, how hard could it be?), or because they are simply ignorant of what the job entails. They flounder and eventually get let go.

Find companies that share your sensibilities and be honest with them about what you can do and where you want to go in the long term.

In this case, immediately. (2, Insightful)

thesandbender (911391) | about 5 years ago | (#29698813)

You can use what every euphemism you want... doctoring, massaging, fluffing, polishing, etc the resume (they're all as dirty as they sound). Potential employers all call it *lying*. There are several things you need to keep in mind here.

1. You probably just killed any chance of getting hired with that company, ever. If you walk into an interview and impress them, they'll usually keep you on a short list and even try to find appropriate matches for you. If you lie (doesn't matter if it was you or the headhunter), you go on the black list.

2. HR departments may not talk to each other but technical staff certainly do. I'm originally from the DFW area and it's basically six degrees of telecom employment [] . If you make a substantial impression, good or bad, other people are going to find out about it.

3. Ultimately... represent yourself. It's a lot more work, but you pick who you engage and how you engage them. You're going to pick engagements that benefit you. Headhunters don't care... the want their cut and then they move on. If you're serious about contracting you need to build personal relationships and trade on that reputation.

Finally, I'd report these clowns to the BBB. If you have a good relationship with a lawyer you might want to get their opinion on this. The headhunter is acting as an agent on your behalf and if they doctored your resume you may actually have some legal recourse (IANAL).

Re:In this case, immediately. (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | about 5 years ago | (#29698963)

Having worked with a variety of headhunters, and interviewed at companies that work with a lot of headhunters, the companies do not expect the head hunters to be honest, but they certainly expect you to be. the first thing I do at the beginning of every interview I go on is give them a copy of my resume I know is correct and basically say "I don't know what the headhunter gave you, but here's a correct copy."

Also, you can work with more than one head hunter at a time; there's no reason to work with only one. If the lying one keeps getting you good interviews, then ask him not to "fix" your resume, but I wouldn't worry about it too much.

That being said, there are plenty of headhunters that do what I call "marking their territory." A lot of companies maintain a database of potential candidates and their resumes. If and when you get a position, they pay the headhunter who found you, but oftentimes they will pay whoever put you into the system first. So, headhunters will scour job boards and tell you about wonderful positions they've found and how they have a really good relationship with the hiring manager (who they don't know) and ask you if you're OK with them talking to company. When you agree, they simply submit your resume to the companies candidate database. Other recruiters will know this and will therefore have no incentive to work with you. If you are in need of a job or you might have liked it anyway, everyone wins, but most of the time it's just a way to squeeze their competition and it can really screw you because plenty of companies won't "expire" the candidate entry for a year or two. When you need a job down the road a little, recruiters won't work with you because someone else has basically excluded you (for their purposes) from a number of good places.

If you suspect your headhunter may be doing this, then tell them sternly that you do not permit them to submit your resume anymore ANYWHERE.

Working with headhunters -- think like a swinger (1)

watanabe (27967) | about 5 years ago | (#29698823)

I office in the middle of a headhunter firm right now, and I just finished having lunch with one a couple days ago where she talked to me about their business. Here is the summary:

1) They just match your name and experience against a request from a client -- it's all keyword search all the time.
2) Skip the cover letter, it wastes their time -- just a 'I'm looking for work in these areas' will do fine, thank you
3) E-mailing the Resume is the way to go, there are well established processes to get your e-mail in the system
4) Send out resumes to as many recruiters as you can stomach -- companies frequently just use one recruiter, so you need to make sure that you fulfill the breadth side of the equation by getting onto as many databases as possible.
5) Recruiters hate hard questions and anomalies and prefer no hassle. This is probably why your resume is getting edited, even though it's an unethical thing to do.

Okay, so all that said, I would recommend you:

a) Make something useful sounding that you can say you've been doing in your non-work time, like an open source project, or a website catering to charities who want to learn about technology, or whatever. You can then gloss your layoff time at the end, saying "when I am not working, I volunteer with ... or build this cool ". This is the ethical version of lying on your resume

b) Complain to the recruiter's boss, but don't expect to get anywhere.

c) Think like a swinger man -- the more the merrier! Get out there and find 30 tech recruiters. They certainly aren't more committed to you than that.

When Do You Fire a Headhunter? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29698833)

The day before you hire him.

Do people pay head hunters? (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 5 years ago | (#29698839)

The premise of the question asks when to fire a head hunter. That leads me to believe that they have been hired, and are being paid. I've never paid for a head hunter and I get at least one or two job offers a month. I have my resume up on Dice and a few other sites, and over the course of the last couple of years I have submitted my resume for some positions advertised on Dice. Often times those positions are just reposted by hiring agencies and when I apply for the job, they keep my resume on file. Some of them have been pretty worthless, like CyberCoders. Others have been fairly competent, like TekSystems. The TekSystems recruiter I worked with really helped me come up with a good format for my resume. My latest job opportunity came in through LinkedIn of all places.

Drop Him!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698843)

1. Am I suspecting malice and/or clumsiness where a competitive market is the true suspect? (An answer of yes would be harder on my ego, but a relief.)

The market is competitive, and often the requirements are insane, because companies know great people are looking for jobs and they have the time to find the perfect fit. However, for each time they submit your name in the pot, he is screwing you out of a potential future job with that company. Many companies do actually keep that resume on file and match to see if you submitted before or someone else. Many do not like double submissions. If you get marked down as a liar, you might be black listed. Clearly, he screwed you with at least one company.

      2. Do headhunters modify resumes, and if so, should I just shut up and go with what the headhunter says? (I was always told that eventually, the truth comes out, so I'd be uncomfortable doing that, but life isn't always comfortable.)

Many do not modify them, themselves. They have you modify them often. For example, when I used to go the head-hunter route, I would submit a 'general' resume so I hit on as many possible key words. Then when I get the call from them, I will talk about my history in more detail and the positions they have. Usually the general resume is not submittable for a job. For example, they are trying to find a Database Analyst, then I will strip out other parts and write in more the DBA work I have done. I do not lie, but I try to find where I fit. If they are modifying your resume, they are not representing you, they are only hurting you so that they may get their money.

      3. Should I tell Zeke to get lost and stay that way? (I was always told that making enemies unnecessarily was "considered harmful", but I get the impression that Zeke isn't a friend).

Tell him to get lost.

      4. Have fellow Slashdotters dealt with similar situations?

Yes, the recruiters are usually bulk guys/gals who do not know much, but do most of the leg work. It is the managers in those companies that actually know what they are doing. If you are not talking to them from time to time, or the recruiter is shielding you from them, they are often screwing you, especially if it continues past a first submission and no interview, or talking takes more then a week.

Never. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29698849)

Because you never hire one. Because that would mean you would need to hire a headhunter first. Or else your headhunter will not be specially selected for greatness, and thus fail to select a specially selected headhunter or other person for greatness. But you can't hire that headhunter because you don't have a headhunter. Because... *fast forward* becthawomeywonethiahedutefioeyueauallnbes$i%os+n|r:r_e{e@a_... *head explodes* ...

Wait, let me start again... *rewinds* ...

Because you never hire one. Because that would mean you FAIL.

(Aaaah, that's better... No stupid reasoning and thinking. Man, the Internet is great!)

When Do You Fire a Headhunter? (0, Flamebait)

pete-classic (75983) | about 5 years ago | (#29698859)

About three fuck-ups ago.


You need to find a new headhunger (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about 5 years ago | (#29698871)

  1. There is no excuse for dishonesty. If you had represented yourself honestly from the beginning, none of this would have happened. Yes, I am assigning the blame to you. You should have fired this headhunter after this first (extremely serious) offense
  2. The only unilateral modifications that a headhunter should be doing to your resume is removing your contact information and standardizing the format. Any other modification should first be cleared with you. A good headhunter will help you improve your resume, but ultimately it is your resume.
  3. You should not be rude to Zeke, but you must discontinue working with him.
  4. No, I have not dealt with such a situation, because what Zeke did was a truly exceptional display of unprofessionalism. You're done working with him. Be cordial, but be finished

Recruiters tend to be idiots (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 5 years ago | (#29698897)

I've had recruiters/headhunters who read through my resume, bring me in for an interview, have me spell out for them in detail what my experience and skills are, then stare at me blankly for a few moments and ask me in all seriousness "So what do you do?". I'm not kidding you. It would be helpful if these people were more than just salespeople/paper-pushers, it would help if they had some idea of what the work entails.

Re:Recruiters tend to be idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29699027)

If you can tell someone what you do, and they dont understand what you do, then you need to work on selling your skills.

I think lying would do it (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 5 years ago | (#29698903)

I think fudging your resume is a big red flag.

If they're lying to clients, they're probably lying to you.

It's supposed to be a relationship (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | about 5 years ago | (#29698935)

I've known some good recruiters and a lot of mediocre ones, but I'll tell you one thing they all have in common. They all tell me how important it is for us to coordinate on making the approach to a prospective client/employer.

It's entirely possible that I will find the prospect on my own, and it's always in my interest to do so. The recruiter meanwhile gets some mileage simply from being able to say to a client, "Look, here's a synopsis of all the great candidates we have for you. Let me know if you're interested in any of them." A long and illustrious list is impressive. Having my credentials on there adds to its value, even if nothing else ever develops.

In return, I have an arrangement with the recruiter in which he or she checks in with me to get permission to send the client my resume and talk about setting up a meeting. That's our chance to be sure we're not both making the approach at the same time, because the optics if we were to do that would not be good.

Recruiters will claim that what they offer is relationship. The better ones live up to this claim, and those are the ones who understand the need for the sort of arrangement I've described. It's not me coordinating with them, it's them coordinating with me. It's not reasonable for me to call them up every time I sent off a resume to some firm. At that rate, there would be half a dozen calls a day sometimes.

I'll call them when I become unavailable. That seems like a reasonable courtesy to me, and moreover it makes me look good, so there's a logic under which that becomes the behavior expected from professionals. Conversely, it certainly would not be reasonable for them to approach a client without my knowledge and without having checked in with me. That's just dumb on their part. That's no relationship. Sending me in cold, without getting our story absolutely straight beforehand, is a good way to make them and me look bad.

Ask ACME who they hire through (1)

laughingskeptic (1004414) | about 5 years ago | (#29698945)

You should have asked ACME which head hunters they have the most success getting candidates from. Ask this at every interview. A pattern will likely emerge with respect to the headhunters and the jobs you think are a good fit. These are the headhunters you should be working with.

Define headhunters please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29698969)

Up to now I though a headhunter was someone who was actively looking for people for hard to fill positions, i.e., hunting their heads to satisfy special needs of the companies that pay them for this service.

Someone looking for a job for you sounds more like a pimp. Not a headhunter.

Please enlighten me.

Blatant Fraudulent Representation! (1)

Nation XII (933039) | about 5 years ago | (#29698979)

Geeze. I've had a similar experience that I managed to skate my way through. My skills are pretty simple, C/C++, Fortran, COBOL, several assembler dialects, some embedded work and quite a bit of device driver writing. I have a super strong UNIX and VMS background. Okay, you should get a feel for it, add 14+ years of solid employment and an incomplete Ph.D. I have this slave trader, lets call him "Jim" (As in simple .. Goon show style), that decides I'd be perfect for a role that he has. Okay, what's it about? Jim: They'd like someone with a strong programming background (check), knows a command line (check), bit of dbase (not strong..but will bring knowledge upto par very fast) and a small amount of VB. Me: VB's my weak one there. No real commercial experience. First and last time I touched it was college and that was VB3 or VB4 for a unit called "Visial Programming" *Snort!*. It's changed a lot. Jim: That's fine.. you'll pick it up. It's a minor thing. They're super picky and your CV pretty well dove-tails what they need *wank wank wank* Me: Okay, put me forward. (They have to ask permission, welcome to Australia). Interview. I get lickered up. Even showered this month! Print out half a dozen copies of my CV, plenty of sleep and roll up for the meet'n'greet. Company is pretty much in the hiring mood and are despo due to deadlines and $OTHER_CIRCUMSTANCES. There is chat to get an emotional feel for each other. I'm interested in what they do.. environments, systems, history (I have done my homework on their products, market position, so many questions ensue). Then comes the kicker. "We're really really impressed with your 14 years of VB skills, and you've been with it for so long. Jim's company has never sent us a bad recruit this highly recommended although we've only placed with Jim once." Wow there tiger, hang on.. VB skills? 14 years? no.. Pardon me for a moment, I believe you've been miss-led and I've been mis-represented, May I have one of your spare CV's, lets trade, here's what it "should" look like. To say "Major Radical Surgery" is a fair assessment. So, without malice we went through it calmly. I Said, "I have a completely different skill-set and do not feel competent with this role. I am though fairly interested in it, but I suspect your not in the luxurious position to let someone "train-up" so I feel I am the incorrect candidate." This hurt because I was getting a bit hungry money/food wise but hey! I've been lied about and now I have to come good on their lies if I get the thing. I also recommended that the company have a strong word with "Jim's" Dream Leader before he attempts to destroy other placements. I didn't even get a chance to get home, through the door and phone Jim before the phone was ringing crazily. He was extremely abusive. I suspect his future at the Slave-traders was not very certain after that. Remember, you have the skills. Be honourable. You need to measure up to their representation. If they are not being forthright and representing you honourably, pull them into line. Also, try a few. Once they know your interviewing for some other slave-trader, they tend to work harder to place you and cop the fee before joe-six-pack up the street manages to snaffle you. It's your life! :) 3

just one recruiter? Put the effort in! (1)

ooleary (14571) | about 5 years ago | (#29699001)

"Fire" a headhunter? Implying that you only have one? My experience is that some recruiters are good, some are bad and some are middling. If you're looking for work, I've always found it much more advantageous to have as many applications (to relevant positions only, obviously) out as possible, with multiple recruiters, and to keep track of what companies your application has gone into yourself, to ensure you're not double-submitted. Far more effective.

CYA (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | about 5 years ago | (#29699037)

The head hunter won't have your best interest in mind, they are looking for money to act as the middle man. If they are altering your resume, I'd avoid working with them in the future. No need to tell someone to get lost, but you may want to resend your corrected resume, and only in pdf format (not fool proof, but I doubt many head hunters would change that). I tend to avoid working with people that demand my resume in Word format. And I'd only follow up on leads from them when you have nothing better to do.

And as others have suggested, have a copy of your original resume for any clients to see if you discover they received an altered version. If the client goes ballistic on you because of something the head hunter did, you didn't want to work for them anyway, so there's nothing lost.

Been there (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | about 5 years ago | (#29699039)

I've been in a similar situation, and there are a few things I suggest for those hiring headhunters or contracting through agencies.

1) They should have to tell you about every company they are going to submit your resume to before they do. This deals not only with the fact that you might not want to go to a particular company, but also helps eliminate double submissions. If you have more than one company presenting you to a client, the client is likely to pass just to avoid having to pay each headhunter. Headhunters are a dime a gross, so if any of them refuse this rule or break it, don't worry; that's one bridge you can burn.

2) You should get to review the resume they are going to send out. If they misrepresent you to a client, they are committing fraud, and are making you a party to it. I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted for such a thing, but it's probably happened. At the least, it loses you the job when the client finds out.

3) When you break off a relationship, for whatever reason, make sure you make it absolutely clear. I've used something along the lines of "You may not present my name or my skills as part of your company." Don't worry about badmouthing or blackballing. The truth is, unless you did something really, really bad, no one is going to risk the defamation lawsuit you could bring against them. But be careful not to defame others.

4) Networking is a million times better than using headhunters. Get on linkedin and things like that. And keep in mind that you're always networking. Do good work, even when it's hard or there seems like there's little reward. Find a way to impress your coworkers. Be pleasant to work with. Try to make the lives of those around you easier. Then, when they get a job at a new company, and that company's hiring, they might just say, "Hey, I know someone." Eventually, you won't need to hire headhunters at all.

we'd FIRE you in a second (2, Informative)

milkmage (795746) | about 5 years ago | (#29699045)

dude.. if Zeke or whatever submitted your resume to us, and we decided we liked you enough to bring you on, we'd do a background check (we're obligated to, due to the nature of our work, and the Federal regs around the kind of people we can hire). we'd check those references independent of your headhunter. if there was an inconsistency (like the dates for your previous jobs) we'd fire you on the spot.. like escort you from the building, we'll send your stuff along in a week or so fired.

Zeke is not only costing you work, but he's costing his company money too.

dump him.

A bad experience with a Headhunter (3, Informative)

ajlisows (768780) | about 5 years ago | (#29699055)

Most of the Headhunters I went to asked if they could tweak my resume. Most of them added things that were (at best) stretching the truth. Some of them did do some things (formatting, wording) that I liked which I integrated into my permanent resume. A few times after not looking into their changes enough I got called into interviews and had them ask about my experience with . Those moments were quite embaressing and needless to say I did not land those positions. I'd call the Headhunter and tell them not to have that on my resume and they would say "I thought you knew Java. OH! Javascript! I'm sorry. I thought they were the same" or something of the like. Ugh.

The last headhunter I dealt with got me a job in about two days. I was hurting for a job and was pretty darn happy at the speed in which he got me into his office, got me in to see the client, and got me employed. It was going to pay $37/hour. Nice. I went to my first week on the job, liked the environment, and generally got along fairly well with the people. My first check was a live check (until they got direct deposit set up) and I eagerly awaited it, as I was getting pretty low on money. I opened it What did I claim on my taxes for it to be this low? Hmmmm, taxes don't seem that out of whack. Maybe I didn't get paid for the entire week yet. No, all my hours are on there. What is this? Hourly rate....$21.00.

I called the Headhunter and him and his secretary both "Clearly Remembered" that he said Twenty One and would not have said Thirty Seven. He told me I could ask the company I was working for if they wanted to pay me more, but he guessed that would upset them at this point. I cursed at myself for making a handshake agreement, sent out some more resumes, but went back to work. After a month of being there my boss sat me down to ask me what I thought of the place. I was doing a really nice job and they were really happy with me. I told him that I liked the company and figured I'd just throw out the information about the headhunter and my salary. He just about hit the roof. He grabbed the contract out of his file cabinet, called the headhunter, and asked him about my pay. Apparently he had a written contract indicating how much the Headhunter would be payed and how much the employee would pay. Those numbers were more in line with what I had expected. By the next week after some phone calls between my employer and the Head Hunter, I was out of my contract and hired on as a "permanent" employee at $37/hour but with no health benefits until I had a year with the company. I was really pleased at how the company went to bat for me despite being there for only a month. I'm in my fourth year with them now. ;)

They all suck, unless they get you a job. (2, Informative)

akblackwel (706472) | about 5 years ago | (#29699099)

Well, I was working with a headhunter, and everything was cool till I found out he called a place I was interviewing at to see if they needed any assistance filling that position that I was applying for. That was it for me.

I know I'm late in the game but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29699113)

How about this. When the headhunter takes your personal references and uses them as leads. That's when you fire the headhunter.

(Actually happened)

As a former head hunter (1)

hilldog (656513) | about 5 years ago | (#29699131)

I would never do what this guy did! I might ask you to look at how you worded something or ask you to consider saying something better but NEVER change a resume with out your knowledge. That is a train wreck in the interview waiting to happen.
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