To Share or Not to Share: How Much Do You Tell Finance Headhunters?

Enlisting the services of financial recruiters, sometimes called headhunters, can be a great springboard for finance and accounting professionals looking to launch themselves into a new job or career. Recruiters from reputable financial staffing agencies can fast-track candidates to the most suitable employers and positions and save them time by covering the groundwork and administrative and marketing steps. What’s more, competent finance headhunters provide valuable career guidance throughout a job search, from resume advice to help negotiating compensation and first-day-on-the-job tips.

But how much should you divulge if you’re considering collaborating with a finance recruiter? Are there topics that are better left undisclosed? Will offering too much information just muddy the waters? Here are some pointers on what to share with finance headhunters to maximize your chances of success.

Where you stand

If you’re working with more than one headhunter and/or conducting your own job search, be up front about it. This will help prevent duplicated applications and potential misunderstandings.

Share your progress and questions with your recruiter. Be frank about the companies you’re interviewing with, and what’s going well and what isn’t. It’s quite reasonable to request the same in return: Ask your recruiter where he’s sending your resume to avoid doubling up.

Where you’ve been

If there’s anything you want to be up front about, it’s your background, experience and qualifications. Not being truthful is equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot, especially when it comes to details that can be verified or dispelled in a matter of clicks. Embellishing or hiding relevant information could come back to bite you.

While you shouldn’t list reasons for leaving a job on your resume, letting a recruiter know about past conflicts and disappointments will inform and refine the placement strategy. Don’t gloss over career gaps or fleeting jobs. Seasoned finance headhunters will understand and will focus on promoting your merits and value, while counteracting potential employer reticence and dispelling doubts.

In conversations with your recruiter, be careful not to disparage former managers and colleagues. When helping their clients, recruiting firms are also looking at candidates’ cultural fit. By remaining professional and avoiding negativity, you position yourself as someone others want to work with.

Where you’re headed

Share your short-term and long-term career goals with your recruiter. Landing a dream job starts with vocalizing it. If the perfect fit isn’t on the immediate horizon, sharing your aspirations with your recruiter could set you on the right path for a great opportunity in the future.

Headhunters at specialized financial staffing agencies are in regular contact with hundreds of companies and have their fingers firmly on the finance and accounting pulse. Use this expertise to your advantage by seeking general advice about the industry, positions in demand and potential employers, and ask for more specific guidance regarding your own aspirations and approach.

Be clear about your expectations regarding salary, working environment, timetable and career prospects. Do your homework first: Resources such as the 2014 Salary Guide and Salary Calculator from Robert Half can help you to assert your value. 

Yours truly …

Building a trusting relationship with your finance headhunter will be mutually beneficial. After all, you share the same goal: to match top talent (like yours) to a company that needs and appreciates it.

Like doctors, lawyers and priests, your recruiter should be privy the whole truth. It will make both your lives easier. The information you share is just between you and the recruiting agency; they will divulge only what you permit.  

Carefully research any finance headhunters you’re considering and the potential employers they propose. When meeting with a recruiter, remember that the final decision rests with you. 

Find out more about how the recruiting managers at Robert Half Finance & Accounting can help you advance your career.