Interview with FR-Personalberatung MD Marco Fröleke

Frankfurt am Main. What should you do when a headhunter rings you up? Many employees still feel unsettled when they are contacted by telephone at work by a headhunter. Marco Fröleke, MD of Fröleke & Kollegen Personalberatung, gives some tips on what to look out for when a headhunter calls.

Question: How do candidates react as a rule when they get the first call?

Marco Fröleke: That cannot be answered so easily by a generalization. You notice that some candidates already treat it as a kind of routine, they are already used to being contacted and know that they are of interest to the market. On the other hand, some are unsettled, they become nervous and get flustered. Of course there is no reason for that.

Question: What do you mean by that?

Marco Fröleke: I would like to do something for the candidate , meaning that he or she can therefore lean back and relax and tell me directly that it would be better to call back later. In any case, it is only possible to speak briefly during the first call at the work place.
If there is any interest, then the actual first interview usually takes place that same evening over the private telephone number of the candidate.

Question: What do you discuss with the candidate during this first telephone interview?

Marco Fröleke: Firstly, we introduce ourselves. We then ask the candidate a number of questions in order to find out whether our information we have on him or her is correct and whether the vacancy to be filled is suitable for him or her.
Then we describe the task at hand and give some brief key data concerning development perspectives.

Question: Do you talk about money in this first detailed telephone call? What mistakes can a candidate make here?

Marco Fröleke: The salary plays a major role. But it also should not be in the foreground when it comes to making a change. It is perfectly legitimate that a candidate wants to improve his income, after all, he is giving up the security of his present job.

However, candidates should not make the mistake of playing for excessively high stakes and quoting astronomical amounts for their desired salary. The HR consultant generally has an in-depth knowledge of the market and knows exactly what the usual rate is for any given sector. We pass our knowledge on to our candidates.

Question: How do you find the candidates that you call up?

Marco Fröleke: There are several ways. There is the possibility that a candidate was recommended to us or had applied to us. Sometimes we already know the candidate from other search commissions. Of course we contact them if they are considered for a new vacancy. At all times we offer candidates the option of turning to us, even if the change of job might only take place in several months. It is usual to make a study of the sector and to produce a list of target companies for our client. On this target customer list there are companies the person being searched for should go to if possible. Here, we are supported by researchers to a certain extent.

Question: What would you like to say to candidates at this point?

Marco Fröleke: The curriculum vitae should be coherent and conclusive, it must be possible to explain any gaps. Furthermore, in our experience the collaboration functions perfectly if the candidate is authentic. They should be honest with us , let us know what they are thinking, and they should be dependable. Dealing openly with one another is the key to success.