Should You Tell Your Employer You’ve Been Headhunted?

Getting headhunted is such a boost to your confidence and career that it can be really hard to keep it to yourself. But if you do tell your employer, or other people at work, too quickly, it can end up causing you some avoidable problems.

Woman in office wear talking to a recruiter

By playing your cards a little closer to your chest, you can use the headhunting experience to your advantage, rather than be at the mercy of the HR departments at both your current employers and potential new employers.


Consider Your Best Interests

Of course, your boss would not agree with this, but this is for the benefit of the person being headhunted you!

Now, you must be careful that you don’’t give everything away at the first hurdle, because the normal way that a headhunter will contact you in the first instance is by a telephone call in work hours, either on your office number or mobile.

If you tend to sit in an open plan office or are with colleagues throughout the day, how you deal with this call is important as it will make the people around you aware of your plans.

Headhunters tend to start their initial call to you by saying, “Hello, my name is X, are you able to talk at the moment?” or something similar. If you get such a call, rather than starting a conversation that can look awkward, simply say, “I was just about to do something, can I take your number and give you a call back later?”


Using Being Headhunted to Renegotiate Your Contract

Once you have gone through the process of meetings, possible interviews and contract negotiations with your potential new employers, you can either decide to take the new job or use the opportunity to renegotiate your current contract.

This can be a tricky process as, depending on how much your current employer values your contribution to the company, they will either be prepared to offer you more or be pleased to see the back of you!

However, the fact that you’ve been headhunted indicates that you are good at your job, so the likelihood is that your employers will want to hang onto you.

This does not mean that you can push and push, though, so don’t expect a huge pay rise and loads more holiday. Instead, be open to suggestions when you tell them you’ve been headhunted.

The best time to tell your employers that you’ve been headhunted is when you are clear about what you want to happen.

Assuming you’’ve decided to take the new job, it’s preferable to tell your current employer is the day after you’ve been paid, so there is no issue with receiving your pay cheque.

This also gives you time to arrange for any payment in lieu of holiday in time for your outstanding pay cheque.


Being Put on Gardening Leave

Depending on the type of job you’re in, you need to expect that your employers may want you to leave immediately.

Therefore, you’’d be wise to ensure you have ferreted away any personal items you wish to take with you before you tell your employers, then you can at least save yourself some of the indignity of having to pack a cardboard box of belongings in front of your colleagues.

With regards to timing, think about whom you need to tell and when they’re likely to arrive in the office. It’s best to tell them first thing in the morning as you can them have the day to yourself if you’re asked to leave!

If you are not in sales, recruitment or the type of job where you’’d be expected to leave straight away, it is probably better to wait until the end of the day, on the day after pay day.

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