Good Headhunting with The Headhuntress
If you’ve been a recruiter before and probably even if you haven’t, watching Bravo’s new headhunting reality TV show The Headhuntress is a lot of fun. The new show documents the daily work of Wendy Doulton, a headhunter in LA, as she screens candidates, works with clients, coaches candidates, and gets frustrated with her staff.
The Headhuntress stays true to the recruiting business. A recruiter watching the show will say over and over again, “It’s just like that” and “That always happens.” It’s worth putting on your DVR, if only to give your spouse a glimpse into your what you deal with every day.
About half of the show is dedicated to job coaching and counseling candidates. On the debut of The Headhuntress, she coaches a former porn actor and a hapless women that professes a faith in numerology. The emphasis on job coaching may just be for TV: the general public will appreciate that more than the part about taking job orders and filling reqs. Wendy has some fun tricks for coaching candidates, including going up and down in an elevator with a candidate while she performs a literal elevator pitch. In another scene straight out of The King’s Speech, she coaches an introverted candidate until he is yelling “I’m a Winner!” at the top of his voice.
Her best advice of the first show was, however, given to her staff. She prods them into following up with candidates by saying “You have to keep close to your talent.” To fill a job and close candidates, she says to “pretend your life depends on it.” It’s that kind of sage headhunting advice that has probably never seen the outside of an office, much less the light of semi-primetime TV.
If you haven’t seen the first episode, I won’t spoil it for you. However, her client does end up giving her some high praise: “Good headhunting!” It’s at that moment that Wendy, like any recruiter, is transfixed – the brief, transcendent moment when the candidate’s talent is the headhunter’s, before they are again at zero and it’s time to just fill another job. The Headhuntress truthfully documents the ups and downs of the headhunting business, and at least on the first show, I thought there were more ups than downs.