As with any and all relationships, building a connection and communication between the parties is the key to success. It is during the bad times that we take for granted, the issues that the simple act of communication can fix.
Working as a headhunter for a while now, this cannot ring more true for me. I work and collaborate with my colleagues on a daily basis, and to get things done, we have to communicate our ideas, differences and opinions. I also work with developers on a daily basis as well, as I represent them when it comes to arranging job interviews and negotiating their contract with companies. As a recruiter/headhunter in the industry, the communication line with the developer you are representing is incredibly important throughout the interview process(es).
Without the mutual understanding and communication between headhunter and developer, there are things that both parties could potentially miss out on. For example, developers might not be fully aware of how great the position they are interviewing for really is. This could affect the way developers would prepare for the interview, resulting in the potential loss of the opportunity. In this case, it would be the headhunter’s responsibility to communicate well with the developer and educate them on the scale of the opportunity.
As a developer, it is important that you also communicate with the headhunter you are working with. What are you looking for in job opportunities, and have your salary expectations been communicated to your headhunter? Without knowing what you are looking for and what you are expecting, it makes it hard for the headhunter to help you negotiate for things you want/need. Yes, these headhunters are representing you, but they are not mind-readers. You have to reciprocate the efforts the headhunter is putting in to fight for what is good for you.
Apart from being the developer’s representative to a company, it is also our job as headhunters to educate developers on the bars they should be looking out for (in terms of job requirements, interview processes and job benefits), and methods of self improvement that can benefit them in future job opportunities. It is one thing to work with candidates, but another to really understand what they need. The human element of headhunting is what makes the job so rewarding.
The better a working relationship headhunters have with the developers they represent, the more confident the developers would feel in communicating their needs and expectations. Furthermore, better communication helps speed processes along - should a competing offer be inbound at the same time the developer is interviewing for another opportunity, it can make the decision process easier and smoother.
As with all relationships, communication is a two way street; there will always be some element of give and take. If parties communicate and have trust in each other, a majority of problems can be solved. In my experience as a headhunter, the failure and breakdown of communication is the number 1 reason why people find that working with headhunters can be an awful process. But with proper communication and mutual understanding, the issues that were there before will no longer be issues.