I have often wondered whether this was a practical idea but now it seems someone is trying to make it work.
Jeff Hyman a former headhunter is now trying to build a business as an "agent" for Silicon Valley executives much in the same vein as an agent for a sports or movie star.
Executives need to be responsible for managing their careers, but most don't have the connections, the know-how, or the time," Hyman says. Using headhunters isn't a great solution, he contends. "Recruiters work in the interests of the corporations that pay them. But no one was working in the sole best interests of the talent."
So Hyman has stepped into the void, acting as part executive recruiter, part career coach, and part compensation attorney. He helps his clients define what they want to do and where they want to work; scours the marketplace for openings; and prepares them for interviews and salary negotiations. Unlike a typical search executive, Hyman isn't looking to fill a particular opening but to develop a career. He helps his clients with just about every move they make: negotiating raises at their current jobs, making a strong impression on bosses and colleagues, finding speaking engagements and other opportunities to build visibility. He meets with clients monthly to discuss their goals--often at a nearby Starbucks rather than at clients' offices--and conducts weekly performance audits by phone.
In exchange for those services, Hyman's firm charges 3% of clients' gross salary as an annual retainer, and another 5% of whatever dollar-generating items he gets them--whether a speaking engagement, a raise, or a new job
If this idea takes hold the recruiting industry could change dramatically. On the one hand it could hurt executive search firms. If agents are scouring the market and presenting candidates to clients then companies wont feel they have to rely on us to find people. On the other hand it could make our job easier if everyone has an agent then all we would have to do is call all the agents with an opportunity and let them send us candidates.
The full story appears on the Fortune website (see link below) but you need to be a subscriber to read it. But don't worry the gist of it is above.
I would be interested in readers thoughts on the whole agent thing and if an agent would be someone you would be willing to hire.
Fortune.com - Ideas & Innovations