I love your column and think you have a lot of useful information.
Here’s my question: I’m a 3rd year foreign attorney working at big company. We get a lot of calls from headhunters but when they call our department they often use a fake company name. Is telling a lie the best way to start off a relationship?
Thank you for the e-mail.
Unfortunately, I think the number of headhunters that are using a fake company name to try to speak to you will not decrease. This is not because headhunters are dishonest, but because they are trying to protect your privacy. If HeadHunter calls and gives his / her real company name then it might be likely that everyone will know a headhunter is trying to reach person X. Maybe no one in your team cares if a headhunter is trying to reach person X but the point here is to protect person X’s privacy. It should only be person X’s decision to share any information about his/her life, and no one else’s decision – and certainly not a Headhunter trying to do a sales call.
So, if we call you and give you a company name that you have never heard of before please feel free to play along until we can properly and privately introduce ourselves to you.