For Recruiters

All the right moves

Thinking about finding a new job? One headhunter shares his tips on how not to go about it.

Rule 1: Money isn't everything

"Make a move for the right reasons," says Kevin Yeung, a search consultant specialising in real estate, private equity and hedge funds at the Whitney Group in Hong Kong. "Executives need to carefully consider why they're going and to spend quality time really evaluating what they hope to achieve from a move," he adds.

Rule 2: There's no going back

It's no good telling your manager you want to leave and then changing your mind: if you want to go for a new job, be decisive. Expressing an urge to move on is like wielding a loaded gun, says Yeung: "You should be prepared to use it. When it comes to job change, you have to think very carefully and then go through with the decision."

Rule 3: No means no

An extension of Rule 2, Rule 3 amounts to the fact that once you've said you're leaving, do not (under any circumstances) allow anyone to persuade you otherwise. Saying you're going to leave and then sticking around for more money or a bigger role is usually bad news.

One headhunter tells the sorry tale of a private equity star who was seriously contemplating quitting, but was persuaded to stay. "They smothered him with love. They sent him to spend a week with senior management in a luxury resort and they convinced him to stay on," he says in hushed tones.

But their faith had been shaken and the employee was 'shafted' - in the words of the recruiter - when it came to paying his carried interest (the capital gains from successful deals, usually paid out over several years). Although he got his salary and bonus he found himself seriously underpaid compared to his peers.

You have been warned...

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