HR career issues: being headhunted

Q I started my third HR director role just six months ago, but have been headhunted for my dream job. Will taking it make me look unreliable and unable to commit?

The HR expert’s view

No. But you may need to ask yourself these questions: what were the driving factors for you accepting this third HR director role? Did you just you just want to move on from your previous role and never really imagined your dream job could ever happen? Or is it not possible to turn your current role into your dream job? Maybe this will depend on the organisation you currently work for and how different it is to your dream job.

At the end of the day, remember you were headhunted. This organisation must already know you have only just started in a new role. They still want you, so clearly they do not see this as an issue in terms of commitment. If you don’t accept the new dream role, you may always regret it, and if it really is your dream job you will most likely be there for a long time too. I am sure your previous two roles would have had some longevity to them, so stop worrying about what others think and take that dream job.

Esther O’Halloran, HR director, Paul UK

The recruitment expert’s view

We’re well into the 21st century now and everyone has to realise that they have to take control of their own careers and, as importantly, their own personal brand – and this is very much an issue about your own personal brand, reputation and standing. No-one else is going to hold your personal and professional interests quite as dear to them as you will. If this really is the perfect job, then you have an obligation to yourself to go for it: otherwise you will always look back and think: ‘what if?’

Although some may look at your behaviour in the past as to an indication of likely behaviour in the future, I’m assuming that you’re not a habitual “job mover”, and that you spent some quality time in both your previous HR director roles. Everyone is entitled to make a decision such as this and move on quickly – once.

But do your due diligence and make absolutely sure this really is the perfect role. And, of course, you never know – your current employer may make you a counter offer, and suddenly that dream role might not sound quite so enticing after all.

John Maxted, chief executive, Digby Morgan

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