FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

I. Cole & The Website

1. Your advice is very different from what the outplacement consultant has given me. Why should I trust/believe you?

By their nature, outplacement firms are HR-oriented and staffed by former HR people, not marketing executives. You are involved in the competitive struggle of your life, a marketing project, not an HR project. How is that HR advice working for you? I have spent over 30 years studying senior executive job hunting strategy as my lifetime marketing laboratory. (If you have not yet done son, please read Cole’s Bio. If that’s not enough for you, please call me and we’ll discuss it.

2. Why do you charge for your material? There is plenty of free job hunting material available on the Internet?

I have loaded my website with plenty of free and useful content. Please use it to your advantage, with my compliments. On the other hand, I have elected to make my best material –– the highest level of my intellectual property –– available to you at a reasonable price. The “look in the mirror test I give myself every day –– Is that I have for sale to senior executive job hunters worth more than I am charging for it? If I cannot answer “yes” to that question, I will not sell that resource or service. Yes, there’s plenty of “free” material available to you on the Internet. Maybe it’s worth the price.

3. I am amazed at your material. Where were you a year ago when I started my job hunt and before I ran out of money?

I’ve been coaching senior executives since 1983. Sorry we didn’t connect earlier. Call me to discuss your job campaign; there’s a lot we can do at very little expense to help you. One of the best moves your could make would be site membership to gain access to the full archives and audio seminars –– extremely cost effective. From time-to-time, I will offer scholarships in exchange for some research. Call me to discuss.

4. Do you provide references?

I have plenty of references available (different references for different purposes). Call me.

II. Mailings to Headhunters

1. Will mailing to headhunters get me a new job?

It might. Among my individual clients (senior executives I have coached), 40% found their new positions though mailings to third-parties. It seems to me that 40% of any potential market is too large to ignore. Several things are pretty certain –– Search firms control a lot of senior executive positions. It’s still a free country –– If they’re not contacting you, you can contact them and make them aware of your availability. Gretzky said “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

2. My outplacement firm/my friend/my brother-in-law/etc. gave me a free headhunter list. Why should I pay you for a list?

We’ve spent over 30 years digging out the “stealthy” headhunters one-at-a-time. We spend many hours correcting and maintaining the data. We concentrate or on identifying expertise and specialties. We pay all customers $2/ea. for any letter returned by the Post Office within 30 days of your order.

3. Why is a headhunter I know not on your list?

We’ve never claimed to have found them all. We also do not pump up our counts by adding franchised firms (“Kentucky Fried Recruiters”) or employment agencies that occasionally do searchers.

III. Headhunter Lists

1. How many headhunters are in the RSR database?

We have over 5000 firms identified/classified by expertise. (Note: we do NOT list franchised firms, which our competitors typically do, running up their “headcounts.” There are thousands of these, which you might choose to contact, but we do not list them, because they tend to be of marginal interest/value to senior executives).

2. What do you do to keep “bad actors” out of the data?

We’ve been publishing these headhunter lists since 19809 and have encountered every dirty sort of trick you could imagine (and plenty you would never imagine). While there is no way to rate headhunters qualitatively (the only way to do that would be to award every one a search assignment), but we have zero tolerance for job hunters being charged for “listing fees,” resume review, job hunting advice, or anything else. If you encounter any of this, please let me know (= adios to the perp).

IV. The “Bounty System” for returns

1. Why is there a 30 day limit on returns?

We have set a reasonable deadline to attach a sense of urgency so that we can update the database. Without a deadline, we would receive “updates” months old –– that wouldn’t help anyone. If you miss the deadline, please send us the returns anyway –– We’ll pay the $2 bounty on any “dead” headhunter not already reported by someone else.

2. The listed phone number didn’t work. Will you pay for that?

Sorry; no. We list the numbers the headhunter gave us. The database was created for mailing, not telephoning (which we do not recommend).

V. Speaking to Groups

1. Do you speak to senior executive job hunting groups? What do you charge?

I speak to senior executive job hunting groups several times a year. I have spoken to many business schools and just about every major group around the country.

If you need a speaker, ask me. I typically cover my expenses, as long as you provide the venue and publicize the session. I’ll use the opportunity to conduct a follow-on advanced session for any executives who care to attend (reasonable tuition to help cover the out-of-pocket expense/overhead of the trip –– airfare, hotel, etc.)


I do not charge groups to speak.