Headhunting FAQs

Headhunting FAQs


Does the Headhunter have experience of working within our sector?

It is with natural regularity that we are asked whether we have relevant experience of headhunting within a specific sector. Our answer has always been that whilst experience of headhunting within a sector could have advantages it is not always necessary and can sometimes have disadvantages. For example the more a headhunter works in one particular sector the more “off limits clients” there are, hence limiting the amount of companies a headhunter can approach. However, the defining point is that having understood the client brief we are expert at getting to the right individuals and assessing their suitability for the position available. Industry experience is not an essential facet in achieving this.

An example of this could be when we were asked to find a Gulfstream IV jet pilot last year. With no experience in this arena we managed to fill the role within 4 weeks of taking on the assignment. We achieved this through networking our way into the industry and talking to as many people as possible, gathering important information and referrals.

Does the Headhunter maintain client confidentiality?

Clearly there are times when a client is keen to maintain a certain degree of confidentiality. This may be because they do not want their staff to discover they are seeking to fill a specific position or that they do not want key competitors to become aware. However, the headhunter is approaching people who are not actually looking for a new job and therefore they need key facts before deciding whether they would like to pursue the opportunity. The headhunter can only do so much in enticing a potential candidate to open up and gain interest in a potential career move without informing the candidate of the client’s identity. The key issue is the headhunter deciding when the right time has come to divulge the name of the client and this usually comes when the candidate has given some form of commitment and this could be by way of sending the headhunter a CV or at least convincing the headhunter of reasons as to why they would be willing to pursue another challenge. It is very unusual however to gain any potential candidate interest without divulging the name of the client.

Can I only use a headhunter for senior level appointments?

This perhaps is one of the biggest misconceptions about headhunting. When one thinks of headhunting one imagines that the headhunter only gets involved with senior management. Nothing could be further from the truth at Eagle Headhunters. Our model of headhunting really fits in recruiting at any level or within any discipline. To give a dramatic example one could think of a company looking to recruit a PA with experience of working in finance. The headhunter would simply draw up a list of relevant target companies (financial companies in this case) and then discover who the relevant PAs are within the companies. As PAs are readily accessible it would be a very straight forward process in talking to them about a new job. So as long as the headhunting model is consistent and the potential candidates accessible it should not matter whether they are an office junior or a CEO.

Why should I pay a headhunter a retainer?

At Eagle Headhunters we pride ourselves on the amount of bespoke work we conduct for our clients. We do not advertise and we do not have a database of CVs but actually research the industry sector in question drawing up a list of relevant organisations from which to headhunt. We then have to network our way through organisations to pinpoint the target individuals who would be likely to meet the brief. On a normal assignment it is likely that in order to find the right person for the job we will talk to over 50 candidates. This assures our client that we are not just putting forward anyone with relevant experience for the job but are qualifying from a long list of target individuals against the brief. The end result is that we meet with a client’s exacting requirements. Too many recruitment agencies, executive search companies and other recruitment businesses believe that a candidate, provided they have the right job title can fit into any company, in fact if you do not like their choice of candidate they will typically try and place the candidate into one of your competitors. Our modest retainer (10% and deducted from the final fee) guarantees that we will carry out the necessary ground work to treat the position with the uniqueness it deserves. The main reason for the retainer is that with all the upfront work and research carried out, if a company decided for any reason that they no longer needed the job filling then we would have conducted a lot of work for no reward.