How Does a Headhunter Work?

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How Does a Headhunter Work?

Breaking Down How Headhunters Actually Work

At Eagle Headhunters, we are headhunting pros. However, what do we actually do? How does a headhunter work? And is using a headhunter the right talent-sourcing solution for your business?

A Word on Language

When considering how a headhunter works, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right headhunting definition. To complicate things, a ‘headhunter’ can mean different things to different people. In the US, for example, a headhunter is someone working for the sole candidate. In the UK we sometimes find it used synonymously with ‘recruiters’. However, a true UK headhunter is a specialist role – working for the client, to fill specific vacancies with the best and most appropriate talent – usually working in a distinctly different way than a run-of-the-mill recruiter – there are no databases and no adverts, just bespoke executive talent search.

The UK Headhunter

Headhunters work for the client – the business who needs to find the right person, at the right time, for a particular role.

To make things even more confusing – not all headhunters are created equally. Some are little more than database readers, using their existing list of available candidates who are knowingly searching the job marketplace. An expert headhunter should be much more than this: going beyond current knowledge to actively identify and entice the right talent, bringing them on board with your organisation.

How Does a Headhunter Work in Practice?

Therefore, a skilled and professional headhunter uses a very different approach to a standard recruiter. This makes them particularly valuable for high-profile roles at the executive level.

Research – Engage – Entice

The primary role of a headhunter is research. Once you have engaged Eagle Headhunters to fill your available role, we meet with you to understand your company, and the position, intimately. We don’t just need to know the job spec – in addition we need to know the corporate values, the organisational culture, and the USP that makes you as an executive employer saleable.

We take this intelligence and combine it with our team of skills to uncover the most appropriate and successful talent in your industry. This is our ‘behind the scenes’ work, where we build a crystal clear image of the talent available at the right level in the right industry. These candidates don’t sit on recruitment databases waiting for someone to cherry pick them – they are actively engaged in their current role.

We therefore use a skilled approach to engage a selection of carefully selected individuals, to identify further that their skills, talents, attributes and acumen, are exactly what you need. We then involve them in discussion to find out what they are lacking in their current role and seek to marry this with your offering. We carefully lay the opportunity on the table.

Now we have the window to entice the potential candidates to your organisation. Through careful research and engagement, we are now able to provide you with the best candidates for you to cherry-pick through interview and assessment. All the while, we continually seek to match expectations between both you and the candidate.

How Long Does the Headhunting Process Take?

The amount of time it takes from contacting us to placement varies. However, typically, the time between you engaging us, and you selecting a candidate is around 4 weeks. This is considerably ahead of the curve for UK headhunters where you can normally expect a 6 week research and identification period.

We dedicate our resources and experience expertly in order to bring you a recruitment solution as soon as possible.

A Word of Caution

It is essential, when seeking candidates for executive roles, that you choose a dedicated headhunting service, rather than a recruiter who ‘also headhunts’. There is a huge difference, most notably who they are working for. A headhunter is focused solely on the needs of the client (the organisation), not on attempting to marry available and existing candidates to any role.

The proof will be in the pudding: you can expect a successful candidate who is actively engaged with the organisation and role before they even start. They quickly become committed and dedicated, whilst bringing the perfect range of skills and attributes to the table.

Choose Eagle Headhunters for your executive search, and discover the genuine headhunting difference. Call us on 0203 582 2663.