How to Get the Most Out of Headhunters

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Where to Find a Good Headhunter
April 23, 2018
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May 22, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of Headhunters

executive search team

Choosing to use a headhunter for your recruitment needs is prioritising value added. It’s realising that cost-effectiveness in recruitment is not a short-term goal. Exceptional and true headhunter companies have the ability to power boost your business growth. They have the talent to make recruitment truly pay. So when you are hiring a headhunter for your vacancies how can you get the most out of the relationship?

  1. Put in the time at the beginning

It’s tempting to think that in hiring a recruiter or using headhunting companies you can hand over the baton and that’s your input over and out. Whilst of course this is possible it doesn’t do justice to the power of the headhunter. You will get far more out of the headhunting process if you invest some time and effort when the headhunting relationship is new.

This is about conveying information and allowing the headhunter to truly get to know and understand your business needs and culture. It pays off in the long-run.

  1. Be open and honest

When you are hiring a headhunter, remember that the headhunter is on your side. They are working for you. Therefore the more open and honest you can be with them, the more likely they will yield success. Your headhunter wants the placement to be exceptional, but they can only do it with the information you hold. Share it along with your expectations, your concerns, and your company dynamics.

  1. Ask them about their methods

Not all headhunter companies are created equally. In fact, some aren’t really headhunters at all, but really a recruitment agency in disguise. A good headhunter will be happy and keen to share their methods of recruitment with you. You should have a clear and transparent understanding of exactly what they will be doing to acquire your talent. To find out more about the headhunting process, see here.

A headhunter does things fundamentally differently. They work with transforming passive candidates (those not actively seeking a new role) into active ones. This is a remarkable skill. Their methods are central to this.

  1. Communicate

We know recruitment is often the thorn in your side. We know that, often, you simply want to ignore it in favour of getting on with your ‘day job’. However, the greatest success comes when there are open lines of communication between you and your headhunter. Communicating well, little and often, will prevent recruitment nightmares down the line.

Furthermore, if you keep them in the loop about business changes both now and in the future, they can be there as a tool to future success.

  1. Focus on the relationship

Whilst the process of recruitment is extremely important, it is secondary to the relationship you have with your chosen headhunter. It is the relationship between you and them which will facilitate success in the recruitment process. You need to feel and believe that they get your business, understand your needs, and your propensity for longer-term growth. You need to not dread their number coming up on your caller display, but instead relish it as a valuable business opportunity. So if you don’t ‘gel’ or don’t get on well, consider if this is the right headhunter for you.

  1. Trust your gut feeling

Following on from the above, it is vital that you listen to your gut feeling when selecting headhunter companies. In moving that brilliant candidate from a passive one (working happily elsewhere) into an active one (engaged in the potential of moving to you) so much will hinge on what they think about the headhunter. Therefore if you can trust your gut feeling on the headhunter then the candidate will too. If you feel it’s not quite working, or abrasive, then that’s what the candidate you want to entice will feel too.

  1. Listen to their advice

Headhunters are, by nature, outward looking. They have incredible insight into the recruitment marketplace but also industry specialisms. They can hover above the day-to-day processes and get an exceptional view of the bigger picture. They also know recruitment like the back of their hand. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Use them, listen to their advice, and value it as a resource.

  1. Be in it for the long-haul

Yes there is the possibility to use a headhunter for one role alone. However, you really stand to reap the benefits of the input and communication required if you invest in the partnership for the long-term. By having a long-term relationship with a headhunter you are enabling someone to become an effective ‘extra arm’ of your company. They will truly understand your long-term goals and potential. They will get to know your business as if it is their own. This pays off hugely in future vacancies.

Furthermore, if the relationship is long-term then they will always have their ear to the ground for you. When, as will happen, they come across a passive candidate who has the potential to drive your business success, you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Hiring a headhunter really is about adding value through recruitment. Use the steps above to get the most out of headhunter companies, and you’ll build an executive level workforce which rocket-fuels your business growth and success. To get in touch regarding your recruitment needs call today on 0203 582 2663.