Headhunting techniques

Headhunting techniques

Executive Search vs Traditional Recruitment

  • Executive search, also known as headhunting, targets candidates who are not actively searching for a new job, unlike traditional recruitment which targets job seekers.
  • This method allows companies to reach out to suitable candidates who might be working for competitors, bringing in experienced and proven expertise.

Identifying Potential Candidates

  • Executive search consultants use a variety of methods including direct sourcing, networking, employee referrals, and online research to identify potential candidates.
  • Direct sourcing involves strategically targeting potential candidates working in similar roles or industries. It’s a proactive technique often used for senior-level positions.
  • Networking is vital in executive search, as it allows consultants to establish and maintain relationships with a wide range of industry professionals.
  • Employee referrals may also prove valuable, as existing employees often have industry connections and may know potential candidates.
  • Online research and social media platforms like LinkedIn are increasingly used in the executive search process to identify potential candidates and to research their experience, skills and career progression.

Approaching the Candidates

  • Unlike traditional recruitment methods which wait for candidates to apply for a vacancy, executive search involves reaching out to candidates directly.
  • Initial contact can be made through email, phone call or direct messaging through social media.
  • It’s important to ensure that the approach is professional, discreet and enticing - remember, the candidate may not be actively seeking a new role.

Evaluation of Candidates

  • Upon receiving a favourable response from the potential candidate, the consultant will assess their suitability through interviews and reference checks.
  • Detailed competency-based interviews are used to evaluate whether a candidate possesses the skills, experience and cultural fit necessary for the role.
  • Thorough reference checks are also crucial to verify the information provided by the candidate and gain insights into their work ethic and performance.

Selling the Position and the Company

  • One unique aspect of headhunting is the need to sell the role and the company to the candidate.
  • The consultant has to highlight not just the benefits and rewards of the job, but also the strategic importance of the role within the organisation, and the company’s culture and vision.

Remember, executive search or headhunting is a tactical approach to locating and attracting the best talent in the industry. It’s not about just filling a vacancy; it’s about finding the right person for the right role at the right time.