Headhunting has long been seen as the undercover arm of recruitment. Much of the work is secretive because companies using this technique often don’t want to alert their employees, competitors or shareholders to their intentions.
Headhunted candidates are handpicked, so it’s a costly and time-consuming business generally reserved for positions paying more than £40k. Traditionally, a proven track-record has been vital and most enquiries have come from personal contact and word-of-mouth recommendation. But online recruitment is blurring the edge between headhunting and conventional recruitment. The growing number of candidates storing their CVs in online databases means it is now simple for recruiters to brand themselves as head-hunters but do they actually deliver this service?
True Head-hunters operate by target lists, name gather routines, research & networking to unearth the very best often from the competition!
If you want to improve your chances of being one of the chosen few, there are plenty of things you can do to raise your profile:
- Consider contacting a headhunting agency to see if it has relevant jobs waiting to be filled.
- Drop hints to friends, contacts or even suppliers that you could be persuaded to change jobs.
- Get your name on any PR being conducted by your company. Potential employers could pick up on it.
- Start networking and increase your profile at industry events and conferences. Self-promotion is a vital skill.
- When asked who you know for a job, have a serious think as this favour may come round to help you.
Head-hunters are usually pretty forthright when they contact you, immediately outlining the opportunity. Ask them to call back at a more convenient time if you’re at work, as a conversation of this nature would be quite hard to keep discreet.
It’s a good idea to have a face-to-face meeting with the head-hunter before any interview with the company so that you can get a full job description and receive answers to any other questions you have.
Being headhunted can bring more money, benefits and promotion prospects, so if you are approached, make sure you get the best deal:
- Let the head-hunter make the first move; you may underestimate your worth.
- Look carefully at the total package. A higher basic salary is attractive but make sure you do not lose some of the benefits you’re currently enjoying.
Once you have received an offer you’re happy with, you may decide to use it as a bargaining tool with your current employer. But tread very carefully; you do not want to antagonise both your current and prospective employers.
Once your current employer knows you want to leave they will never forget, often sidelining you for important projects, promotions etc… Not only that but when you except a counter offer, your current employer maybe be retaining your skills until they can replace you.